A bomb is any of a range of explosive weapons that only rely on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy (an explosive device). Detonations inflict damage principally through ground- and atmosphere-transmitted mechanical stress, the impact and penetration of pressure-driven projectiles, pressure damage, and explosion-generated effects. A nuclear weapon employs chemical-based explosives to initiate a much larger nuclear-based explosion. Bombs have been in use since the 11th century in Song Dynasty China. The term bomb is not usually applied to explosive devices used for civilian purposes such as construction or mining, although the people using the devices may sometimes refer to them as "bomb". The military use of the term "bomb", or more specifically aerial bomb action, typically refers to airdropped, unpowered explosive weapons most commonly used by air forces and naval aviation. Other military explosive weapons not classified as "bombs" include grenades, shells, depth charges (used in water), warheads when in missiles, or land mines. In unconventional warfare, "bomb" can refer to a range of offensive weaponry. For instance, in recent conflicts, "bombs" known as improvised explosive devices (IEDS) have been employed by insurgent fighters to great effectiveness. The word comes from the Latin bombus, which in turn comes from the Greek βόμβος (bombos),[3] an onomatopoetic term meaning "booming", "buzzing".

then when the fuse was lit (and the projectile shot off) there was a .[6] The term was coined for this bomb (i.e. Bombs built using bamboo tubes appear in the 11th century. as the Mongol general Subutai (1176–1248) descended on the Jin stronghold of Kaifeng..[2] Bombs made of cast iron shells packed with explosive gunpowder date to 13th century China..[6] The History of Jin 《金史》 (compiled by 1345) states that in 1232. by a Jin Dynasty army against a Song Dynasty city. "thundercrash bomb") during a Jin Dynasty (1115–1234) naval battle of 1231 against the Mongols.History Explosive bombs were used in China in 1221. the defenders had a "thunder-crash bomb" which "consisted of gunpowder put into an iron container .

[9] As a point of reference. The positive wave shoves outward from the point of detonation. the Mongols used the explosive "thunder-crash bombs" against the Japanese.e. followed by the trailing vacuum space "sucking back" towards the point of origin as the shock bubble collapses. When hit. people being thrown through the air).[10] . X-rays by Japanese scientists of the excavated shells confirmed that they contained gunpowder.[6] The Ming Dynasty text Huolongjing describes the use of poisonous gunpowder bombs. and the vegetation was scorched and blasted by the heat over an area of more than half a mou. Archaeological evidence of the "thunder-crash bombs" has been discovered in an underwater shipwreck off the shore of Japan by the Kyushu Okinawa Society for Underwater Archaeology.great explosion the noise whereof was like thunder.[7] Shock Explosive shock waves can cause situations such as body displacement (i."[6] The Song Dynasty (960–1279) official Li Zengbo wrote in 1257 that arsenals should have several hundred thousand iron bomb shells available and that when he was in Jingzhou. audible for more than a hundred li. even iron armour was quite pierced through. the positive and negative wave. about one to two thousand were produced each month for dispatch of ten to twenty thousand at a time to Xiangyang and Yingzhou. including the "wind-and-dust" bomb. dismemberment..[4] During the Mongol invasions of Japan. the overpressure at the Oklahoma City bombing was estimated in the range of 28 MPa.[8] Shock waves produced by explosive events have two distinct components. The greatest defense against shock injuries is distance from the source of shock. internal bleeding and ruptured eardrums.

Fragmentation Main article: Fragmentation (weaponry) Fragmentation is produced by the acceleration of shattered pieces of bomb casing and adjacent physical objects. however. by military development of thermobaric weapons.480 °C (4. thermal wave effects are considered very limited in range compared to shock and fragmentation. This would be fatal to humans. which employ a combination of negative shock wave effects and extreme temperature to incinerate objects within the blast radius. The fragmentation bombs were filled with iron pellets and pieces of broken porcelain. Once the bomb explodes. While capable of inflicting severe to catastrophic burns and causing secondary fires. This rule has been challenged.500 °F). The use of fragmentation in bombs dates to the 14th century.Heat A thermal wave is created by the sudden release of heat caused by an explosion. as bomb tests have proven. the resulting shrapnel is capable of piercing the skin and blinding enemy soldiers. and appears in the Ming Dynasty text Huolongjing. Military bomb tests have documented temperatures of up to 2.[11] While conventionally viewed as small metal shards moving at .

