Los Alamos is always blowing stuff up. The Lab burst into the public consciousness 70 years ago with the biggest explosion known to humanity—the world’s first atomic bomb. Since then, Los Alamos has continued to lead the nation in explosives science and engineering. Now, some of the researchers working there went to answer questions on Reddit. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
What’s the biggest boom you’ve ever seen/created?
The largest “shot” that I’ve seen was on a tour of an open pit copper mine, when I was an undergraduate student taking explosives engineering. It was 60,000 lb of an ammonium nitrate based explosive. It certainly was earth-shattering, but not the loudest that I’ve heard, as it was timed to not fire all at once and it was deep underground. Being inside a bunker very close to an open-air, yet smaller shot is more impressive.
Is there a “holy grail” of explosives?