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|The mathematical modelling of rock fragmentation by blasting is one of the most difficult and challenging problems of applied mathematics. Not only is complex mathematics required but there is incomplete understanding of the basic physics and chemistry involved. The possibility of getting the physical basis of a model correct by simple mathematical and experimental procedures is demonstrated for the novel process of fragmenting rock by high-pressure arc discharges. While the importance of obtaining the correct physical basis for a model is emphasised, high-pressure arc induced fragmentation of rock is shown to be a powerful laboratory tool for the study of blasting.|