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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An underwater explosion or UNDEX won't absorb the destruction like air does. Learn why an underwater explosion could harm you more than one on land.

By Robert Lamb

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?

By Kate Kershner

"Die Hard" films' John McClane (not to mention a long line of other Hollywood action heroes) never met an explosion he couldn't outrun. In real life, it's not so easy to sprint away from a blast.

By Chris Opfer


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.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Russia has been accused of using the extremely dangerous weapons against the military in its war against Ukraine. Exactly what are they and what makes them so deadly?

By Michelle Bentley

Israel's Iron Dome defense system is capable of intercepting — and destroying — thousands of incoming rockets targeting civilian areas. Here's how the sophisticated system works.

By John Donovan

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.

By Julia Layton


Your most rugged pair of blue jeans can't hold a candle to the cutting-edge blast-resistant clothing and technology. Sure, these fabrics are tough, but can they diffuse bomb blasts?

By Tom Scheve

An out-of-control satellite was headed for Earth. Shooting it down could save lives, but was it all just a ruse to test anti-satellite defenses?

By Josh Clark

The Stinger missile is a deadly man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) that can be rapidly deployed by ground troops. It's lightweight, combat-proven and has a greater than 90 percent success rate. So how are Stingers used and against whom?

By Marshall Brain & Patrick J. Kiger

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.

By Tom Harris


C-4 is in the news quite a bit these days -- it's a powerful explosive that's used in terrorist attacks all over the world. Find out what C-4 explosive is and what it can do.

By Tom Harris

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.

By Tom Harris

Landmines are a deadly legacy of 20th century warfare. Independent sources report that since 1975, landmines have killed or maimed more than 1 million people during peace time. Learn about the technology of landmines and their deactivation.

By Kevin Bonsor

Whether you call it a homemade bomb, a booby trap or an improvised explosive device, an IED is simple to make, easily hidden and extraordinarily destructive. Why are these deadly devices one of the No. 1 killers of soldiers in Iraq.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.


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?

By Robert Lamb

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?

By Julia Layton

Nine countries hold the 13,000 nuclear weapons in the global stockpile. That's less than during the Cold War but it doesn't change the fact that these bombs are still a threat to global humanity. So how do they work and are we close to nuclear war?

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Patrick J. Kiger

The Kim Jong Un regime continues to demonstrate its desire to threaten the U.S. and its allies with nuclear-armed ICBMs. But can any of these missiles actually reach the U.S. mainland?

By Julia Layton & Sarah Gleim


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.

By Julia Layton

What once was "Star Wars" under Reagan is now National Missile Defense under Bush. Learn more about the technology behind the system.

By Kevin Bonsor

Javelin missiles cost up to $80,000 each. So how does the U.S. Army afford to train its soldiers to fire them?

By Jonathan Strickland

You may have thought militaries stopped using napalm after the Vietnam War thanks to the United Nations, but this incendiary weapon lives on in modern warfare. Has it also been used in Iraq?

By Jacob Silverman


In 1961, the Soviet Union detonated the Tsar Bomba, still the biggest, most powerful nuclear bomb ever built. One of the cameramen who recorded the event said it sounded "as if the Earth has been killed."

By Patrick J. Kiger

Sheltering in place could give you the best chance of surviving a nuclear attack.

By John Perritano