Explosion in the near vacuum of space?

I know this has been answered, but I’m still unclear on what happens. As are my friends and co-workers. It’s hard for us to accept that a stick of dynamite could explode ten feet behind someone and that person wouldn’t be aware of it. Sort of.
So, what exactly happens when a full stick of dynamite manages to explode in the void of outer space.
We all agree to accept the disappointment of knowing the fallacy of the effects in those great science fiction movies.

If a stick a dynamite explodes 10 feet behind you in space, you’re going to get peppered with a high velocity blast of diatomaceous earth, or whatever it is that’s used as the absorbant these days. If you’re 50 feet away, you’ll still get hit with the stuff, as there’s no atmosphere to slow it down.

Not to mention rapidly expanding gases. The idea of laser propulsion in space (as opposed to light pressure sails) is predicated upon the idea that a Laser-Sustained Detonation Wave into which energy is fed by the lasrer beam will produce reaction from the force of the expanding gas.

What gas?


I wasn’t clear. Sorry. We know about the particles. The question is regarding sound and shock waves. Maybe a liquid explosive? Anything that would be totally converted to energy in the explosion.

It depends upon what you’re talking about, and using.

If you have a black powder explosion in space, the gases are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitric oxide. (Plus, I’ll bet, lots of small amounts of odd variants)
Dynamite in space is different.
Dynamite produces carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen, and nitrogen
In laser propulsion, it depends on what your Reaction Mass is. Ideally, plans called for blocks of ice (with some trace materials for easy vaporization), so it’s be mostly water vapor. In the experiments I was involved in, though, we used Delrin and Celcon, both acetal plastics, so the gases were probably mostly CO[sub]2[/sub] , formaldehyde, and paraformaldehyde.

The lasers themselves, of course, don’t contribute any gases.

No real explosive device can be totally converted to energy. Even in a nuclear reaction where actual mass is converted to energy the mass lost is small compared to the mass of the device.

What happens when something explodes in outer space is that all the energy released is transmitted away from the point of the explosion as:
expanding warm gass and particles

Sound and shock waves require a medium to travel through, so there aren’t any. Except to the extent that the expanding gass doesn’t have a perfectly uniform velocity.