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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Society Traditions

Chinese Gunpowder

When we talk about battle, it is most likely that gunpowder would be among the first few methods that come into your mind. And when talking about gunpowder, it is usually related to the Chinese as some people claimed that gunpowder actually originates from China. The Chinese are the ones who spread the usage and technology of using gunpowder in most battles. Chinese gunpowder is made from potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal. All these items are mixed together to ignite the explosion. However, there are also debates where this explosive weapon is made in other places such as Arab. So, let us look at the details about gunpowder invention.

In the 9th century, the Chinese had come out with the idea to use explosive weapon in their battles. They gathered a team of chemists to do research on the suitable components to produce Chinese gunpowder. These people were aware of the components needed and had a general idea on how to create a powerful gunpowder. They started to know about potassium nitrate in the first century as this component was widely used in all Chinese medicine. The first person who proposed the mixture of potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal was Wei Boyang. Only a short description on how to produce gunpowder was found. At that point of time, he was the first one to come out with these three special components.

Boyang's note was further improved by Ge Hong from Qin Dynasty in 300 AD where he clearly mentioned the nature of those three components in creating explosion. Only in the 7th century under Tang Dynasty, the proper function of the gunpowder can be seen. With this success, people worked further to develop a better and enhanced weapon by building rifles. They used hollow bamboo stick and filled it up with gunpowder. To ensure the impact is strong to be used in the battle field, the Chinese tied one pack of gunpowder at one end of the stick and another end with a metal ball.

When the weapon was ignited, the metal ball is able to propel at the fastest speed and the strong impact will definitely cause permanent damages to your enemies. There are more histories on the gunpowder invention by the Chinese at different dynasty that you can read from the Internet. The Chinese tried to keep the secret of producing gunpowder under the rule of Song Dynasty. However, the secret was found leaked to the Roman Empire and Islamic countries. Here starts the moment of spreading recipe to produce gunpowder to all over the world.

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Stuart is writing for many websites, He enjoys writing on wide range of topics such as when were first fireworks invented and Who Invented Gunpowder. You may visit for more details.