The Difference Between High Explosives and Low Explosives

I didn't even realise that "low explosives" were a thing; let's talk about deflagration, detonation, and how high explosives can actually be safer. • Thanks to Steve from Live Action FX: liveactionfx.com/

Filmed safely: www.tomscott.com/safe/
Camera: Simon Temple templefreelance.co.uk
Edited by Michelle Martin: mrsmmartin

I'm at tomscott.com
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and on Instagram as tomscottgo

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  • Steve is extremely qualified as an explosives engineer, but thankfully after what he says here, not as a firefighter.

    Tom ScottTom Scott3 månader sedan
    • This mad lad has figured out how to time travel with a home computer

      Seal BoySeal Boy2 månader sedan
    • So umm would cutting the cheese be a high explosive or a low one asking for a friend

      joe jackojoe jacko2 månader sedan
    • I can’t believe I missed this comment for four whole weeks

      Dhar MannDhar Mann2 månader sedan
    • @Guess Undheit or how about somebody with noise sensitivity should either not watch a video about explosions, or have the noise down very low already.

      biggreenblobbiggreenblob2 månader sedan
    • Ey

      Ryandhika FitryansyahRyandhika Fitryansyah2 månader sedan
  • Forbidden chewing gum

    Arnav SadhuArnav Sadhu23 timmar sedan
  • Does that mean wood is a form of low explosives?

    GooseGooseDag sedan
  • I think Tom is ACTUALLY just trying to test his GoPro camera to destruction...😊

    RocKITEman _ 2001RocKITEman _ 2001Dag sedan
  • What is TNT then?

    Lactose ToleranceLactose ToleranceDag sedan
  • Surprised you or your explosives expert don't go into the one thing that actually separates low-ex from high-ex; shock fronts. In a low explosive, the shockwave never travels faster than the flame front (deflagration, aka burning), and is also subsonic (at least until confined, where it can transition from subsonic to supersonic), while high explosives have a shockwave in front of the flame front (detonation), and the shockwave is also supersonic.

    kingawsumekingawsume4 dagar sedan
  • Steve reminds me of Dr. eggman

    wing tipswing tips5 dagar sedan
  • 1:47 Damn! That smoke ring.

    QuickPawQuickPaw14 dagar sedan
  • Them: high explosive Me an intellectual forbidden playdough

    Michael WilliamsonMichael Williamson19 dagar sedan
  • Fascinating.

    HolyGuacamoleHolyGuacamole20 dagar sedan
  • Free Ted K

    Oliver AttwellOliver Attwell21 dag sedan
  • Detonation, defergration.

    james wilkesjames wilkes21 dag sedan
  • unbeknownst to scott, the explosive expert also coincidentally showed how HESH warheads work, by pancaking on to a surface and detonating, concentrating and transferring it's shockwave into the surface it hit and causing vibrations so severe that shards of material on the other side are broken off and fly off at high speeds, but being this is a MDF kitchen table it simply causes a blast hole roughly the same diameter of the base of the explosive pat, on something like steel it would look like a shallow divot on the side where the round hit and a messy jagged circle of splintered steel on the other.

    Cyrix CrisisCyrix Crisis26 dagar sedan
  • 1:59 is that a high grade explosive or is it a birthday cake

    N1TH MusicN1TH Music26 dagar sedan
  • The thumbnail reminds me of an Eric andre “we’ll be right back” scene

    Some guy using your Netflix accountSome guy using your Netflix account28 dagar sedan
  • Wow, I hadn't realized this before. I instinctively knew what low explosives were when I saw the title, but not sure I had heard the term before (at least don't remember it)

    LynnLynn29 dagar sedan
  • Mmmmmmmmm, Octonitracubane. My favorite.

    Angus McbangusAngus McbangusMånad sedan
  • During the vietnam war soldiers would cook their food by using c4 as a heating source. It’s a high explosive that burns slowly when lit on fire.

    Fight&Flight TVFight&Flight TVMånad sedan
  • Can we take a moment to appreciate a GoPro standing literally an arm's length away from 40g of Semtex going off and just doing some nifty backflips? It's incredible how tough they have become.

