Explosive Quiz Crafted by –

MD Shahbaz Alam

Assistant Director

Forensic Science laboratory

Patna, Bihar

Introduction to Explosives 

An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure. Explosive materials are energetic substances, when released into the environment, contaminate by posing toxic hazards to environment and biota. Throughout the world, soils are contaminated by such contaminants either due to manufacturing operations, military activities, conflicts of different levels, open burning/open detonation (OB/OD), dumping of munitions etc. Among different forms of chemical explosives, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), and octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro- 1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX) are most common.

Let’s have a look on answers of the quiz questions along with their explanation.

Que 1. The shock and noise produced during explosion is called,

a. Deflagration

b. Detonations,

c. Brisance

d. sonic explosion

Answer – (c) Brisance

Explanation -Brisance is the shattering capability of a high explosive, determined mainly by its detonation pressure. The term can be traced from the French verb "briser" (to break or shatter) ultimately derived from the Celtic word "brissim" (to break).

Que 2. Which is not an example of primary high explosive is

a. Lead azide

b. Mercury fulminate

c. RDX

d. None

Answer – (c) RDX

Explanation- Primary-high explosives are very sensitive, can be detonated easily and are generally used only in percussion and electrical detonators. Secondary-high explosives are less sensitive, require a high-energy shock wave to achieve detonation and are safer to handle. Mercury fulminate, picric acid, lead azide, nitroglycerine and iodine nitride are examples of primary explosives. Secondary-high explosives are less sensitive, require a high-energy shock wave to achieve detonation and are safer to handle. Secondary-high explosives are used in almost all elements of a ballistic chain, other than the detonator, such as in detonating cord and shaped charges. TNT, dynamite, hexogen, HMX and Torpex are examples of secondary explosives.

Que 3. Gries reagent test for Nitroglycerine produce

a. Red colour

b. Green color

c. Pink colour

d. Grey colour

Answer – (c) Pink colour

Explanation The Griess test involves two subsequent reactions. When sulfanilamide is added, the nitrite ion reacts with it in the Griess diazotization reaction to form a diazonium salt, which then reacts with N-(1-naphthyl)ethylenediamine in an azo coupling reaction, forming a pink-red azo dye.

Que 4. Dynamite

a. Is an initiating device

b. Is a mixture containing Nitroglycerine in kieselguhr

c. Deflagrate when ignited.

d. Produce escaping gas

Answer – (b) Is a mixture containing Nitroglycerine in kieselguhr

Explanation–Dynamite is an explosive made of nitroglycerin, sorbents (such as powdered shells or clay) and stabilizers. Mixing nitroglycerine, an oily fluid, with kieselguhr, the mixture could be turned into a paste. This material could be kneaded and shaped into rods suitable for insertion into drilling holes. Today, dynamite is mainly used in the mining, quarrying, construction, and demolition industries. Dynamite is still the product of choice for trenching applications, and as a cost-effective alternative to cast boosters. Dynamite is occasionally used as an initiator or booster for AN and ANFO explosive charges.

Que 5. The oxidizing agent found in black powder is

a. Nitrocellulose.

b. Potassium nitrate.

c. Sulfur.

d. Nitroglycerine

Answer –(b) Potassium nitrate.

Explanation In black powder, charcoal and sulphur are the fuel, and postassium nitrate (KNO3) is the oxidizing agent.

Que 6. The screen test which is presumptive identification of an explosive is

a. Thin-layer chromatography


c. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

d. IR spectrophotometry

Answer – (a) Thin-layer chromatography

Explanation - TLC of drugs and explosives is used as a presumptive test, a means to provide an indication of the nature of the sample, rather than being used for positive identification of a sample. It is useful because many of the colour change presumptive tests used will only provide an indication of a certain active group in the molecule. For example with explosives the Greiss reagent (a colour change presumptive test) will normally indicate that a nitrate or nitrite group is present whereas with TLC it is possible to differentiate between different nitrate and nitrite containing compounds as they can have different Rf values and react to produce different coloured bands with the visualisation reagent.