debris and vegetation from the area surrounding the blast source. there are four types of blast effects on the human body: overpressure (shock). one fragment of that blast was a two ton anchor which was hurled nearly two miles inland to embed itself in the parking lot of the Pan American refinery. depending upon the charge. Finally. fragmentation. When the S. 1947. injury and fatality can result from the explosive fireball as well as incendiary agents projected onto the body. deminers or individuals wearing little to no protection. Fragmentation includes the shrapnel described above but can also include sand. which relies on the momentum of a shell to cause damage. such as bomb disposal technicians. Personal protective equipment. as well as infections. as well as helmets.[12] The projection of materials poses a potentially lethal threat caused by cuts in soft tissues. Overpressure refers to the sudden and drastic rise in ambient pressure that can damage the internal organs.S. Fragmentation should not be confused with shrapnel. soldiers wearing body armor. proximity and . deceleration injuries can occur when a person impacts directly against a rigid surface or obstacle after being set in motion by the force of the blast. possibly leading to permanent damage or death.super-supersonic and hypersonic speeds. fragmentation can occur in epic proportions and travel for extensive distances. and injuries to the internal organs. impact and heat. Immediately following this initial acceleration. Grandcamp exploded in the Texas City Disaster on April 16. such as a bomb suit or demining ensemble. Resulting injuries range from minor to unsurvivable. visors and foot protection. Effects on living things To people who are close to a blast incident. This is very common in antipersonnel mine blasts. When the overpressure wave impacts the body it can induce violent levels of blast-induced acceleration. can dramatically reduce the four effects.

Even subtle motion. developed and constructed to a standard design out of standard components and intended to be deployed in a standard explosive device. . or the nearby use of cellphones or radios. The latter are almost always mass-produced weapons.[citation needed] Improvised explosive materials are typically very unstable[citation needed] and subject to spontaneous. are "suicide vests" worn by a bomber. that when a large atom splits it releases a massive amount of energy. change in temperature. Atomic bombs are based on the theory of nuclear fission. and type 3 devices are vehicles laden with explosives to act as large-scale stationary or self-propelled bombs. The safest response to finding an object believed to be an explosive device is to get as far away from it as possible.other variables. can trigger an unstable or remote-controlled device. Any interaction with explosive materials or devices by unqualified personnel should be considered a grave and immediate risk of death or dire injury. also known as VBIED (vehicle-borne IEDs). type 80. Hydrogen bombs use the energy from an initial fission explosion to create an even more powerful fusion explosion. Effects on structures Types Experts commonly distinguish between civilian and military bombs. IEDs are handcarried parcel or suitcase bombs. IEDs are divided into three basic categories by basic size and delivery. unintentional detonation triggered by a wide range of environmental effects ranging from impact and friction to electrostatic shock. Type 76.

In the case of urban settings. The most powerful bombs ever used in combat were the two atomic bombs dropped by the United States to attack Hiroshima and Nagasaki. the explosions created by these devices can cause property damage. or more commonly known as the "Mother of All Bombs"). this clean-up may take extensive time. dirty bombs seek to kill or injure and then to deny access to a contaminated area until a thorough clean-up can be accomplished. or death. gasses and gas mixtures dispersed in these explosions may also ignite if exposed to a spark or flame. Low Explosive . Most commonly associated with radiological or chemical materials. devices that create explosions of this type can not be classified as "bombs" by the definition presented at the top of this article.The term dirty bomb refers to a specialized device that relies on a comparatively low explosive yield to scatter harmful material over a wide area. Below is a list of five different types of bombs based on the fundamental explosive mechanism they employ. Flammable liquids. rendering the contaminated zone virtually uninhabitable in the interim. Compressed Gas Relatively small explosions can be produced by pressurizing a container until catastrophic failure such as with a dry ice bomb. injury. The power of large bombs is typically measured in kilotons (kt) or megatons of TNT (Mt). However. Technically. and the most powerful ever tested was the Tsar Bomba. The most powerful non-nuclear bomb is Russian "Father of All Bombs" (officially Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP))[13] followed by the United States Air Force's MOAB (officially Massive Ordnance Air Blast.

