Slow Motion Contact Explosive – Nitrogen Triiodide

Nitrogen triiodide is a highly unstable substance that detonates when disturbed. So we disturbed it. Nitrogen triiodide is so unstable that even something like a mosquito landing on it can set it off. Three iodine atoms cluster around one side of a nitrogen atom. Being crowded around one end causes something called bond strain as the atoms repel each other in a small space. The result is that the molecule is prone to falling apart, explosively.” (YouTube)

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of nitrogen triiodide before. This explosive video by The Royal Institution is great. It features plenty of explosions and oodles of science, coupled together with a super slow motion camera. It’s crazy how fast the shockwave and explosion travel, just at the lightest touch.

Do stick around for the triiodide super-montage at the end. Onwards!

This entry was posted in Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s