    NFSHeldNFSHeldMånad sedan
  • Cool! I will try this out tomorrow

    laserraptorlaserraptorMånad sedan
  • I feel like his voice is a overlay even tho lip syncs

    system32system32Månad sedan
  • Forbidden playdough

    Wholesome Bunny VAWholesome Bunny VAMånad sedan
  • I was so nearly the 799999th view

    SkaroniumHunterSkaroniumHunterMånad sedan
  • Shout to the GoPro for taking one for the team.

    Mark LondonMark LondonMånad sedan
  • good thing there was a bit of paper on top of the table to protect it

    JeremiahJeremiahMånad sedan
  • Fun fact c4 is so stable you can literally light it on fire and stomp on it and it won't explode

    Gwydion RussoGwydion RussoMånad sedan
  • Supposedly soldiers in the Vietnam War would set C-4 on fire to cook with.

    TheQuark6789TheQuark6789Månad sedan
  • Pipe cleaners were one of those moments for me.

    Sam GardnerSam GardnerMånad sedan
  • 4:05 GTAV death sound

    Every ManEvery ManMånad sedan
  • Engineer has been drinking with Demoman.

    Bob VeinneBob VeinneMånad sedan
  • And then you have high explosives like acetylene that will detonate all by it self if you bring it above 12 bar.

    macnofmacnofMånad sedan
  • I remember in the Gulf War the Marines let me absolutely vaporize a metal oil drum with a pound of C-4 (via detonator). They they showed me how you could take a piece of C-4, light it with a match, and use it to heat a cup of water. Mind-blowing.

    anthony2816anthony2816Månad sedan
  • "really really explosives" Tom Scott 2021

    Sien Beck CohenSien Beck Cohen2 månader sedan
  • I gotta say, thank you VERY much for all your stuff being subtitled! My HEARING is fine, but my brain processes sensory information a little weirdly, so it can be hard to follow speech if there's literally any other noise happening, or if it's been more than ten seconds so I get distracted even if something is interesting. Thankfully I'm way better at reading text.

    BolenianaBoleniana2 månader sedan
  • Benjamin DareBenjamin Dare2 månader sedan
  • Steve is Outriders answer to Tiny Tina, can't wait for the DLC.

    Ingram FryIngram Fry2 månader sedan
  • We get it High Explosive. You vape.

    Shawn MichaelShawn Michael2 månader sedan
  • That is really interesting! I truly never thought of if low explosives was a thing! The gopro getting doing a backflip was a good touch!

    RSpudieDRSpudieD2 månader sedan
  • How big would the explosion be with the full brick of Semtex?

    Rymond DogRymond Dog2 månader sedan
  • Great video, I work with explosives and this video really got it right. Even better the science behind explosions is not that easy, but this video somehow manage to make it clear and on the spot within 5 minutes. I’m impressed, good job!

    L5W ATFRL5W ATFR2 månader sedan
  • 1:39 Tom: "The gas that it releases expands and builds up pressure and then.." My headphones: "Battery low"

    Aniruddha ChatterjeeAniruddha Chatterjee2 månader sedan
  • i miss when the outro was "and thats something you might not have known"

    J WaterstrawJ Waterstraw2 månader sedan
  • Why I feel like the video have been sped up?

    Frenky HarryFrenky Harry2 månader sedan
  • I knew about the distinction in explosive detonation types as explained here but the notion of 'low explosives' as a term never occurred to me before

    Alasdair JakesAlasdair Jakes2 månader sedan
  • So in a really dumbed down summary; High explosives have a high tolerance to what causes them to explode, while Low explosives have a low tolerance to what causes them to explode.

    Smol CookieSmol Cookie2 månader sedan
  • Bit like hardwoods and softwoods then

    wolfboyftwolfboyft2 månader sedan
  • I just had that experience with finally realizing the meaning of a word today. I realized that deodorant is called that because it removes odors.

    S GS G2 månader sedan
  • The catastrophic explosion in Lebanon was caused by the detonation of a huge amount of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) which is a typical high explosive - if you try to ignite it probably won't even burn without fuel, but if you detonate it via a shockwave (some people use a high caliber gunshot to create a shockwave, but a detonator is used too) it creates an incredibly strong explosion, very destructive (brisant)

    Goho PohoGoho Poho2 månader sedan
  • imagine 50 kilos going off in your car... "oops" Just curious: How easy would it be to make high-explosive? (Please don't disappear me, FBI-chan)

    dodododo2 månader sedan
  • Okay, smart guy. Is there a "mid-explosive", to complete the trio?

