Explosive & Food Calories

1. Mar 11, 2004

Nim

A http://muller.lbl.gov/teaching/Physics10/chapters/1-Explosions.htm [Broken] listed what I have posted below. Does it make sense to compare the calories of a chocolate chip cookie to the calories of TNT? Maybe there is more calories in TNT than 1 but not all of it can be released fast enough to be apart of the explosion. Or maybe people don't digest all the calories in a cookie and so the calories listed are smaller than how much it actually contains.

Code (Text):

object                                Calories in one gram

gasoline                              10
bullet (moving at speed of sound)     0.01
methane gas (CH4)                     13
battery (flashlight)                  0.01
battery (computer)                    0.1
hydrogen gas (H2) for fuel cell       26
TNT or dynamite, by convention*       1
real TNT (trinitrotoluene)            0.651
modern High Explosive (PETN)          1.06
meteor (at 30 km/sec)                 100

Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
2. Mar 11, 2004

Cliff_J

First off, kilocalorie would seem more correct for a physics text, but food-calorie makes sense to a layperson.

Second, it explains the difference between power and energy as its rational. Its not the total energy, rather how quickly the energy is delivered.

In demolition, it seems much talk is spent on how fast things happen, seems to follow here.

Cliff

3. Mar 11, 2004

Michael D. Sewell

We commonly measure energy in calories, so it does "make sense" to compare different sources of energy with calories. As to whether or not it makes sense to compare cookies to dynamite; remember, it is an election year. -Mike