What happens when an explosive is detonated?

By David S. Moore

Los Alamos scientists are seeking a better understanding of how detonation works chemically. This open-air high-explosives detonation was conducted in 2003.

When an explosion goes off, we often think of the damage it does. We seldom think of explosions as constructive, but explosives have always been a critical component of industries such as mining, construction, transportation and even metal bonding.

Despite great advances in explosives since Alfred Nobel invented dynamite, the concept of…