    Richard SamuelsonRichard Samuelson2 månader sedan
  • Well, today I learned something again. High explosives really show that in order to create a runaway reaction, you need high pressure, either by containing it, or by its own shockwave. Thank you, Tom!

    750 kV750 kV2 månader sedan
  • 1:47 I swear the camera is focusing on the smoke rising up... I think I have seen this before...

    Hand Grabbing FruitsHand Grabbing Fruits2 månader sedan
  • I'm watching this thinking is this legal

    Max SpechterMax Spechter2 månader sedan
  • A smoke ring that Bilbo would be proud of

    oneworldfamilyoneworldfamily2 månader sedan
  • Thanks! Very informative :)

    John SmithJohn Smith2 månader sedan
  • Poor camera

    Howdy I'm FloweyHowdy I'm Flowey2 månader sedan
  • Similar to the nightstick and the daystick.

    VvultasSVvultasS2 månader sedan
  • This is actually a fantastic ad for GoPro cameras.

    sokin jonsokin jon2 månader sedan
  • 0:38 I was thinking the same thing, I asked myself “what is a high explosive?” And then I saw this video.

    Ajc 7575Ajc 75752 månader sedan
  • Tom Scott, you are the best. Sunsayd

    Adrian GAdrian G2 månader sedan
  • "The last time I was making a video at this explosives test facility-" * Points at someones backyard *

    bilishu alissbilishu aliss2 månader sedan
  • I actually found this out as a kid by watching Tremors 2.

    T1000T10002 månader sedan
  • Oi mate why dat bomb guy look like a goblin?

    MyceliusMycelius2 månader sedan
    • If you feel like making any any more explosives videos please stick with Steve, he's really good at explaining.

      bilishu alissbilishu aliss2 månader sedan
  • The bang at 1:45 sounds like it would make for great realistic gun shot SFX.

    Jack MellorJack Mellor2 månader sedan
  • 3:57 the way the camera goes flying lmao

    facts and logic.facts and logic.2 månader sedan
    • That camera did a barrel roll right at the end of the video 4:05

      dolita windodolita windo2 månader sedan
  • You should make a video about right to repair and Louis Rossmann's campaign to get it passed in Massachusetts and hopefully hopefully other places that follow.

    Chicken NuggetChicken Nugget2 månader sedan
    • "The last time I was making a video at this explosives test facility-" * Points at someones backyard *

      dolita windodolita windo2 månader sedan
  • So what was the damage to the GoPro?

    Act MgrAct Mgr2 månader sedan
  • forbidden play dough

    MaisieMaisie2 månader sedan
  • Meanwhile, the GoPro says in a little squeaky voice "I'm not dead yet".

    seiom jvonyseiom jvony2 månader sedan
  • Tom Scott: Spoiling my fun at pointing out to people unknowingly talking about [low] explosives "detonating"... "Well actually..." (You'll have to imagine the nasally voice) "... You mean 'deflagration' since that is a 'low explosive'..."

    Ser Garlan TyrellSer Garlan Tyrell2 månader sedan
    • GoPro should pay you for the free advertising you just gave them, that is one durable camera!

      seiom jvonyseiom jvony2 månader sedan
  • Special credits go to Camera, who endured several explosions in the making of this video.

    ThomasThomas2 månader sedan
    • GoPro should pay you for the free advertising you just gave them, that is one durable camera!

      seiom jvonyseiom jvony2 månader sedan
  • Not all explosives are fuel oxidiser reactions though he's describing binary explosives (generally a metal oxidiser reaction) although alot of them these days are actually to do with bond strain, high heat of formation etc in a single chemical (RDX, any of the azides, NTI classic examples) it's not just a really mixed low explosive. It's also catagorized by detonation velocity. The channel explosions and fire explains this really well

    Mick MMick M2 månader sedan
    • "The last time I was making a video at this explosives test facility-" * Points at someones backyard *

      seiom jvonyseiom jvony2 månader sedan
  • forbidden playdoo

    dnL unsodnL unso2 månader sedan
  • So is no one going to mention that vortex ring? That was amazing.

    dolita windodolita windo2 månader sedan
  • Neat.

