This unique publication summarizes fifty years of Russian research on shock compression of condensed matter using chemical and nuclear explosions. This research has important applications in physics, materials science and engineering. The book places the importance of Russian experiments in a global context. It then describes the experimental devices used, summarizing the results of experiments on pure metals, metal alloys and compounds, minerals, rocks, organic solids and liquids. The book emphasizes theoretical aspects, experimental problems, and data analysis. Since large scale underground nuclear tests have stopped, it will be some time before similar pressures can be generated by alternative means. This book will be of interest to condensed matter physicists, materials scientists, earth scientists and astrophysicists.
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