A Dense Inert Metal Explosive is a relatively new (mid '90's) type of explosive device designed to have maxiumum impact at the point of detonation and minimum impact a short distance away. This seemingly contradictory action is achieved with a novel approach - powdered shrapnel. By using Tungsten (which doesn't burn or vaporize easily) dust in the bomb case, the explosion's wavefront literally forms a wall of metal, dissipating very rapidly the farther away from the target.

Joe Haldeman proposed a similar weapon in his book The Forever War. It was a shotgun that did something similar (instant death at close range, harmless dust at 10 feet) to the DIME weapon in order to reduce casualties from splash. That way, you could use the weapon in close quarters and blow away the bad guy without having to worry about your buddy behind him across the room.

This is the same philosophy behind DIME weapons. They are intended for use in an urban environment where collateral damage is desired to be at a minimum. The problem with this is that the more easily it is to rationalize the use of a weapon in tight situations, the more easy it is to abuse by overestimating the true reduced area effect.

Dime (?), n. [F. dime tithe, OF. disme, fr. L. decimus the tenth, fr. decem ten. See Decimal.]

A silver coin of the United States, of the value of ten cents; the tenth of a dollar.

Dime novel, a novel, commonly sensational and trashy, which is sold for a dime, or ten cents.

 

© Webster 1913.

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