Time bomb explained

For other uses see Time bomb (disambiguation).

A time bomb (or timebomb, time-bomb) is an improvised explosive device with a timer so that it can be set to detonate any given time.

Construction and usage


Explosive charge

The explosive charge is the main component of any bomb, and makes up most of the size and weight of it. It is the damaging element of the bomb (along with any fragments or shrapnel the deflagration might produce with its container or neighboring objects).


Timers can vary from wind-up alarm clocks to cheap wrist watches and even notebook computers.


The detonator is the source of heat that will start the combustion (or chain reaction in case of nuclear explosives). It is itself an explosive, with a lower ignition point than the main explosive charges.

List of notable incidents involving time bombs

In popular culture

Time bombs are very common in action/thriller TV series, cartoons, films and video games, where heroes often escape the blast area or defuse the bombs at the very last second (often performing a spectacular stunt).

Such fictional appearances include:

See also