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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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

"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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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

A fascinating article that describes how cruise missiles work and explores some of their advanced technology!

By Marshall Brain

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.

By Marshall Brain

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Smart bombs can navigate their own way to specific ground targets with startling accuracy, even in poor weather conditions. Find out how JDAMs and other smart bombs automatically find and hit their targets.

By Tom Harris

Learn how EMPs work and how these weapons could tear apart modern technology.

By Tom Harris

The U.S. Pentagon says it is sending two Patriot missile batteries to Poland to help NATO add to its defense strategy against a possible Russian attack. How do Patriot missiles work?

By Marshall Brain & Sarah Gleim

Ordinary bombs can take out surface facilities; but when the target is underground or otherwise embedded, the job requires a bomb with penetrating power. That's where bunker busters come in.

By Marshall Brain

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Rugged and simple, suitable for downing helicopters, disabling tanks or attacking buildings at close range -- in the hands of a skilled operator, the RPG is a lethal and versatile weapon.

By Shane Speck

Bombs come in many different shapes and sizes -- as small as a grenade to as huge as a thermonuclear warhead. See what the inside of a bomb looks like and learn how it's detonated.

By Marshall Brain

Missiles are widely-used in the military because they can reach targets from miles away. Learn about all types of missiles, including cruise missiles, stinger missiles, patriot missiles and even missile defense systems.

By Marshall Brain

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.

By Tom Harris

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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

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