LAWRENCE LAWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAWRENCE LAWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gunpowder explosion. Gunpowder exploding in a ball of metal gauze. Gunpowder was known in China by the 10th century AD. It is a mixture of 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal and 10% sulphur. It burns very rapidly, and the gases produced cause an increase in pressure leading to explosion.
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