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A detonation is a rapid explosion that generates supersonic pressure waves (shock waves) in the surrounding medium. Detonations are produced by high explosives, nuclear weapons, etc. This is in contrast to deflagration, where the pressure waves are subsonic.

Detonations are hard to control and are used primarily for demolition and in warfare. An experimental form of jet propulsion, the pulse detonation engine, uses detonation to generate thrust.

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