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 Grenades Work

Grenades are a devastatingly effective weapon on the battlefield. Find out what happens when a soldier pulls the pin and tosses one of these miniature bombs at the enemy.


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.

How can you train honeybees to sniff for bombs?

Those same, buzzing insects that seek out molecular hints of the pollen they use to make honey can just as easily detect traces of materials used to bombs. How are honeybees used to find bombs?

How do scientists determine if a nuclear blast has occurred?

In the first reports released since North Korea announced its underground nuclear test on Monday, officials are saying they have found no evidence of a nuclear signature in the air above the blast site.

Is North Korea equipped to attack the United States?

On Wednesday, the newly nuclear North Korea took its rhetoric up a notch when it threatened to attack the United States.

Is it possible to test a nuclear weapon without producing radioactive fallout?

In what may prove to be the first nuclear explosion since 1998, North Korea claims it has conducted an underground test of a nuclear weapon.

How do liquid explosives work, and what would terrorists do with them on a plane?

On August 10, 2006, authorities in Great Britain announced that they had arrested several people in connection with a plot to attack airplanes with liquid explosives.

How Bombs Work

Bombs come in many different shapes and sizes -- as small as a grenade to as huge as a thermonuclear warhead. See what the inside of a bomb looks like and learn how it's detonated.

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.

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.

How Bunker Busters Work

Ordinary bombs can take out surface facilities; but when the target is underground or otherwise embedded, the job requires a bomb with penetrating power. That's where bunker busters come in.