ETech 09: Explosives

Christa Hockensmith: “Jackhammers, Polymers, and Diamonds: New Applications in Explosives”, one of the early talks at ETech 09 on Wednesday morning. Hockensmith is from the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at New Mexico Tech. It was a really fun talk and the notes will miss out on a lot of the flavour. And some of them won’t make sense out of context but are possibly just for me to remember the fun:

“Y’all don’t wear very colourful clothes do you?”

“I remember the ethernet.”

What’s an explosion? A chemical reaction that happens in thousands of a second. A release of lots of pressure and heat. Exothermic. “It’s not a good idea to heat our homes with explosions.”

We could use cartridges of walnut-sized explosive cartridges to power jackhammers — it wouldn’t need to be tethered to anything..

“There is no loony scale. If you can think it and draw it and make it… what’s not to love?”

The pressure wave from an explosion does the damage to buildings. It moves faster than the fireball.

Pencil lead is more stable than diamonds. “My mother is more stable than diamonds, and she, god rest her soul, is no longer with us.”

Explosive-aided polymers. Medical supplies are packaged in plastic containers that can deform in transit. A small explosive charge can create enough gas to reshape the container.

A very large explosion can create diamonds. A small detonation might destroy tumors… if we could implode the tumor rather than exploding it and then the body will clear up the debris. Even smaller detonations might clear blocked arteries and blood vessels.

Explosives Camp going to be run for the first time [Can’t see it on the website yet.].

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