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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 the Star Wars Program Didn't Work

Back in 1983 when the Cold War was in full swing, the U.S. was looking for an effective new tactic to deter a nuclear strike. The "Star Wars" missile defensive initiative, however, wasn't it. Why not?


How Suicide Bombers Work

Suicide bombings are chillingly logical. By hiding explosives on a willing carrier, individuals smuggle death into densely populated areas. But are these bombers strictly a modern phenomenon? See more »

How Napalm Works

You may have thought militaries stopped using napalm after the Vietnam War thanks to the United Nations, but this incendiary weapon lives on in modern warfare. Has it also been used in Iraq? See more »

How IEDs Work

Whether you call it a homemade bomb, a booby trap or an improvised explosive device, an IED is simple to make, easily hidden and extraordinarily destructive. Why are these deadly devices one of the No. 1 killers of soldiers in Iraq. See more »

Why does the Army have a Javelin missile simulator?

Javelin missiles cost up to $80,000 each. So how does the U.S. Army afford to train its soldiers to fire them? See more »

How Nuclear Detectives Work

Do you feel your job is unfulfilling? Maybe you should consider becoming a nuclear detective. These modern Sherlocks might just stop nuclear war from happening. See more »

Is it worse to be near an explosion on land or in water?

Taking a hit from an explosion probably isn't on your to-do list. But if blasts were all around you, would water or land stop your lungs from imploding? See more »

Fallout Shelter Pictures

Fallout shelters were once all the rage during the height of the Cold War in America. This gallery depicts some of the most common features of fallout shelters. See more »

How Blast-resistant Clothing Works

Your most rugged pair of blue jeans can't hold a candle to the cutting-edge blast-resistant clothing and technology. Sure, these fabrics are tough, but can they diffuse bomb blasts? See more »

How did the U.S. shoot down its spy satellite?

An out-of-control satellite was headed for Earth. Shooting it down could save lives, but was it all just a ruse to test anti-satellite defenses? See more »

How the Guardian Anti-missile System Works

In the last few years, the threat to commercial airplanes has become larger than ever. Learn how the Guardian Solution for Commercial Airplanes, created by Northrop Grumman, can defend the planes from lethal types of attacks. See more »