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Impact of Gunpowder

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 2370 words Published: 31st Aug 2017

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A Technology That Marked Major Progress Milestones in History



Technology is a group of learning committed to making instruments, handling activities and extricating of materials. Everyone have their own way of understanding the meaning of technology or in another word innovation. People use innovation to develop their capacities, and that makes humans as the most vital piece of any mechanical framework. Innovation can allude to techniques running from as basic as dialect and stone devices to the complex hereditary building and data innovation that has risen since the 1980s. These advances invigorated social orders to embrace better approaches for living and administration, and in addition better approaches for understanding their reality. One of that innovation completely changed the world was gunpowder.

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Gunpowder, also known as black powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive which was invented in china by a Chinese alchemist mistakenly. It is a blend of sulphur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate (saltpetre). The carbon from the charcoal in addition to oxygen shapes carbon dioxide and vitality. The response would be moderate, similar to a wood fire, with the exception of the oxidizing operator. Carbon in a fire must draw oxygen from the air. Saltpetre gives additional oxygen. Potassium nitrate, sulphur, and carbon respond together to shape nitrogen and carbon dioxide gasses and potassium sulphide. The expanding gases, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, gives the propelling action. Gunpowder tends to create a considerable measure of smoke, which can hinder vision on a front line or lessen the visibility of firecrackers. Changing the proportion of the component influences the rate at which the explosive consumes and the measure of smoke that is delivered. (ThoughtCo, 2017)

As per legend, during the Tang dynasty (9th century) this Chinese chemist was searching for a formula to make the remedy of life, or the mythical potion for immortality. Despite the fact that it was an accident, when they found the powder was exceptionally combustible, or consumed effectively, they chose to call it “fire pharmaceutical”. Not long after the disclosure, the Chinese weaponized the substance, or made weapons out of it, and during the time they would make numerous weapons utilizing gunpowder, including rockets, bombs, flamethrowers, and land mines before making guns and firearms. The most established weapon that utilizations explosive goes back to a bronze handheld gun made in north-eastern China in 1288. (Nathan’s Design Dissertation, 2017)

Even though the earliest record of written formula for gun powder appeared in Song dynasty (11th century) this is listed as one of the “four great invention” in Chinese history. In any case, once the Chinese made sense of that it had dangerous capacities, they squandered no time in fusing it into their military. The Chinese could make a jump in military innovation and went from the standard sword and bows and arrows to a military with mines and flamethrowers. With the disclosure of gunpowder came the innovation of the fire arrow, an arrow with gunpowder on its tip, in the year 989. Roughly 11 years after the fire arrow, in 1000, the Chinese designed the flame thrower. The utilization of weapons be that as it may, did not rise in China until the mid-fourteenth Century. The military development that happened inside China in view of the black powder permitted China to have a more grounded and more propelled military, prompting a general more secure nation. (AP World History 2012-2013, 2017)

After the Mongols attacked China in the mid-13th Century, they proceeded with their conquests into India. In 1221, when the Mongols attacked India, they carried with them the information of gunpowder from China. By the 18th century, the Indians were able to make Mysorean rockets; the main iron cast rockets to be utilized by any military on the planet.

But the secret of the gunpowder didn’t stop spreading to the Middle East. From India, the gunpowder spread to the Middle East in the vicinity of 1240 and 1280.

The last place to reach gunpowder was Eastern Europe. Like in India and the Middle East, it was brought into the area in view of the Mongol attacks. In any case, a portion of the learning of gunpowder was likewise transmitted to Europe through the Silk Road. At the point when the Europeans exchanged with the Middle East, the learning of gunpowder was carried into Europe alongside the exchange of merchandise. After getting the knowledge of gunpowder European chemists was interested in searching other alternative methods to improve the qualities of chemical contains. As a result of that European chemists made corned explosive. Corned black powder contained an indistinguishable chemicals from typical explosive however the refining procedure included blending the explosive into a wet substance and after that drying the blend. A German monk, Berthold Schwarz, is credited with developing the principal European gun in 1353. Guns which had been originated in China or the Middle East were enhanced by Europeans. Propelled European metal work strategies permitted European metalsmiths to make more long lasting and sturdy rifles; they likewise figured out how to compute the measure of drive of the gas in the load of the weapon. This learning help make weapons that shot more noteworthy separations.

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Europeans were all the while enhancing black powder a century after the Chinese had imagined the primary weapon. The European progressions of black powder would achieve China by a Portuguese ship in 1520. The Portuguese presented the gun, enhanced rifles and other European headways to the Chinese. Many years after the development of black powder the Europeans had given back the substance to its starting point and explosive’s voyage through Asia had turned up at ground zero.