but with the purpose of fragmentation. High Explosive A high explosive bomb is one that employs a process called "detonation" to rapidly release its chemical energy. such as charcoal or aluminum powder. These compositions deflagrate upon ignition producing hot gas. be used in large quantities or confined in a container with a high burst pressure to be used as a bomb. Low explosives typically consist of a composition of an oxidizing salt. a certain amount of the fissile material must be very rapidly consolidated while being exposed to a neutron source. such as U-235 or Pu-239. Detonation is distinct from deflagration in that the chemical reaction propagates faster than the speed of sound (often many times faster) in an intense shock wave. repulsive . A casing is still employed in some high explosive bombs. Therefore. In order to release this energy rapidly. Black powder is an example of a low explosive. such as potassium nitrate. the pressure wave produced by a high explosive is not significantly increased by confinement as detonation occurs so quickly that the resulting plasma does not expand much before all the explosive material has reacted. Low explosives must. Nuclear Fission Nuclear fission type atomic bombs utilize the energy present in very heavy atomic nuclei. Under normal circumstances deflagration occurs too slowly to produce a significant pressure wave. Most high explosive bombs consist of an insensitive secondary explosive that must be detonated with a blasting cap containing a more sensitive primary explosive. If consolidation occurs slowly. therefore. and solid fuel.The simplest and oldest type of bombs store energy in the form of a low explosive. This has led to the development of plastic explosive.

The target is destroyed using the kinetic energy of the falling bomb. The energy released by a nuclear fission bomb may be tens of thousands of times greater than a chemical bomb of the same mass. Nuclear Fusion Nuclear fusion type atomic bombs release energy through the fusion of the light atomic nuclei of deuterium and tritium. With this type of bomb. inert material (typically concrete) instead of explosive. Nuclear fusion bombs can have arbitrarily high yields making them hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than nuclear fission bombs.forces drive the material apart before a significant explosion can occur. Other Concrete bomb Main article: concrete bomb A concrete bomb is an aerial bomb which contains dense. a thermonuclear detonation is triggered by the detonation of a fission type nuclear bomb contained within a material containing high concentrations of deuterium and tritium. Inert bomb An inert munition is one whose inner energetic material has been removed or otherwise rendered harmless. rapid consolidation can provoke a chain reaction that can proliferate and intensify by many orders of magnitude within microseconds. Weapon yield is typically increased with a tamper that increases the duration and intensity of the reaction through inertial confinement and neutron reflection. Inert munitions are used in military and naval training. Under the right circumstances. and they are .

[citation needed] Delivery The first air-dropped bombs were used by the Austrians in the 1849 siege of Venice.also collected and displayed by public museums. or by private parties. American and NATO inert munitions are painted entirely in light blue and/or have the word "INERT" stenciled on them in prominent locations. One raid on the 8th of September 1915 dropped 4. or by autonomous guidance. England. The bombs were dropped by hand. or on multiple ejection racks which enable mounting several bombs on a single pylon. The first bombing from a fixed-wing aircraft took place in 1911 when the Italians bombed the Turkish lines in what is now Libya. .800 kg) of high explosives and incendiary bombs. precision-guided munitions. during the Italo-Turkish War. including one bomb which weighed 600 lb (270 kg). Typically.000 lb (1. The first large scale dropping of bombs took place during World War I starting in 1915 with the German Zeppelin Airship raids on London. Two hundred unmanned balloons carried small bombs although few bombs actually hit the city. Modern bombs. Modern military bomber aircraft are designed around a largecapacity internal bomb bay while fighter bombers usually carry bombs externally on pylons or bomb racks. may be guided after they leave an aircraft by remote control.

