This unique and encyclopedic reference work charts the evolution of the physics of shock waves and detonations from the earliest investigations into percussion and impact phenomena right up to the most recent groundbreaking research in the field. The history of this long and complex process is first reviewed in a general survey that encompasses everything from the earliest observations and interpretations of puzzling high-rate dynamic phenomena associated with natural and man-made explosions to a discussion of the merits of modern numerical computer simulations.The subject is then treated in more detail and in chronological order in the central section of the book, while also being richly illustrated in form of a picture gallery. The bibliographic index provides 122 short biographies of eminent researchers who have contributed to the field. Further references for biographical sources are given, and both name and subject indices (with over 4500 and 2700 entries, respectively) are provided.'This book is of tremendous value to all who teach, research or write about the subject or, simply, are inquisitive about the people whose names appear in the text or bibliographies. The whole community is indebted to Peter Krehl for what has clearly been a labour of love and for what must surely become the 'bible' of shock waves, explosives and impact' Professor John E. Field, FRS, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge.