Roger Bacon states formulas for gunpowder and gives exact instructions for its manufacture. He noted the potential power of gunpowder if confined and suggested that it may be useful in war, its use in guns appeared early in the following century.

Bacon was an ardent supporter of research and experimental study as the way forward in science and had a laboratory for alchemical experiments where he carried out some systematic observations with lenses and mirrors. He is most noteworthy for suggested experiments that he never actually carried out and for his predictions of future inventions such as hot air balloons and mechanically propelled ships and carriages. Bacon believed that the earth was spherical and that it could be circumnavigated.


Further info

Wikipedia - http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Bacon