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 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 Smart Bombs Work

How Smart Bombs Work

Smart bombs use sensors and flight systems to find a specific target. Learn how smart bombs work and about smar-bomb technology such as the JDAM. 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 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 C-4 Works

How C-4 Works

C-4 is a powerful explosive that's used in terrorist attacks all over the world. Find out what C-4 explosives are and what C-4 explosives can do. See more »

How Dirty Bombs Work

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. See more »

How Stinger Missiles Work

How Stinger Missiles Work

In an international sting, U.S. authorities arrested a man attempting to smuggle a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile into the U.S. Find out how the U.S. equivalent, the stinger, destroys air targets. See more »

How Grenades Work

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. See more »

How Landmines Work

How Landmines Work

Landmines have killed or maimed over 1-million people since 1975. Find out how landmines work and what countries are doing to prevent landmine tragedies. See more »

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 Nuclear Bombs Work

How Nuclear Bombs Work

Nuclear bombs are the most serious looming threat in just about any major conflict. Learn what gives nuclear bombs such immense power and what the long-term dangers are. See more »