Apart from the damage to vehicles and people. as in the rifle grenade or using a grenade launcher such as the M203 or by attaching a rocket to the explosive grenade as in a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). and ports. depending on circumstances. such as pressure (altitude).Some bombs are equipped with a parachute. if they were disturbed. giving the dropping aircraft time to get to a safe distance from the explosion. The Blue Peacock nuclear mines. Parachutes slow the bomb's descent. which were also termed "bombs". the Vietnam war-era daisy cutters. bridges. which was an 11 kg fragmentation bomb. Detonators are triggered by clocks. Grenades can also be projected by other means. such as being launched from the muzzle of a rifle. The explosion of a bomb may be triggered by a detonator or a fuse. A hand grenade is delivered by being thrown. radar. This applies for railways. A bomb destroying a rail track just before a train arrives causes a train to derail. to roads. or in a vehicle driven to the target. remote controls like cell phones or some kind of sensor. . and the bomblets of some modern cluster bombs. such as the World War II "parafrag". runways. This is especially important with airburst nuclear weapons. In the case of suicide bombing the bomb is often carried by the attacker on his or her body. a bomb exploding in a transport network often also damages. A bomb may also be positioned in advance and concealed. they would explode within ten seconds. Detonators vary in ways they work. and to a lesser extent. were planned to be positioned during wartime and be constructed such that. and in situations where the aircraft releases a bomb at low altitude. and is sometimes mainly intended to damage that network. vibration or contact.

blast hole epicenter. . ^ Joseph Needham (1974). Pass (eds. Randall L. Science and Civilization in China: Volume 5. (1987). 3. ^ a b c d Needham. seat of explosion. Henry George Liddell. Forensic 6. Allan D. fire fuze or blast initiated detonators and others. ^ Delgado. an explosion crater). "Bomb damage assessment". Cambridge University Press. the blast seat may be either spread out concentrated (i. Robert Scott. 7. In Ayn Embar-seddon. (2008). Joseph. do not cause craters or even have definitive blast seats. the point of detonation of a bomb referred to as its blast seat. James (February 2003). ^ a b Peter Connolly (1 November 1998). quantity and placement explosives. Depending on the type.e. The Hutchinson Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval Warfare. Science and Civilisation in China: Military technology : the gunpowder epic. Randall L. ^ Milstein. 2.). Taylor & ^ βόμβος. Chemistry and Chemical Technology. "Bomb damage assessment". "Relics of the Kamikaze". Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic. Blast seat In forensic science.they can be electrical. is or of or Other types of explosions. See also • List of bombs References 1. Archaeology (Archaeological Institute of America) ^ Mlstein. 8. Cambridge University Press. (2008). 5. A GreekEnglish Lexicon.. on Perseus ^ a b Joseph Needham (1986). such as dust or vapor explosions. 4.

military says". published by Van Eekelen. contributed by Tucker. The Retardation of Weapons for Low Altitude Bombing. 12. (2002). Reuters. Shock and Awe: War on Words. S. Red Hat Publishing Co. Pass (eds. 15. ^ Marks. 9. Spencer (2005). Cambridge University Press. ^ Coupland. 16. 18. The Emergency Responder's Guide to Terrorism. ABC-CLIO. ^ a b Walsh. Retrieved 14. Military Aircraft. .M. Forensic Science. published 1991 Paragon House 17. 10.B. (June 1968). "Blast-Resistant Building Design Technology Analysis of its Application to Modern Hotel Design". United States Naval Institute Proceedings. Justin. "Zeppelins of World War I" page 35. North Atlantic Books.). ^ Jackson. "Blast seat". Salem Press. Henry (2002). (2008). 13. Allan D. (1989). Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic. J. "Guernica". In Ayn Embarseddon. Sven (2004). Origins to 1918: An Illustrated History of their Impact.. Bregje. R. Amputation for antipersonnel mine injuries of the leg: preservation of the tibial stump using a medial gastrocnemius myoplasty. C. ^ Wong. Dmitry (2007-09-12). ^ Lindqvist. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Michael E. WGA Wong Gregerson Architects 11. ^ Murphy. "Russia tests superstrength bomb.Science. ^ Wilbur Cross. ^ Solovyov. ^ Joseph Needham (1986). 71.