Nitrogen Triiodide Explodes At The Slightest Touch

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Because of its explosive nature, the structural chemistry of nitrogen triiodide is difficult to study. It's made up of a single nitrogen atom and three iodine atoms. The relatively large size of the iodine atoms is what causes the steric strain in the compound, and results in its volatile instability. When it explodes, it releases a cloud of purple iodine vapor.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Nitrogen triiodide consists of one nitrogen and three iodine atoms. 00:33

  2. When it detonates, nitrogen triiodide produces a vibrant cloud of iodine vapor. 01:38

  3. Watch nitrogen triiodide explode in slow motion: 02:17

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement