The modern bomb is based on a hard casing that acts as a container for an explosive material. When the explosive material is detonated, by means of a fuse or other device such as a pressure sensor for land mines, the casing is blown apart into many tiny pieces of flying shrapnel that add to the damage caused by the bomb by causing severe injuries to anyone who they hit. The Chinese used a mixture of gunpowder that was roughly equivalent to the most explosive mixtures used today, with up to 75% of the mixture being saltpeter.
Date of Invention:
Importance to Chinese civilization:
Was used to defend against attackers, and fairly effectively, too.
Importance to other civilizations:
The principle of these bombs is used in almost all explosives that are in use today. They are common in many terrorist operations, probably because they are very easy to make out of many reasonably common materials and have the potential, especially with more recently developed explosives such as TNT, to cause large amounts of destruction fairly easily.
Back to Table of Contents