The chemistry of explosives (3rd edn)

The chemistry of explosives (3rd edn)

Jacqueline Akhavan 

Cambridge, UK: RSC Publishing 

2011 | 206pp | ?25.99 

ISBN 9781849733304 

Reviewed by Steve Nicklin 


© RSC Publishing

This tried and tested 3rd edition provides a clear and concise introduction into the fascinating world of explosives. It is an ideal primer to students new to the field, yet it also provides a wealth of reference data for those already skilled in the art to dip into as their needs arise. 

Despite the title, it’s not just explosives chemistry. It provides a succinct historical perspective of the development of explosives, discusses next generation ’safe’ explosives, and briefly (perhaps too briefly) acknowledges the importance of the environmental impact of explosives. It also explains how we classify, codify and safely test explosives. The author is also keen for us to explore explosive theory and guides the reader through the equations of combustion, deflagration and detonation, taking the more mathematically prepared deeper into the chemistry and thermodynamics of ignition, decomposition and thermal chemistry, and the kinetics of explosive reactions. 

However, it is not all mathematics and equations and we gradually return to the more comfortable realms of schoolboy chemistry, and basic methods of explosives production and explosives manufacture before dipping into the world of propellants and pyrotechnics. The book is a whistle stop tour, providing a smorgasbord of information and is a great introduction to the chemistry and physics of explosives. As a primer in explosives it is highly readable and should encourage both students and current practitioners to delve further into this fascinating field of science and technology. 

RSC members can purchase this book direct from the RSC for a 35% discount.