• H. D. Gesser


The first recorded account of an explosive was the description of a crude form of gunpowder by Cheng Yin in China about 850. He cautioned about the dangers of burning the experimenter and the house. These warnings still apply today. The first European to refer to gunpowder was Roger Bacon who concealed the formula in a code which was not revealed for another century. By 1346 gunpowder (or black powder) was used to fire a cannon in battle. In the 17th century it was used in mines as a blasting agent.


Flame Front Oxygen Balance Lead Azide Silver Azide Accidental Explosion 
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Further Reading

  1. A. Bailey, Explosives, Propellents, and Pyrotechnics, 2nd Ed., Brasseys, Dulles, Virginia (1998).Google Scholar
  2. P. W. Cooper, Explosives Engineering, Wiley, New York (1997).Google Scholar
  3. P. W. Cooper, Basics of Explosives Engineering, VCH, New York (1996).Google Scholar
  4. P. W. Cooper and S. R. Kurowski, Introduction to the Technology of Explosives, VCH, New York (1996).Google Scholar
  5. M. Suceska, Test Methods for Explosives, Springer-Verlag, New York (1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. S. M. Grady, Explosives: Devices of Controlled Destruction, Lucent Books, San Diego, California (1995).Google Scholar
  7. R. Cheret, Detonation of Condensed Explosives, Springer-Verlag, New York (1992).Google Scholar
  8. R. Meyer, Explosives, 4th Ed., VCH, New York (1992).Google Scholar
  9. G. W. MacDonald, Historical Papers on Modern Explosives, Revisionist Press, Brooklyn, New York (1991).Google Scholar
  10. A. Barnard and J. N. Bradley, Flame and Combustion, 2nd Ed., Chapman and Hall, London (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. K. O. Brauer, Handbook of Pyrotechnics, Chemistry Publication Co., New York (1974).Google Scholar
  12. P. Tooley, Fuels, Explosives and Dyestuffs, J. Murray, London (1971).Google Scholar
  13. T. Urbanski, Chemistry and Technology of Explosives, Eng. Transl., 3 vol., Pergamon Press, Oxford (1965).Google Scholar
  14. S. S. Penner and J. Ducarme, Editors, The Chemistry of Propellants, Pergamon Press, London (1960).Google Scholar
  15. M. A. Cook, Science of High Explosives, Reinhold, New York (1958).Google Scholar
  16. A. M. Pennie, 1958, RDX, its history and development, Chem. Can. 10:11.Google Scholar
  17. International Society of Explosive Engineers, Scholar
  18. Sandia National Lab., Scholar
  19. Can. Explosive Res. Lab., Scholar
  20. U.S. Army Engineering Center, Scholar
  21. Explosives Ltd., cookbook, Scholar
  22. The Ordnance shop, Types of explosives, Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. D. Gesser
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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