Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018


The gunpowder

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen


Manufacture of ballistite, smokeless gunpowder invented by Alfred Nobel, at the Björkborn factory in 1906. Photo: Archives of the National Museum of Science and Technology.

The gunpowder

Sample of gunpowder made in Sweden in 1775, at Åkers gunpowder mill. TM20635. Photo: Ellinor Algin

Kort fakta om innovationen

Kort fakta (2) om innovationen

Rubrik för små genier


The gunpowder

Gunpowder was invented in the 800s in China when they wanted to find an elixir that gave everlasting life. They mixed charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre — and discovered that the mixture exploded when heated up. It went on to become an explosive and fireworks. During the 1300s knowledge about gunpowder had reached Europe where it was used for cannons, guns and in mines.

Today, gunpowder is still used for military purposes and fireworks — but mainly as rocket fuel.
The powder particles begin to burn on the surface and burn inwards releasing energy in the form of smoke, hot gases and fire. Gunpowder burns with a strength of between 10 and 500 millimetres per second. Modern explosive compounds can have a burning speed of up to 10,000 metres per second.

Rubrik för nördar



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