dynamite, explosive made from nitroglycerin and an inert, porous filler such as wood pulp, sawdust, kieselguhr, or some other absorbent material. The proportions vary in different kinds of dynamite; often ammonium nitrate or sodium nitrate is added. The mass is usually pressed in cylindrical forms and wrapped in an appropriate material, e.g., paper or plastic. The charge is set off with a detonator. Dynamite was discovered by Alfred B. Nobel in 1866.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.