Author: Christian Jacobo
An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. Supersonic explosions created by high explosives are known as detonations and travel via supersonic shock waves. Subsonic explosions are created by low explosives through a slower burning process known as deflagration. USA developed an experiment during World War II called Bat Bombs. They were large bomb casings that would open above cities and release bats with small, timed incendiary bombs. The bats would find somewhere to roost, and the incendiaries would start fires in inaccessible places. In 1998, a splinter group of the IRA called in a bomb threat for the courthouse hill in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The police evacuated people 400 meters to the bottom of the hill where it was thought to be safe; however, this spot was the real location of the bomb. In total, 29 people perished and 220 were injured. The US Air Force researched a non-lethal bomb containing really strong pheromones that would make the enemy forces attracted to each other. This won the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize.
There are some jobs where people have to deal with explosions. An atomic bomb cameraman is in charge of documenting explosions. They are supposed to wear special glasses to block the intense light emitted by what is anticipated to be a six-megaton explosion. Another job is a bomb disposal expert. They are in charge of safely diffusing and disposing of explosive devices. They must be very careful as they are in danger of being exposed to a shock wave. This is the sudden change in internal and external pressure and can cause severe internal damage. This is called “ Blast Induced Barotrauma.” The bomb suits that disposal experts wear are nearly invulnerable to projectiles.