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Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Shock-induced Chemistry

New paradigms in chemical reactivity may be found in the ashes of today’s explosives
April 1, 2014
Shock-induced Chemistry

Explosions can produce new types of molecules.

Reactions induced by explosive shock waves wouldn’t occur by conventional chemistry

Powerful explosives produce shock waves that create intense temperatures, pressures, and densities in their wake. Yet in destructive conditions like these, chemistry becomes unexpectedly constructive, creating bonds and molecules that don’t form under other conditions. Some of this reactivity could lead to the design of useful molecules in the future, and Los Alamos scientists are investigating them with shock-induced chemistry in both virtual and real-explosion environments.

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