The Physics
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Energy in a Ton of TNT

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Herter, Terry. Lecture 3: Cosmic Forces. "Some everyday and not so everyday examples of enegeries … 4 × 109 J = 1 ton of TNT" 4 × 109 J
"Explosives." Encyclopedia Americana. 2nd Ed. Connecticut: Grolier, 2001
ExplosivesEnergy (cal/g)
4.25 × 109 J
Revelle, D. O. Global Infrasonic Monitoring of Large Meteorids. "We now know empirically how to relate the period at maximum amplitude of the soundwaves to the source of energy. For the blast radius values quoted above sources energies range from -0.00001 kt (1/100 of a ton of TNT to 10 Mt of TNT equivalent (kt = 4.186 × 109 J" 4.186 × 109 J
Newburn, Ray L. Appendix A: Comparative Tables. "Two 3,500 lb. cars colliding head-on at 55 mph - 9.6 × 105 J to 1 …. Explosion of 1 US ton of TNT - 4.2 × 105 J to 4,271." 4.2 × 109 J

TNT2, 4,6-Trinitrotoluene, commonly known as TNT, is a yellow, odorless solid that does not occur naturally in the environment. As research in the field of explosives developed there came to be different forms and designs of TNT. So in turn did the energy content change. After the development of atomic weapons there needed to be a standard way of counting the power in a bomb so there was a set value set. This value came to be 4.186 × 109 J. There are of course many variances on this as this research proves but the energy came to be around 4.2 × 109 J.

Alex Roslyakov -- 2002