Navigation Links
Explosives at the microscopic scale produce shocking results
Date:12/11/2007

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- U.S. troops blew up enemy bridges with explosives in World War II to slow the advance of supplies or enemy forces.

In modern times, patrollers use explosives at ski resorts to purposely create avalanches so the runs are safer when skiers arrive.

Other than creating the desired effect (a destroyed bridge or avalanche), the users didnt exactly know the microscopic details and extreme states of matter found within a detonating high explosive.

In fact, most scientists dont know what happens either.

But researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created the first quantum molecular dynamics simulation of a shocked explosive near detonation conditions, to reveal what happens at the microscopic scale.

What they found is quite riveting: The explosive, nitromethane, undergoes a chemical decomposition and a transformation into a semi-metallic state for a limited distance behind the detonation front.

Nitromethane is a more energetic high explosive than TNT, although TNT has a higher velocity of detonation and shattering power against hard targets. Nitromethane is oxygen poor, but when mixed with ammonium nitrate can be extremely lethal, such as in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Despite the extensive production and use of explosives for more than a century, their basic microscopic properties during detonation havent been unraveled, said Evan Reed, the lead author of a paper appearing in the Dec. 9 online edition of the journal, Nature Physics. Weve gotten the first glimpse of the properties by performing the first quantum molecular dynamics simulation.

In 2005 alone, 3.2 billion kilograms of explosives were sold in the United States for a wide range of applications, including mining, demolition and military applications.

Nitromethane is burned as a fuel in drag racing autos, but also can be made to detonate, a special kind of burning in which the material undergoes a much faster and far more violent type of chemical transformation. With its single nitrogen dioxide (NO2) group, it is a simple representative version of explosives with more NO2 groups.

Though it is an optically transparent, electrically insulating material, it undergoes a shocking transformation: It turns into an optically reflecting, nearly metallic state for a short time behind the detonation shock wave front.

But further behind the wave front, the material returns to being optically transparent and electrically insulating.

This is the first observation of this behavior in a molecular dynamics simulation of a shocked material, Reed said. Ultimately, we may be able to create computer simulations of detonation properties of new, yet-to-be synthesized designer explosives.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anne Stark
stark8@llnl.gov
925-422-9799
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. A Large-Scale Research Project by a Dutch Consortium Addressing a Global Problem
2. CCMR gets $2.9M for training grad students in nanoscale science
3. Penn engineers design computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
4. CCMR gets $2.9M for training grad students in nanoscale science
5. Penn engineers design computer memory in nanoscale form that retrieves data 1,000 times faster
6. Peter Cummings to receive the 2007 AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award
7. Sol-gel inks produce complex shapes with nanoscale features
8. Elbit Medical Imaging Ltd. Announces Definitive Agreements for a Large Scale Luxury Mixed Use Project in Bangalore, India
9. Heavier hydrogen on the atomic scale reduces friction
10. China-Biotics, Inc. Receives Approval to Begin Construction on Large-Scale Manufacturing Facility
11. Anthrax vaccine produces immunity with nanoparticles, not needles
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Assured Enterprises, Inc. ... offer a full spectrum of digital security goods and services. The strategic partners ... the ground-breaking proactive cybersecurity services and products through Assured Enterprises. The two companies ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... for Global Sales. , With over 20 years of experience in the learning technologies ... LEO, a sister company within Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Open Therapeutics ... property (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , The Center for Advancing Innovation helps ... of this effort is bringing the IP to the attention of the entrepreneurial ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... The Vibrating Orifice ... device for generating monodisperse droplets of known diameters for research applications such as ... solid particles by drying monodisperse droplets. , The VOAG requires forcing liquid ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):