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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Why does fertilizer explode?

The massive explosion at a fertilizer operation in the town of West, Texas, raised the question: With the tremendous amount of fertilizer the world blows through, are accidents like this a frequent occurrence?

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  • How Missile Defense Systems Will Work

    How Missile Defense Systems Will Work

    What once was "Star Wars" under Reagan is now National Missile Defense under Bush. Learn more about the technology behind the system. See more »

  • How Missiles Work

    How Missiles Work

    Missiles are widely-used in the military because they can reach targets from miles away. Learn about all types of missiles, including cruise missiles, stinger missiles, patriot missiles and even missile defense systems. See more »

  • How MOAB Works

    How MOAB Works

    When the U.S. Air Force tested the MOAB last year, it tested one of the largest conventional bombs ever built. MOAB stands for Massive Ordnance Air Burst, and it's not for the faint-hearted. Find out how it fits into the U.S. arsenal. See more »

  • How Napalm Works

    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 Nuclear Bombs Work

    How Nuclear Bombs Work

    Nine countries can now deliver nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles. At least three of those countries -- the U.S., Russia and China -- could strike any target anywhere in the world. Do you know what makes a nuclear bomb so deadly? See more »

  • How Nuclear Detectives Work

    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 »

  • How Patriot Missiles Work

    How Patriot Missiles Work

    An Iraqi missile nearly hit coalition ground forces headquarters on March 27, but a U.S. patriot missile intercepted it at the last second. Learn how patriot missiles destroy their targets. See more »

  • How Rocket-Propelled Grenades Work

    How Rocket-Propelled Grenades Work

    Rugged and simple, suitable for downing helicopters, disabling tanks or attacking buildings at close range -- in the hands of a skilled operator, the RPG is a lethal and versatile weapon. See more »

  • How Sidewinder Missiles Work

    How Sidewinder Missiles Work

    A Sidewinder missile weaves through the air toward an enemy target as if it has a mind of its own -- and in a way, it does. High-tech "smart weapons" take most of the guess work out of hitting a target. Find out how Sidewinders seek and destroy. See more »

  • How Smart Bombs Work

    How Smart Bombs Work

    Smart bombs can navigate their own way to specific ground targets with startling accuracy, even in poor weather conditions. Find out how JDAMs and other smart bombs automatically find and hit their targets. See more »

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