Speed of Sound - an explosive definition

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Speed of Sound - an explosive definition

Postby Bob » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:00 am

I used to think that a high explosive was any that could explode with no case. Flash powder can cross this boundary in either direction. A more modern definition of what detonation is is any reaction faster than the speed of sound. I believe that it creates an intense pressure change so quickly the air itself can not move out of its way, similar to a sonic boom in aircraft. The result is a ripple in the air itself, much like a drop of water in a pool. The molecules of air become so compressed into a shock wave at the peak of the wave front, the air can weigh several tons traveling at thousands of miles an hour, which in turns shatters anything in its path.

i.e. air pushed to the end of its spring, is beyond the speed of sound.
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