Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Why high nitrogen density in explosives?
Name: s toba
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

Why does explosives have to contain such a high nitrogen density?

Nitrogen gas, N2, is a very inert, stable gas. Reason: it is two atoms connected by a triple bond. The delta-H of formation of N2 gas from two nitrogen atoms is about -950 kJ which means it gives off a LOT of energ! So explosives have nitrogen atoms in them and the more nitrogen atoms that are available to come together and form N2 gas, the more energy will be released, the bigger the boom!

-Joe Schultz

Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory