Friday, September 23, 2011

How do bombs kill...

Shockwave: Excerpt from Chapter 1

The first thing Dwyer saw before the sound hit him was a blinding flash of light hitting his retina. White light, bright, blocked everything out. Almost painful, like getting hit in the eye with a fist. This wasn't a small explosion like a pipe bomb or a large one like Oklahoma City in '95. It was a medium explosion.
Explosions are a buildup of pressure and a sudden release of energy. At some point the pressure is greater than the container and then things happen. The container blows apart and a shockwave travels like a rocket from ground zero to some distance depending on the power of the explosion. It's not the detonation or the searing temperature that is so destructive. It's in the air. The shockwave, a thin layer of rapidly moving air is what you have to look out for. This one produced a shockwave traveling over three hundred meters per second.
Jack Dwyer was on the sidewalk. Sprawled out on his back. He moved to his side. Propped himself up on one elbow. Stunned at first, took a few seconds to come to. He wasn't knocked out, maybe close to it, but he was shook up. His leg hurt, kind of twisted. Not broken, just a sprain. Ears ringing, eyes blinking. He knew what had happened. He'd seen it before. Dwyer knew about bombs. 

Taken from Chapter 1:

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