Essay on How Pyrotechnics and Explosives Have Changed the World

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Since man’s first experiences with fire we have longed to control it and we wished to will it to do our bidding. For very long we failed mostly, and we still do sometimes, but with the trials and experiments we have done and died doing, we succeed now, mostly. The first formula that is still written down of an “explosive or pyrotechnic composition” are the three examples of gunpowder in the 1044A.D. Chinese military guide Wujing Zongyao which showed a few uses of this powder they had experimented with for near a hundred years. The most used formula from it was approximately 50% KNO3, also known as Saltpeter in those times, and formally called Potassium nitrate today, ~25% S, Sulfur, and ~25% carbonaceous matter (mostly charcoal and…show more content…
Pyrotechnics and explosives have changed the world, us ourselves, and our knowledge of chemistry and what we learned from it. Chinese gunpowder is the first written and still standing formula of a true explosive, or pyrotechnic composition. It was first discovered by someone trying to mix life elongating elixirs, somehow he or she must have lit it up, or dropped it in fire and noticed the flash and quick burn. It obviously spread decently throughout China because within 100 years or so the Wujing Zongyao (1044A.D.) was written and it, as stated previously used gunpowder as a military weapon. Also it was a commonplace to see fireworks of some kind at New Years, celebrations, and also used to warn away evil spirits by 1000A.D. The “Tang Dynasty had plenty of gunpowder trade in China and on the Silk Road” (Harmon 82) and their fireworks would bring in some currency for the economy. Because they were the first to make gunpowder, the grandfather of all modern pyrotechnics and bombs, except nuclear, biological, and chemical, they are extremely popular within the pyrotechnic and explosives communities. They are known for quality powders, amazingly colorful display mixtures, and going for crazy sized everything pyro-related. They used different chemicals to attain these different colors, not chemicals to add to the boom, or burn, only the color. Our understanding of
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