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Uploaded on Apr 11, 2009
Nitrogen Triiodide is a contact explosive. Here I have some on five filter papers stacked on a ring stand and the original filter paper is just off to the left of the screen (if you watch when it detonates you can see a secondary purple cloud from the left). You can hear my skepticism as I talk to my students because I have had this demonstration not work several times before in practice or in class [I had failed to dry it long enough or it had prematurely detonated]. Here, though, it worked great (although the sound was much louder than what the video has- I should have been wearing hearing protection because my right ear rang for a long while after this). When NI3 detonates it decomposes to form nitrogen gas and iodine gas which is what gives the purple cloud/smoke.