The Detonation Phenomenon

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This book introduces the detonation phenomenon in explosives. It is ideal for engineers and graduate students with a background in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. The material is mostly qualitative, aiming to illustrate the physical aspects of the phenomenon. Classical idealized theories of detonation waves are presented first. These permit detonation speed, gas properties ahead and behind the detonation wave, and the distribution of fluid properties within the detonation wave itself to be determined. Subsequent chapters describe in detail the real unstable structure of a detonation wave. One-, two-, and three-dimensional computer simulations are presented along with experimental results using various experimental techniques. The important effects of confinement and boundary conditions and their influence on the propagation of a detonation are also discussed. The final chapters cover the various ways detonation waves can be formed and provide a review of the outstanding problems and future directions in detonation research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is self-contained, providing the necessary historical and technical material appropriate for a reader that has an undergraduate background in thermodynamics and compressible fluid mechanics but no knowledge of detonation…Lee’s treatment is extensive but deliberately not encyclopedic…In meeting this goal, I think he has admirably succeeded."
Joseph E. Shepherd, Paul Thibault, AIAA Journal

"Any researcher or student with even a passing interest in detonation will want to own Lee's book." -Joseph E. Shepherd, Paul Thibault, AIAA Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521897235
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2008
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor John H. S. Lee is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. His research areas are in combustion, detonations and shock wave physics, and explosion dynamics; he has been carrying out fundamental and applied research in these areas for the past 40 years. He is a consultant and has served on numerous government and industrial advisory committees on explosion hazards and safety since the late 1960s. He is a recipient of the silver medal from the Combustion Institute (1980), the Dionizy Smolenski Medal from the Polish Academy of Sciences (1988), and the Nuna Manson gold medal (1991) for his outstanding contributions to the fundamentals and applied aspects of explosion and detonation phenomena. He is also a two-time recipient of the Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award (1989 and 1995) and was elected as honorary professor of the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2003) and recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong (2003). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Gasdynamic theory; 3. Dynamics of detonation products; 4. Laminar structure of detonations; 5. Unstable detonations: numerical; 6. Unstable detonations: experimental; 7. Influence of boundary conditions; 8. Deflagration to detonation transition; 9. Direct initiation of detonations; Epilogue.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not Just For Geniuses

    This book, erudite yet easily accessible, is not just for mechanical engineers, physicists, or nuclear blast technicians, but anyone who might be interested in how detonations form, what exactly happens in the seconds or milliseconds as an explosion occurs, and the intense velocity at which a detonation can propagate. Having no background in physics, chemistry, or mechanics, and possessing a BA in Psychology from UNLV, I can understand the concepts quite well, and it is highly interesting in how an explosion can form and propagate omnidirectionally throughout its blast radius.

    Mathematical equations are kept to a minimum, only being used insofar as comprehending the concepts essential to grasping the material, focuses on prose rather than on the dynamics of physics, and conveys quite effectively the didactic need for the scientific measurement and study of detonations, in all of its manifestations. Although not a coffee table book, one that might be brought to a delicatessen, or that should be shared with a first-time date, it is of utmost importance for anyone interested in such material to understand the underlying mechanisms of detonations so that we may be more informed when the inevitability of a nuclear exchange happens, or more commonly, when an explosion occurs where everyone else is wondering what had happened, after reading this book, we may be the only one's that do know. Cautionary Note: This is a very difficult book to read for the uninitiated, I don't fully understand it all, but it does make one feel very intelligent to read.

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