Can bomb sitll ignite in vacuum?

  • Thread starter Chitose
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  • #1
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Hello, Chitose here.

First, I don't know which group should I post this but I put it here just in case.

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As topic says, Can bomb still explode in vacuum area such as space? I heard that fire cannot lit without oxygen. but a lot of sci-fi movie show explosion scene in space.

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English is not my native language, forgive me If I'm wrong in spelling or gamma.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
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Most bombs are fully packaged explosives, containing both a fuel and an oxidizer, so yes.

See: gunpowder:
a nitrate, typically potassium nitrate (KNO3), which supplies oxygen for the reaction;
charcoal, which provides carbon and other fuel for the reaction, simplified as carbon (C);
sulfur (S), which, while also serving as a fuel, lowers the temperature required to ignite the mixture, thereby increasing the rate of combustion. [emphasis added]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder
 
  • #3
alxm
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Explosives have their own oxidizer (or in the case of high explosives, they _are_ their own oxidizer), so they don't need air to burn.

There's no air (or, not much) in-between the bullet and gunpowder in a rifle cartridge.
 
  • #4
Drakkith
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For combustion to take place, most things need what is called an Oxidizer. An oxidizer, when used in an explosive, is merely a chemical that contains the element Oxygen in it. When made to combust the oxidizer reacts with the fuel, transferring the oxygen to the fuel in a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of fire, explosions, ETC.

Look at a campfire. The oxidizer here is simply O2 (Oxygen Molecule) from the air. Like the posts above said, many explosives have their own oxidizer enabling them to explode anywhere.
 
  • #5
Andrew Mason
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Hello, Chitose here.

First, I don't know which group should I post this but I put it here just in case.

..................................
As topic says, Can bomb still explode in vacuum area such as space? I heard that fire cannot lit without oxygen. but a lot of sci-fi movie show explosion scene in space.

...............................
It depends on the bomb. If the active substance contains sufficient oxygen (such as a gunpowder or an ammonium nitrate/TNT bomb) the answer is: yes. If it the active substance relies on atmospheric oxygen to combust, then it will not ignite in space.

AM
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
Gold Member
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but a lot of sci-fi movie show explosion scene in space.
This is a generalization. There are many flavours of explosions.

  • Spaceships are hollow vessels filled with oxygen and combustible materials.
  • Some explosions are just expanding hot gasses. If the source of the explosion is hot enough, materials will vapourize and glow without any need to react with oxygen.
etc.
 
  • #7
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For combustion to take place, most things need what is called an Oxidizer. An oxidizer, when used in an explosive, is merely a chemical that contains the element Oxygen in it. When made to combust the oxidizer reacts with the fuel, transferring the oxygen to the fuel in a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of fire, explosions, ETC.

Look at a campfire. The oxidizer here is simply O2 (Oxygen Molecule) from the air. Like the posts above said, many explosives have their own oxidizer enabling them to explode anywhere.
This is not the definition of an oxidizing agent. An oxidizer is one which gains electrons in a standard redox reaction, and does not have to contain oxygen. Halogens can often be used as an oxidizer, what is important is the atoms electron affinity.
 

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