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.


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?

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  • Buzz Bomb
    Buzz Bomb

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

  • 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, 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, 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, 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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