The Chemistry Of Gunpowder

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Gunpowder originated in China where someone accidentally mixed three kitchen ingredients (KNO3, sulfur and charcoal) which when heated the black powder burned with a loud bang. Scientists began to better this powder which they put in a bamboo shoot and threw in a fire. When the powder heated up the gas it produced built up in the tube and blew it up with a loud bang. Chinese used the powder to create explosive arrows, they put bamboo shafts with the powder in it on the end of regular arrows, and cannons that shot rats at oncoming enemies, which spooked the soldiers and the horses. The ratio used for the powder then and now is: 75% KNO3, 15% Charcoal, 10% Sulfur. Roger Bacon, an English scholar was one of the first Europeans to study the powder.
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