What is dynamite?
A: Dynamite is an explosive made of nitroglycerin, sorbents (such as powdered shells or clay) and stabilizers.
It was invented by what Swedish chemist and engineer?
A: Alfred Nobel.
When was it patented?
A: In 1867.
It rapidly gained wide-scale use as a more powerful
alternative to what?
A: Black powder.
Today, dynamite is mainly used in what?
A: The mining, quarrying, construction, and demolition industries.
Dynamite is still the product of choice for what?
A: Trenching applications.
Dynamite was the first safely manageable explosive
stronger than what?
A: Black powder.
Alfred Nobel's father, Immanuel Nobel, was a what?
A: An industrialist, engineer, and inventor.
He built bridges and buildings in Stockholm and founded
Sweden's first what?
A: Rubber factory.
His construction work inspired him to research new
methods of what?
A: Blasting rock that were more effective than black powder.
In 1838 Immanuel moved his family to Saint Petersburg,
where Alfred and his brothers were what?
A: Educated privately under Swedish and Russian tutors.
At age 17, Alfred was sent abroad for how long?
A: Two years.
In the United States he met whom?
A: Swedish engineer John Ericsson.
In France he studied under what famed chemist?
A: Théophile-Jules Pelouze and his pupil Ascanio Sobrero, who had first synthesized nitroglycerin in 1847.
In France Nobel encountered what?
Pelouze cautioned against using nitroglycerin as a
commercial explosive because of what?
A: Its great sensitivity to shock.
Nobel, along with his father and brother Emil,
experimented with what?
A: Various combinations of nitroglycerin and black powder.
Nobel came up with a solution of how to safely detonate
nitroglycerin by inventing what?
A: The detonator, or blasting cap, that allowed a controlled explosion set off from a distance using a fuse.
In 1863 Nobel performed his first successful detonation
A: Pure nitroglycerin, using a blasting cap made of a copper percussion cap and mercury fulminate.
In 1864, Alfred Nobel filed patents for both the
blasting cap and his method of what?
A: Synthesizing nitroglycerin, using sulfuric acid, nitric acid and glycerin.
On 3 September 1864, while experimenting with
nitroglycerin, Emil and several others were what?
A: Killed in an explosion at the factory at Immanuel Nobel's estate at Heleneborg.
After this, Alfred founded the company Nitroglycerin
Aktiebolaget in Vinterviken to continue work in a what?
A: A more isolated area and the following year moved to Germany, where he founded another company, Dynamit Nobel.
Despite the invention of the blasting cap, the
instability of nitroglycerin rendered it useless as a what?
A: A commercial explosive.
To solve this problem, Nobel sought to combine it with
another substance that would make it what?
A: Safe for transport and handling but would not reduce its effectiveness as an explosive.
He tried combinations of what?
A: Cement, coal, and sawdust, but was unsuccessful.
Finally, he tried what?
A: diatomaceous earth, fossilized algae, that he brought from the Elbe River near his factory in Hamburg.
It successfully did what?
A: Stabilized the nitroglycerin into a portable explosive.