MODERN MARVELS: Bombs
Bomb technology advanced more in the last half of the 20th century than in all of previous human history. The Gulf War of 1991 showcased laser and TV guided munitions that struck with astonishing accuracy.
The last decade has brought even smarter bombs such as Joint Direct Air Munitions and Sensor Fuze Weapons, able to be launched far from the target and hit accurately through smoke or cloud cover.
For centuries, the destructive power of bombs grew slowly, from gunpowder to nitroglycerine to TNT. Then, the two world wars introduced massive aerial bombardment, incendiary bombs that burned whole cities, and instruments like the Norden bomb sight that greatly improved accuracy.
The battle to save the free world from domination lead to development of the atomic bomb, and changed the world forever. From here onward, most fallible man would oversee devices powerful enough to end human civilization.
In Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the atom bomb, scientists now toil to safeguard America's nuclear stockpile. Meanwhile, terrorists use home made low-tech bombs to threaten civilians around the globe.
No one can say whether the threat of massive nuclear armaments will prevail over the reality of terrorist’s gadgets, but clearly, bombs will continue to play a decisive and devastating role in human affairs.