Explosion of the Tsar Bomba, estimated 50 megatons in yield.

TNT equivalent is a semi-scientific method for quantifying the power of explosions, most popularly used for nukes. It equates energy to a certain mass of exploding TNT. A gram of TNT (trinitrotoulene) explodes with energy between 4100 to 4602 joules. To standardize for calculations, it's agreed that 1 gram of TNT equivalent energy equals 1000 calories (1 kcal) or exactly 4184 joules. As evidenced with nukes, TNT equivalence mostly is used as "tons of TNT" and their multiplications with scientific prefixes "kilotons" and "megatons".

Name Energy Content
gram of TNT... 4.184 kJ (4.184 x 103 J)
kilogram of TNT.... 4.184 MJ (4184 x 106 J)
ton of TNT... 4.184 GJ (4184 x 109 J)
kiloton (kt)... 4.184 TJ (4184 x 1012 J)
megaton (Mt)... 4.184 PJ (4184 x 1015 J)


In the Battledome, TNT equivalent enjoys great popularity. Since late 2011, the OBD quantifies the power of various attacks in energy, usually as a result of calculations. Said energy is almost always converted into TNT equivalent (usually tons or its variants with scientific prefixes), regardless of the attack's nature. Explosions, laser beams and physical punches are all converted to the same TNT equivalent system, occasionally causing confusion for the newcomers.

Alternatively if you feel confused by the various scientific prefixes, here's a quick rundown on them: Extended System of Units

As of early 2013 the OBD now utilizes foe to quantify the most energetic attacks in fiction. This begins with supernova-level energies (1 Foe) and above. But due to traditions TNT equivalent is still often used to express these.

See also:

- Calculations
- Comprehensive Energy Scale
- Destructive Capacity
- Foe
- Gravitational Binding Energy
- Nuke