Despite their seemingly random effects, explosions are actually predicable chemical reactions.  The website used as the primary source for this blog, emphasizes the importance of planning and data to achieve a desired result.

Thermodynamics is the key to an explosion.  It is crucial to know exactly how much energy is released.  Explosions are exothermic reactions, a endothermic reaction (requiring energy) would serve little purpose.  In mining, a too powerful explosion can threaten the safety of humans in the area.  A weak explosion would fail to expose the desired substances.  Blasting professional must have an estimate of a substance’s heat capacity.  The same explosion won’t yield the same result if the blasted substances are different.  Enthalpy is a useful statistic to know, because if too much energy is released, it can cause the following explosions to be triggered in a unwanted, perhaps dangerous way.  However, it seems that what really mattered to the blasting professionals was the energy released as a vibration.  Although vibrations haven’t yet been discussed in class, the vibration energy is still linked to thermodynamics and the total enthalpy of the system.

Did you know Mount Rushmore was crafted using explosives? See this link.


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