The Movement of Gunpowder from the East toward the West

(AP World History 2012-2013, 2017)

If someone asks what were the precursor circumstances that acted as the motivation for the technology the answer is the overwhelming need of power. The advancement of gunpowder was vital in fighting first for its mental impacts, as the Chinese utilized flying fire (explosive arrow) against their Mongol foes. At the point when the innovation relocated toward the West, notwithstanding, its genuine esteem was in its capacity to control fatal attack weapons and in the end put precise capability in the hands of common troopers. Prior to the innovation of the gun, attack weapons were huge, unwieldy and hard to build. Gunpowder as a fuel expanded the force accessible for anticipating rockets toward adversary emplacements, both expanding the harm these weapons could bring about and expanding their exactness also. What’s more, designers called sappers could burrow under adversary fortresses and pack their passages with gunpowder, bringing out stronghold dividers with unstable power. The scaling down of gun into guns gave a comparative damaging capacity to normal fighters on the ground, permitting them a considerably more noteworthy successful range than they had with their past bows and crossbows. Guns likewise required less preparing than longbows, and the fast shots could even puncture the plate protective layer worn by knights of the time. At last, gunpowder required an entire revaluation of the specialty of fighting, and nations that were ease back to embrace the new innovation paid the cost on the combat zone. Other than military gunpowder were used in civil engineering and mining in early 15th century. The records of using gunpowder in mins come from Hungry in 1627. After that the technology was introduced to Britain by Germans in 1638. Other than mining gunpowder were used in the construction in canals and tunnels.

The first gunpowder is not utilized today with the exception of in firecrackers and sparklers or as a boosting fuel for rocket launching. Like how it was for the most part utilized hundreds of years prior. It has been supplanted by a prevalent synthetic compound and utilized for the most part in slugs. A great deal more propelled mixes are utilized for explosives. One could state that the first gunpowder was the beginning stage for these current mixes. The most recent uses of gunpowder was Afghanistan war in 2001 which killed over 2000 and 22000 wounded, Korean war 1950-1953 which killed over 1800000 and 220000 wounded and world war 2 (1939-1945). Explosive has influenced today’s general public by taking a great many lives and damaging a huge number of others. Gunpowder has additionally destroyed the lives of numerous families and companions of the casualties of contention. If this innovation didn’t exist then there was a chance of preventing the wars and saving number of lives that couldn’t even count. On the opposite side of the gunpowder has likewise been utilized to make firecrackers which have conveyed extraordinary happiness to the world. If this technology has taken away the invention that found based on gunpowder wouldn’t be able to reach to the mankind or use it for the present manufacturing processes.

In spite of the fact that gunpowder and its present day subsidiaries do in any case have some significant uses today, all ammunition utilized as a part of firearms all through the world is stacked with smokeless powder. Even though the gunpowder was the main known explosive compound until the mid-19th century, present day there are other alternative ways that are in use and still in process. As an example the American navy has been already tested 30-kilowatt LaWS system at sea aboard the amphibious transport and hoping to deploy varieties of the laser weapon framework in the armada by 2020. (Nationaldefensemagazine.org, 2017) Other than laser weapon the alternative weapon system that still in progress is portable versions of rail guns. Besides the rail guns there might be a chance of producing projectile weapons which are electromagnetically accelerated or energy that transferred electronically to the projectile. (Cooney, 2017) When these technologies are known to the society in the future the gunpowder will be forgotten from the usage and the memory. Even though that happens there is a saying that “old is gold”. Anyone can’t predict what will happen in the future.

Reference List

  1. AP World History 2012-2013. (2017). Movement of Gunpowder from East to West. [Online] Available at: http://apworldhistory2012-2013.weebly.com/movement-of-gunpowder-from-east-to-west.html [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].
  2. Cooney, M. (2017). More railguns and lasers, less gunpowder — the Navy’s future high-tech weaponry. [Online] Network World. Available at: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2880535/security0/more-railguns-and-lasers-less-gunpowder-the-navy-s-future-high-tech-weaponry.html [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].
  3. Jeannielin.com. (2017). Gunpowder Chronicles – Behind the Scenes | Jeannie Lin. [online] Available at: http://www.jeannielin.com/gunpowder-chronicles/ [Accessed 30 Mar. 2017].
  4. Monkeytree.org. (2017). Gunpowder in Europe. [Online] Available at: http://www.monkeytree.org/silkroad/gunpowder/europe.html [Accessed 19 Mar. 2017].
  5. Nathan’s Design Dissertation. (2017). Chapter One – Inventions. [Online] Available at: https://nathanman.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/chapter-one/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
  6. Nationaldefensemagazine.org. (2017). Energy Weapons: The Next Gunpowder?. [Online] Available at: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2013/June/Pages/EnergyWeaponsTheNextGunpowder.aspx [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
  7. ThoughtCo. (2017). Learn How Gunpowder Works. [Online] Available at: https://www.thoughtco.com/gunpowder-facts-and-history-607754 [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].



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