Que 7. In recent years, dynamite has been replaced commercially by

a. RDX

b. Nitroglycerine

c. Ammonium nitrate based explosive


Answer – (c)  Ammonium nitrate based explosive

Explanation -In recent years, dynamite has been replaced commercially by ammonium nitrate-based explosives that is, water gels, emulsions, and ANFO explosives.

Que 8. The high explosive which could not be detected by Sniffer Dogs is/are

a. RDX

b. HMX


d. All

Answer –(b) HMX

Explanation -detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses to detect substances such as explosivesillegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. The sense most used by detection dogs is smell. The smell from the detection dogs are more enhanced than the average dog. 

Que 9. During custody of Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, his follower used explosive in large scale .Type of explosive used is this case was,

a. High Explosive

b. Gun Powder

c. Molotov cocktail

d. IED

Answer – (c) Molotov cocktail

Explanation A Molotov cocktail is a breakable glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as petrol (gasoline), alcohol, or a napalm-like mixture, with some motor oil added, and usually a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle’s stopper.

Que 10. Main explosive charge in Military Hand Grenade is,

a. TNT

b. RDX


d. HMX

Answer – (a) TNT

Explanation Grenade, small explosive, chemical, or gas bomb that is used at short range. The grenades most commonly used in wartime are explosive grenades, which usually consist of a core of TNT or some other high explosive encased in an iron jacket or container. Such grenades have a fuse that detonates the explosive either on impact or after a brief (usually four-second) time delay that is long enough for the grenade to be accurately thrown but is too brief for enemy soldiers to toss the grenade back once it has landed among them. A common type of explosive grenade is the fragmentation grenade, whose iron body, or case, is designed to break into small, lethal, fast-moving fragments once the TNT core explodes. Such grenades usually weigh no more than 2 pounds (0.9 kg). Explosive hand grenades are used for attacking the personnel in foxholes, trenches, bunkers, pillboxes, or other fortified positions and in street fighting.

Que 11. Which explosive is known as Borderline Explosive?

a. TNT

b. RDX


d. HMX

Answer – (c) PETN

Explanation PETN (PentaerythritolTrinitrate ) is one of the most powerful explosives and is very difficult to detect. Due to its plastic nature, the explosive can easily pass metal detectors and security check points.PETN is non-metallic so it does not show up in x-ray machines. Also the bomb-sniffing dogs cannot detect it because of its low pressure molecules.

Que 12. Tetra Acetone Tetra Peroxide (TATAP) is also known as “Mother of Saitan” because

a. It is very sensitive and can explode in work place

b. It is very difficult to detect it after explosion

c. Both a and b

d. None

Answer – (c) Both a and b

Explanation - A key disadvantage is the high susceptibility of TATP to accidental detonation, causing workplace accidents and "own goals" among illegal bomb-makers, which has led to TATP being referred to as the "Mother of Satan".

Que 13. Which of the organ is commonly affected by shock waves?

a.  Heart                             

b. Lungs                               

c.  Brain                               

d.  Liver

Answer –(b) Lungs

Explanation – The lungs are easily affected by shock waves because they are air-containing5air-containing. Due to overpressure, the pulmonary capillaries are expanded and moved instantaneously. The overpressure also causes alveolar wall and capillary rupture.

Que 14. This is used in Molotov cocktail:

a. Arsenic

b. Gasoline

c. Phosphorous

d. Magnesium

Answer –(b) Gasoline

Explanation - A Molotov cocktail is a breakable glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as petrol (gasoline), alcohol, or a napalm-like mixture, with some motor oil added, and usually a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle's stopper.

Que 15. I.E.D. means:

a. Indian Explosive Devices 

b. Internal Explosive Devices 

c. Improvised Explosive Devices 

d. International Explosive Devices 

Answer – (c) Improvised Explosive Devices

Explanation An improvised explosive device (IED) is a bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action. It may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery shell, attached to a detonating mechanism. IEDs are commonly used as roadside bombs. 

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