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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Fire Away! 'Star Wars' Missile Defense Quiz

In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced a new plan for protecting against a nuclear strike: the Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan's idea almost immediately earned the unwelcome nickname "Star Wars." How much do you know about the program?

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  • Buzz Bomb

    Buzz Bomb

    Buzz Bomb, a nickname for the German V-1 pilotless airplane. See more »

  • Catapult

    Catapult

    Catapult, a device that throws objects through the air. In ancient and medieval times, the catapult was a military weapon. See more »

  • Depth Charge

    Depth Charge

    Depth Charge, a device for sinking submarines. It consists of an explosive, usually weighing about 500 pounds (225 kg), inside a steel drum. See more »

  • Grenade

    Grenade

    Grenade, a small time-fuze bomb. Some are designed to be thrown by hand. The rifle grenade is launched by firing a blank cartridge in a rifle with a special adapter. See more »

  • Mine

    Mine

    Mine, in warfare, an explosive charge used as a weapon on land and at sea. It is a defensive weapon used to obstruct or delay enemy movements. See more »

  • Missiles and Rockets

    Missiles and Rockets

    Missiles and rockets are devices designed to travel in air or outer space, propelled by the force of expanding gases. See more »

  • Nuclear Weapons

    Nuclear Weapons

    Nuclear Weapons, explosive weapons that gain their explosive power from nuclear reactions. See more »

  • Torpedo

    Torpedo

    Torpedo, an underwater, self-propelled, explosive weapon that can be launched from a submarine, a surface ship, an airplane, or a helicopter. See more »

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