From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Deflagration: Rapid, but not explosive (i.e., subsonic) self-sustaining combustion in explosive materials, especially low explosives such as black gunpowder and desensitized smokeless powder; the combustion wave propagates by thermal conduction; can produce explosion if confined but is more likely to produce controllable gases
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- Explosives : Explosive agent; a compound or mixture susceptible of a rapid chemical reaction, as gunpowder, or nitroglycerin.
- Combustion : A sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat or both heat and light in the form of either a glow or flames.
- Gunpowder : Generically, a low explosive used as a propellant, now smokeless powder; the older black powder was used as a warhead filler before the invention of high explosives; also used in pyrotechnics