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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10 Terrorist Plots That Failed

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an estimated 54 other attacks on the U.S. have failed. And these are only the ones we know about. Some, like the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber, live on in infamy. Others are more obscure.

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  • 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 Suicide Bombers Work

    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 the Guardian Anti-missile System Works

    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 »

  • How the Star Wars Program Didn't Work

    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? See more »

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

    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. See more »

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

    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 »

  • Is North Korea equipped to attack the United States?

    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. See more »

  • Why does fertilizer explode?

    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? See more »

  • Why does the Army have a Javelin missile simulator?

    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 »

  • Wild World: Blast-resistant Clothing Quiz

    Wild World: Blast-resistant Clothing Quiz

    Blast-resistant clothing can leave you unscathed after an explosion, but no material is entirely bombproof if you're close enough to the blast. What do bomb suits consist of, and who's wearing them on the job? See more »

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