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Chemistry, not Frampton, Comes Alive!
December 30, 2005 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Chemistry Comes Alive has sample videos of chemistry experiments, some violent and some not.
posted by nathan_teske (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Very, very cool. Best of the web. For those of us who can't explode cast iron bombs with frozen water at home...well, thank goodness for Quicktime. Thanks for the post.
posted by cribcage at 8:42 PM on December 30, 2005


I wonder why they do the ice bomb one with a dry-ice/acetone bath. Probably just faster cooling (better heat transfer from the liquid vs. just the dry ice chunks), but dry ice on its own would make a helluva lot less mess.

Of course, if you're a big fan of blowing stuff up in the name of SCIENCE (and who isn't?), may I present the ever-popular Sodium Party.
posted by hangashore at 9:13 PM on December 30, 2005


So how, exactly, is Nitrogen Triiodide shipped?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:19 PM on December 30, 2005


I once synthesized nitrogen triiodide (actually we synthesized NH3.NI3 for those who care) with a friend in an unauthorized high school chem lab experiment, and the sample blew up while it was drying and scattered millions of tiny crystals all over the floor. Everywhere you walked in the room, there was the crackling of tiny explosions happening under your feet, leaving tiny brownish burn marks in the tile ...

Luckily the damage to the tiles was hardly noticeable after the ugly magnesium fire we had a few months later ... but that's another story. Ah, good times - thanks for the post!
posted by kcds at 9:19 PM on December 30, 2005


Kwantsar - you don't ship it, you make it.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:26 PM on December 30, 2005


You like those, check out some cornstarch science. The tentacles freak me the hell out.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:27 PM on December 30, 2005


Can you make other nitrogen trihalides?

Yes, certainly, thanks to some brave and intrepid chemists. NCl3 was the first of the family to be made in 1811, by Pierre L.Dulong, who later became Professor of Chemistry at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris; he lost 3 fingers and an eye in studying it.

posted by Kwantsar at 9:31 PM on December 30, 2005


On the cusp of chemistry, physics, and (abnormal) psychology - what happens when you drop a 50-lb ball of Silly Putty from a parking garage (Google video link).

(Was going to post the Boing Boing link, but the original site's video file is offline.)
posted by hangashore at 10:02 PM on December 30, 2005


you don't ship it, you make it.

Boy did we ever. Bought the instructions for $5 from a classified ad in Popular Science at age 11.

Inside the pencil sharpener was a good place for it. Also on the handle of your own locker, it left a telltale purple stain on the hands of whoever was messing with your stuff.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:25 PM on December 30, 2005


Ferrofluid is truly an alien life form—it always reminds me of the gloppy critter in the ST:TNG episode, Skin of Evil. Dan's Data (about halfway down the page) has some DIY ferrofluid info, photos, and another video.
posted by cenoxo at 11:44 PM on December 30, 2005


We have the interesting situation in the Netherlands that a plotting Muslim terrorist could not be convicted of anything in two separate trials although he had in his posession fertilizer, hydrochloric acid, maps of nuclear installations and the parliament, instruction on how to make explosives, video's of beheadings etc.

He was a student for becoming laboratory assistent. Now schools in the Netherlands are put in a quandary wether to accept this acquitted Samir Azzouzz to educate him in the sciences that can produce what is shown in these videos. Some refuse, some accept.

I propose Joukes Law: as a MeFi discussion evolves the probability that an allusion is made to The War On Terror approaches one.
:-)
posted by jouke at 12:47 AM on December 31, 2005


Ah, memories of school science. Broadly: chemistry experiments = cool, chemistry theory = dull; physics experiments = dull, physics theory = cool.

But perhaps that's just me. Or my school.
posted by Decani at 6:43 AM on December 31, 2005


Damn guys who needs terrorists when you blow yourself up !

Remember, ignorance is bliss !
posted by elpapacito at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2005


Can you make other nitrogen trihalides?

Sure, that's what graduate students are for...

On the dry-ice/acetone bomb, it's a cheap and easy way of getting something down to -70 degrees C without having to transport liquid nitrogen around.
posted by rand at 1:53 PM on December 31, 2005


Can you make other nitrogen trihalides?

Sure, that's what graduate students are for...


Heh - did you see the backstory on NCl3? From the Wikipedia link:

Nitrogen trichloride is a very strong explosive; an explosion involving it blinded Sir Humphry Davy temporarily, and forced him to take on Michael Faraday as a worker. This was in part because some of Davy's junior lab workers had recently been sacked for fighting.

The more things change and all that. I'm just surprised that the NBr3 synthesis is so complex - from Kwantsar's link:

(Me3Si)2NBr + 2 BrCl -> NBr3 + 2 Me3SiCl

No idea why simply mixing ammonia and bromine didn't work (and I'm home so I can't thumb through the literature to see what happens instead). Probably unstable as all get-out.

On the dry-ice/acetone bomb, it's a cheap and easy way of getting something down to -70 degrees C without having to transport liquid nitrogen around.

Plus the liquid N2 cooling would be a lot faster and more unpredictable. To cut down on acetone being sprayed everywhere, I'd just pile on the (dry) dry ice, shut 'er in the box behind the blast shield, and get out of the way.
posted by hangashore at 3:23 PM on December 31, 2005


My 7th grade science teacher did the nitrogen triiodide experiment as a demo for us. I think he was demonstrating that science was cool. He made it, but we got to stamp all over it and get purple stains on the bottom of our shoes. Mr. Brostrom was the best science teacher ever.
posted by MadamM at 4:36 PM on December 31, 2005


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