Some theories about controlled demolition of the World Trade Center rely upon the use of a speculative material called "Nanothermite". Nanothermite is basically regular thermite with the constituents (iron oxide and aluminum) mixed together more completely, using very small particles - even down to mixing together individual molecules. The close proximity of the particles means they combine more efficiently, and so the reaction is much quicker and more powerful. Livermore labs have been researching these materials - in particular their creation using a gel support matrix to achieve the fine mixing. https://www.llnl.gov/str/RSimpson.html There are theoretical devices that use regular thermite for cutting steel: http://techportal.eere.energy.gov/technology.do/techID=764 There are also simple practical devices that have been show to cut half inch thick steel with thermate (a version of thermite). So the questions I'd like to resolve in this thread is if nano-thermite would be any better at cutting steel than regular thermite - or would it be more like TNT? Thermite is a pyrotechnic, it burns and releases a lot of energy, but it releases it slowly as localized heat. Monomolecular explosives (TNT, C4, etc) release their energy very rapidly, as heat, but more as kinetic energy, but the total energy released is less. As nanothermite gets more power, will it stop being a pyrotechnic, and start being an explosive? The question here is what happens to the cutting efficiency of thermite if you make the reaction quicker. Can the more rapid release of energy be used to melt thick steel?