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The deadly irony of gunpowder - Eric Rosado

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In the mid-ninth century, Chinese chemists, hard at work on an immortality potion, instead invented gunpowder. They soon found that this highly inflammable powder was far from an elixir of life -- they put it to use in bombs against Mongol invaders, and the rest was history. Eric Rosado details how gunpowder has caused devastation around the world, despite the incandescent beauty of fireworks.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Eric Rosado
  • Producer Zedem Media
  • Director Michael Kalopedis
  • Artist Dinos Hadjidemetri
  • Animator Maria Savva
  • Sound Designer Manolis Manoli
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
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The history of the cannon spans several hundred years. First used in China, they were among the earliest forms of gunpowder artillery, and over time replaced siege engines—among other forms of aging weaponry—on the battlefield. The first cannon in Europe were probably used in Iberia, during the Islamic wars against Spain, in the 13th century; their use was also first documented in the Middle East around this time. English cannon were first used during the Hundred Years' War, at the Battle of Crécy, in 1346. It was during this period, the Middle Ages, that cannon became standardized, and more effective in both the anti-infantry and siege roles. After the Middle Ages, most large cannon were abandoned, in favor of greater numbers of lighter, more maneuverable pieces. In addition, new technologies and tactics were developed, making most defenses obsolete; this led to the construction of star forts, specifically designed to withstand bombardment from artillery.
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One of the major concerns about combustion reactions is the release of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Write down the benefits of combustion as well as the disadvantages.
11/04/2013 • 
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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Eric Rosado
  • Producer Zedem Media
  • Director Michael Kalopedis
  • Artist Dinos Hadjidemetri
  • Animator Maria Savva
  • Sound Designer Manolis Manoli
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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