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Science | Military | Explosives

Get the science behind the inner workings of bombs, missiles and handheld weapons, including grenades. Learn how they work and how they are used to inflict maximum damage.

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How Dirty Bombs Work

This week, U.S. officials said they dispatched scientists in December to search for dirty bombs in five U.S. cities, after learning of possible New Year's Eve terrorist attacks. Learn all about these crude weapons.


10 Terrorist Plots That Failed

 10 Terrorist Plots That Failed

Can you name 10 terrorist plots that failed? Learn about failed terrorist plots at HowStuffWorks. See more »

How Controlled Detonations Work

 How Controlled Detonations Work

Some bombs require planned, intentional explosions, or controlled detonations. Learn how experts conduct controlled detonations at HowStuffWorks. See more »

How does the military intercept missiles?

 How does the military intercept missiles?

How does the military intercept missiles? Learn how the U.S. military intercepts missiles at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Can you really outrun an explosion?

 Can you really outrun an explosion?

Can you really outrun an explosion? Find out if you can really outrun an explosion the way action movie heroes do. See more »

How Bomb-sniffing Dogs Work

 How Bomb-sniffing Dogs Work

Bomb-sniffing dogs risk life and paw each day to protect the public. Find out how bomb-sniffing dogs work at HowStuffWorks. See more »

How the Star Wars Program Didn't Work

 How the Star Wars Program Didn't Work

The Star Wars Program is now generally regarded as risky and unrealistic. Why didn't President Reagan's Star Wars Program work? See more »

How Suicide Bombers Work

 How Suicide Bombers Work

Suicide bombers use a unique form of terrorism in order to advance their message. Learn about suicide bombers. See more »

How Napalm Works

 How Napalm Works

Napalm is a fiery tactical weapon that can stick to targets like no other incendiary weapon. Learn how napalm is used in war and who has used it. See more »

How IEDs Work

 How IEDs Work

IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are simple to make, easily hidden and very destructive. Read why IEDs are the weapon of choice for some fighters. See more »

Why does the Army have a Javelin missile simulator?

 Why does the Army have a Javelin missile simulator?

Javelin missile simulator trains U.S. military personnel how to fire the rocket launcher using computer technology. Learn about the Javelin missile simulator. See more »