[2014] Zehra Husani (Science 7th Gr 2013 2014, Global Lit 8 2014-15, 2014-15 Science 8th Gr): Nitrog

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Chemical Elements

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[2014] Zehra Husani (Science 7th Gr 2013 2014, Global Lit 8 2014-15, 2014-15 Science 8th Gr): Nitrog

PROPERTIESNitrogen is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It is also inert, which means it is relatively unreactive. The only exception is at high temperatures with other gases. An example of this is lightning. It is a diatomic molecule, meaning it is only found in nature as N2. Nitrogen is never found in nature as a liquid or solid; it is always a gas at room temperature because it contains so much energy. It liquifies at -196 degrees Celcius, which is the lowest boiling point of any of the gases in the air. When it boils, it creates liquid nitrogen.

Did you know...-Nitrogen makes up 3% of Mars' atmosphere.-Nitrogen makes up 98% of the atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan.-Nitrogen makes the orange-red, blue-green, blue-violet, and deep violet colors of the aurora.-When scuba diving, if you come up too fast, it causes decompression sickess, or the forming of nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream.-The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually nitrogen bubbles popping.


Origin and Abundance:Nitrogen was discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772. The name is derived from the greek words 'nitron genes', which mean 'nitre' and 'forming'. Nitrogen is in high abundance on the earth; it makes up 78% of the atmosphere, making it the most abundant pure element on earth as well. Nitrogen is estimated to be the seventh most abundant element in our solar system and our galaxy. Nitrogen is the fourth most abundant element in our body, it being in amino acids, DNA, and RNA.


Liquid NitrogenNitrogen constantly wants to be a gas, but that does not mean it cannot be liquified. The point at which nitrogen liquifies is at 77 degrees Kelvin, or -195.8 degrees Celcius, or -320.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, liquid nitrogen is very cold. It is cold enough to cause severe frostbite at contact with living tissue. Liquid nitrogen has many uses, such as the freezing and transportation of foods, cooling materials for easier machining and fracturing, and many more. Attatched is a video demonstrating a few experiments with liquid nitrogen.

Nitrogen is used in explosives, such as dynamite, TNT, detonators, ammuniton, and gunpowder. Nitrogen is also used to make ammonia, which is commonly used in cleaning products and fertalizers. Nitrogen is used in perserving foods as well. It is pumped into packaging, such as chip bags, to keep the food from spoiling. Some food's flavor is altered by the presense of oxygen, such as coffee. So, coffee is roasted in an oven filled with nitrogen. It is used to fill automotive and aircraft tires since it doesn't have oxidizing properties and it doesn't contain moisture, unlike air. Nitrogen is used to fill incandescent lightbulbs, used in making anesthetic, and used in the manufacturing of stainless steel.

Uses in Society


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