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Name: Chris Sterla
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

Dear sir.

In chemistry class, we were discussing how to make chemicals with household items. We wanted to know how to make nitrogen triIodide. He said look it it up, and we would make some if we found out. I could not find it anywhere. Could you help us? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

P.S. Sorry about the letter. This was my first time in newton.

I don't usually describe how to do chemistry experiments on NEWTON. Frankly, if I made a mistake telling you how to do things, or you didn't follow my instructions to the letter, and consequently blew your hand off, I'd feel a little guilty...

Maybe I can help with your literature search though. You should try to find textbooks on chemical demonstrations, either at your local library, local university libraries, or through inter-library loan. One author of several such books who is particularly famous is Bassam Shakashiri (sp?). He has published several books on the subject. I believe that they are published by the American Chemical Society, and could be ordered from them. Your teacher might even want to order these books as they are full of interesting chemistry demos.

Good luck!


Shakhashiri's books are from University of Wisconsin Press (Madison). As far as making nitrogen triiodide at home...DON'T! The stuff is really nasty (we just set some off with a feather today in the first day of class here at UW-Milwaukee). Also, you should only make it in a lab with appropriate safety precautions and let it AIR DRY! Don't use something like acetone, alcohol or a heat gun to dry it. This warning is coming from experience :) I saw the acetone drying method backfire...literally. As for Shakhashiri's books...highly recommended! Excellent investment for the classroom.


Let me emphasize the second sentence from Joe's note. Nitrogen triiodide is a contact explosive -- it is unpredictable and dangerous. Please DO NOT try to make this!

gregory r bradburn

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