- "Alchemists enjoyed prestige and support through the centuries, though nor for their pursuit of those goals, nor the mystic and philosophical speculation that dominates their literature. Rather it was for their mundane contributions to the chemical industries of the day - the invention of gunpowder, ore testing and refining, metalworking, production of ink, dyes, paints, and cosmetics, leather tanning, ceramics and glass manufacture, preparation of extracts and liquors, and so on."
- —Libatius Borage, Advanced Potion-Making[src]
Gunpowder is a mixture of sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. Gunpowder was one of the "mundane" contributions to science from which alchemists received prestige and support from the chemical industries of yore. In 1991 when Rubeus Hagrid bowed the two neck-like pipes on Vernon Dursley's riffle, it accidentally fired.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned only)