Explosion

Article

August 12, 2022

Explosion - a sudden release of large amounts of energy, usually accompanied by a sudden increase in temperature and pressure, as well as the emission of radiation (e.g. lightning, a light pulse of a nuclear explosion) and acoustic waves (e.g. a sound boom, the roar of a gunshot). Outbreaks are caused by: the course of rapid exothermic chemical reactions (e.g. combustion), especially branched chain reactions, violent physical phenomena (e.g. explosions of steam boilers and gas cylinders); amongst explosions with a physical mechanism, nuclear explosions are distinguished as a separate group. i.e. an increase in volume, temperature and pressure (e.g. an increase in the volume of gases at a rapidly rising temperature, evaporation of liquids and sublimation of solids in the explosion zone). The explosion causes a wave of increased pressure. Depending on the speed of propagation of this wave, there are, among others, deflagration (also known as "proper explosion"), detonation (high pressure wave also called shock wave) or explosion; the term "explosion" is sometimes also considered a synonym for "explosion". The opposite of an explosion is an implosion.

Historical Overview

The history of research on the phenomenon of an explosion is closely related to the history of the development of the technology of producing explosives and the history of firearms. The history of artillery techniques began with the following stages: until the 14th century - the period before the introduction of firearms; the use of incendiary masses containing nitrate, discovered in China hundreds of years BC, which later became the main component of explosives, including black powder, mid-14th century to mid-19th century - long period of using smoothbore weapons and black powder (at the end of the 18th century - attempts to introduce stronger explosive mixtures containing Berthollet's salt, coal and sulfur, see chlorate powder), since the nineteenth century - the development of organic chemistry and the introduction of new types of gunpowder used in the then common rifled barrel weapons (see smokeless nitrocellulose powder, cordite, ballistite). Discovery of the methods and properties of nitroglycerin, associated with the names of Nikolai N. Zinin and Alfred Nobel, led to the development of a technology for the production of crushing masses (see dynamite). The development of crushing explosives technology was of great economic importance in the period known as the age of steam and electricity - it improved, for example, the extraction of coal, metal ores and other raw materials. Advances in knowledge about the combustion process, including explosive combustion, made it possible, for example, to construct the first internal combustion engines, and knowledge about explosions of pressure vessels (cylinders, industrial autoclaves, etc.) facilitated the development of high-pressure chemical technologies (e.g. NH3 synthesis by the Haber method). Bosch). A significant part of the steel mills and chemical plants that were launched at that time (including ammonia synthesis installations) belonged to the armaments industry. The speed of development of this branch of industry is evidenced by the random pledge of information about the number of ammunition fired on various fronts of several wars: Franco-Prussian War - approx. 650,000 missiles used by Prussia, Russo-Japanese War - approx. 900,000 missiles used by Russia, World War I - over a billion shots from guns of various calibers (consumption of approx. 3 million shells with a caliber of 75 mm per 15 km of the front near Verdun during August 13–26, 1917), World War II - about 240 million missiles, mines and bombs as well as 7.4 billion rifle cartridges, produced in the USSR in 1944 During and after World War II, there was a progress in science and technology, which made it multiplied