Massive Air Ordanance Bomb (MOAB), one of the most powerful bombs in the world
A bomb is an explosive device that makes and lets out its energy very quickly and has a big shock wave. They have been used for centuries. Some bombs also throw out dangerous metal fragments, and some are firebombs.
Most bombs do not contain more energy than ordinary fuel, except in the case of a nuclear weapon. However, they release their energy more quickly, thus are more powerful.
A bomb is usually some kind of container filled with explosive material that is designed to destroy things when it is set off. The word bomb comes from the Greek word βόμβος (bombas), an onomatopoeic term with almost the same meaning as "boom" in English.
Air forces send bombers to destroy enemy targets. Terrorists use bombs in suicide attacks. Explosive materials used in mining work the same way, but are usually not called bombs.
Images for kids
A "wind-and-dust" bomb depicted in the Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing. The pot contains a tube of gunpowder, and was thrown at invaders.
An illustration depicting early bombs thrown at Manchu assault ladders during the siege of Ningyuan, from the book Thai Tsu Shih Lu Thu (Veritable Records of the Great Ancestor) written in 1635. The bombs are known as "thunder-crash bombs."
An illustration of a fragmentation bomb from the 14th century Ming Dynasty text Huolongjing. The black dots represent iron pellets.
An American B61 nuclear bomb on its loading carriage
Unexploded unguided aerial bomb with contact fuse used by the Portuguese Air Force, Guinea-Bissau War of Independence, 1974.