CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dynamite. Hand holding sticks of dynamite, a highly-explosive substance widely used in the demolition industry. Dynamite is made of nitro- glycerin mixed with an inert, porous material such as sawdust or certain types of clay. Nitroglycerin is made of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). It has the chemical formula C3H5(NO3)3. When heated above 218 degrees celsius or in a closed vessel, the nitroglycerin detonates to form 10,000 times its own volume of gas. The expansion of this gas causes an explosion which is several times more powerful than that caused by an equivalent amount of gunpowder. Dynamite was invented by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel in 1866.
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