    Ministry of Magic: Department of MysteriesMinistry of Magic: Department of Mysteries2 månader sedan
  • HE'S NOT WEARING A RED SHIRT

    Short On IdeasShort On Ideas2 månader sedan
    • the most fascinating subjects, particularly the chemistry and physics of explosives and propellants.

      dolita windodolita windo2 månader sedan
  • If you feel like making any any more explosives videos please stick with Steve, he's really good at explaining.

    Henrik OldcornHenrik Oldcorn2 månader sedan
  • Thanks Tom, now we're ALL on a government watchlist.

    Japanese GuacamoleJapanese Guacamole2 månader sedan
  • "The last time I was making a video at this explosives test facility-" * Points at someones backyard *

    doire aintudoire aintu2 månader sedan
  • That camera did a barrel roll right at the end of the video 4:05

    Jack ScrivensJack Scrivens2 månader sedan
  • 0:06 I had that with Brexit. I had a rough understanding of what it was, but it took an embarrassingly long time to realize it was "Britain's exit"

    Danny NewhouseDanny Newhouse2 månader sedan
    • I guess Beirut explosion = low explosive then.

      doire aintudoire aintu2 månader sedan
  • Hahah i Barely understand that

    Retro GrizzlyRetro Grizzly2 månader sedan
  • Why does that guy speak in x1.25 speed

    OmniRadioOmniRadio2 månader sedan
  • "The last time I was making a video at this explosives test facility-" * Points at someones backyard *

    mikea hiooimikea hiooi2 månader sedan
  • GoPro should pay you for the free advertising you just gave them, that is one durable camera!

    Draconicrose GamingDraconicrose Gaming2 månader sedan
  • The forbidden raspberry bubblegum

    SamSam2 månader sedan
    • Lebanon 🇱🇧

      mikea hiooimikea hiooi2 månader sedan
  • This channel is just great.

    dog breathdog breath2 månader sedan
  • Love things that burn and go boom!

    Sasinc1102Sasinc11022 månader sedan
  • You know your channel has made it when you can treat go-pro's like disposable cameras.

    Closeup ChannelCloseup Channel2 månader sedan
  • Tom, thanks for making this video! I'd love to see plenty more videos about this subject and plenty more of Steve's excellent presentations. Chemistry and physics are some of the most fascinating subjects, particularly the chemistry and physics of explosives and propellants.

    AnodyneAnodyne2 månader sedan
  • I didn't know play-doh was explosive

    Dean WillisDean Willis2 månader sedan
  • 0:11 that reminded me to google the etymology of "parapet," a word i look at every time i leave the library, intend to look up, and then forget to by the time i get home. thank you.

    Avarni BAvarni B2 månader sedan
  • Another fantastic tidbit thanks

    Marco GarofaloMarco Garofalo2 månader sedan
  • I realized something like that yesterday when I realized that vacuum and continuum both have 2 Us in a row.

    MakaneekMakaneek2 månader sedan
  • This explains why the high explosives in the SS Richard Montgomery are safe, unless the cluster bombs go off.

    inkink2 månader sedan
  • I guess Beirut explosion = low explosive then.

    echan101echan1012 månader sedan
  • Tom scott i love your videos so much .. please never stop :')

    lil'CwJ 2.0lil'CwJ 2.02 månader sedan
  • me listening to rain sounds 10hrs to relax: 😌 autoplay: 1:45

    ThisIsAMJThisIsAMJ2 månader sedan
  • The real question is : is the GoPro really dead ?

    Charlie.Charlie.2 månader sedan
  • So what is technically called Low Explosives is what is more commonly just called explosives, like fireworks. It's interesting to think that carrying 50 kilos of C4 plastic explosive is more safe than 50 kilos of fireworks considering one is used by military and law enforcement and another is used by those as young as elementary school age (with proper supervision of course).

    Matt YoakumMatt Yoakum2 månader sedan