If I showed you a compound's chemical structure will you be able to tell if it can be used as an explosive or we can only know that by conducting chemical experiments?

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    $\begingroup$ Some materials you wouldn't think of as explosive (depending on your background) are very explosive under the "right" (or very wrong) circumstances. $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Jun 22 '19 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ As @BuckThorn pointed, it depends on the conditions in which the compound has been put and for unknown or new ones, you will have to experiment. There is no known (none to me atleast) way of telling whether something's explosive. $\endgroup$ – user79161 Jun 22 '19 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/7587/… $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jun 22 '19 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like more precise dupe of chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/117195/… $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jun 22 '19 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ It's not like "no way"; no, there is a way, but it is far from absolute. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jun 22 '19 at 23:35

A compound, a mixture may explode under different conditions. As an example, for some of them it is heat, other require electric discharge or mecanical impact to decompose. There are classes of compounds with known examples of explosives (azides, picrates, fulminates) so one may infer new compounds within these classes equally might be explosives, too.

Among modern explosives, increasing the number of nitrogroups or / and increase of nitrogen content over other elements present is a theme, like octanitrocubanes. See the Klapötke group in Munich / Germany working on 5,5’-azotetrazolate salts, too.

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(dihydrazinium 5,5’-azotetrazolate dihydrazinate, source)


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