May 22, 2009 | 5
PORTLAND, OREGON (May 20, 2009) -- It is easy to understand how explosions involving shrapnel – such as those caused by improvised explosive devices in Iraq – could cause brain damage. But what about such injuries that seem to be caused by blasts themselves, rather than from being thrown or hit by shrapnel?
Researchers have a few ideas, but one scientist has used some of the world’s most powerful computers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California to get a better answer. Willy Moss and colleague Michael King used available data on blast waves from explosions and the physical properties of the human skull, brain and cerebrospinal fluid to craft a three-dimensional simulation of a soldier standing less than 15 feet from an explosion of 5 lbs. of C4. (See image to the right.)
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