Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Just reading this article and in one of the first sentences it says:

A few days ago, 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan died in his car, after two motorcyclists attached a magnetic shaped charge to the door.

I'm trying to understand what "magnetic shaped" means or what is a "magnetic shaped charge", if it is some special term?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

A magnetic shaped charge is a charge (explosive device) whose explosion is shaped (by some mechanism) and is attached to the car by a magnet.

So the object is a shaped charge and it is modified by the adjective magnetic.

share|improve this answer
4  
Er, are you sure the magnetic field actually shapes the charge? I would take it to mean it is a standard shaped charge and the magnetic modifier is simply how the charge is attached to the target. –  Dusty Jan 12 '12 at 22:29
5  
This is not the answer. It is a shaped charge attached to the car using magnets –  horatio Jan 12 '12 at 22:30
    
Well, no I can't be certain. I'm not sure which interpretation is more likely. –  Matt Эллен Jan 12 '12 at 22:31
    
@horatio I've updated the answer –  Matt Эллен Jan 12 '12 at 22:32
2  
Shaped charge is a fixed phrase of long standing. It has nothing to do with magnetic fields. –  John Lawler Jan 12 '12 at 23:11

Matt is correct. This is a shaped charge that attaches via a magnet; as opposed to a magnetically shaped charge, which would indicate a charge that gets its shape magnetically.

share|improve this answer

No. The magnet is used to attach the bomb to the vehicle. Then the “shaped charge” is referencing the way the explosive material is arranged to explode: focussing much of the energy into a small space.

An example would be a bomb, itself probably the size of a hockey puck, but which left a hole the size of a dime, for an example. It releases molten copper and incinerates everything inside the vehicle. Shaped charges are used to pierce armor.

Two separate components.

God bless the USA.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.