Concept

Explosion

Summary
An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume of a given amount of matter associated with an extreme outward release of energy, usually with the generation of high temperatures and release of high-pressure gases. Explosions may also be generated by a slower expansion that would normally not be forceful, but is not allowed to expand, so that when whatever is containing the expansion is broken by the pressure that builds as the matter inside tries to expand, the matter expands forcefully. An example of this is a volcanic eruption created by the expansion of magma in a magma chamber as it rises to the surface. Supersonic explosions created by high explosives are known as detonations and travel through shock waves. Subsonic explosions are created by low explosives through a slower combustion process known as deflagration. Explosions can occur in nature due to large influxes of energy. There are numerous ways explosions can occur naturally, such as volcanic or stellar processes of various sorts. Explosive volcanic eruptions occur when magma rises from below, it has dissolved gas in it. The reduction of pressure as the magma rises causes the gas to bubble out of solution, resulting in a rapid increase in volume. Explosions also occur as a result of impact events and in phenomena such as hydrothermal explosions (also due to volcanic processes). Explosions can also occur outside of Earth in the universe in events such as supernovae, or, more commonly, stellar flares. Explosions frequently occur during bushfires in eucalyptus forests where the volatile oils in the tree tops suddenly combust. Among the largest known explosions in the universe are supernovae, which occur after the end of life of some types of stars. Solar flares are an example of common, much less energetic, explosions on the Sun, and presumably on most other stars as well. The energy source for solar flare activity comes from the tangling of magnetic field lines resulting from the rotation of the Sun's conductive plasma.
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