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:12/8/2016)... CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... high precision light to control cells — optogenetics — is key to exciting ... state of the art, spatially patterned light projected via free-space optics stimulates small, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed S.L., a ... of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for the treatment ... Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join its Scientific Advisory ... a strategic network of scientific and clinical experts to ... of the ANCD BRAIN ® to its clinical ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks at problems ... on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, ... resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Savannah River ... technologies and selected NewTechBio,s NT-MAX Lake & ... based beneficial bacteria, in conjunction with Hexa Armor/ ... deficiencies with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements. ... experienced a steady history of elevated pH levels, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... British Columbia , June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... appointed to the new role of principal product ... been named the director of customer development. Both ... NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s ... teams in response to high customer demand and ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion ... Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing ... applications are expected to drive the market growth. ... , The development of advanced multimodal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):