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Thread: explosive chemistry

  1. #1 explosive chemistry 
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    Hi! I'm writing a paper for school that has to be three pages on the chemistry of explosives and their uses. How should I organize the paper and what should I include? Thanks! ~ben


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    What do you have so far?


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    just talk about combustion for 3 pages
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    You can get some nice anecdotes here: In the Pipeline:

    (I'm sure this won't help you, but it is a very entertaining blog.)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    The history of isolating Fluorine is rather explosive; Fluorine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    Cat's Cradle.
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    Try separating out explosive events that are not combustion related, like steam explosions and and explosive failure of containers. Then separate the explosive combustion of mixtures of chemicals like black powder and then explain how high explosives work by comparison.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminmorris View Post
    How should I organize the paper and what should I include? Thanks! ~ben
    You need to decide on an overall theme (or thesis) for your paper: i.e. what argument will it make? Then the introduction states what your argument will be, the body presents evidence for and against, the conclusion wraps it all up to show that your argument is valid.

    It could be a straightforward "history of explosives" - this could be made more interesting with suitable examples of novel uses or spectacular accidents/discoveries.

    Or you could focus on a single application (artillery, demolition, fireworks, ...) and describe the different compounds and techniques used there.

    Or a single aspect of the chemistry (nitrogen bonds, or whatever).

    Or you could take a famous quote related to explosives (e.g. "There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives," Scott Adams - or the many variants) and build the story around that. Or a suitable quotation could be used as an introduction to one of the topics above (e.g. demolition, in this case).

    Your conclusion can make reference back to your introduction to round things off (e.g. "... thus showing that Scott Adams was wrong.")
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    these responses are rather good. and Jrmonroe, not much. I fiddled with the first paragraph a little. beginning to describe ignition, combustion and detonation and the differences thereof, but I don't quite like it. its too bland. so far you have all been quite helpful!
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    Explosive Science - YouTube

    Published on Nov 1, 2012

    Distinguished Scientist, Ri Vice President and explosives expert Chris Bishop presents another action-packed demonstration lecture.

    Following on from his explorations of Chemistry and the world of Fireworks, Professor Bishop turns his attention to the use, origins and properties of explosives.
    might find it of interest.
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    Sometimes it is better not knowing than having an answer that may be wrong.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminmorris View Post
    these responses are rather good. and Jrmonroe, not much. I fiddled with the first paragraph a little. beginning to describe ignition, combustion and detonation and the differences thereof, but I don't quite like it. its too bland. so far you have all been quite helpful!
    Good idea to define "explosive" first, which I would think must be something along the lines of something that causes an extremely rapid increase in quantity of gas (which implies either a raid increase in volume or a rapid increase in pressure) and then mention the types of process that can bring this about. This can include steam explosions etc and then you can get on to the types of chemical reaction that have this effect.
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