How do implosions work?


I get the concept of explosions, that energy is released but where does the energy go during implosions?

In: Physics

An implosion is basically just something getting crushed. A submarine that dives too deep will implode because the water pressure crushes it like a pop can. A star can implode if it gets crushed by its own gravity.

Another use of the word is in demolition. You put explosives in key areas to take out supports and then the building falls in on itself. It’s not really an implosion though since you’re just blowing it up in a controlled manner.

Sci-fi movies and stuff might throw around the word “implode” a lot to imply something more exotic, but it doesn’t really mean anything. An implosion just means there’s more pressure pushing/pulling in that out, so the implodee collapses.

An implosion, just like an explosion, is about *pressure*. An explosion is the result of suddenly getting a high pressure in a certain area (usually as the result of heat from something burning, explosives are essentially just things that can burn very quickly), which then rapidly pushes out.

An implosion is just the opposite of this, you suddenly get a low pressure in a region surrounded by higher pressure, which then pushes inward. Usually this is not nearly as powerful as an explosion, because you’re relying on a high general pressure surrounding a low pressure. Energy is essentially flowing from the surrounding high pressure region into the low pressure one, and sometimes rebounding slightly.