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Liquid nitrogen

  1. Mar 7, 2004 #1
    My friend and I have a lot of ideas for liquid nitrogen experiments (and we will be safe! :)), but we have no idea where to order it from. If from an online source, try to be specific. If in reality, try to give a little input on the process.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2004 #2
    In order for nitrogen to be a liquid, you have to keep it between -209.95C and -195.86C. So unless you have a means of keeping something that cold I think you're out of luck. Ordering nitrogen shouldn't be a problem, you could probably even make it yourself...But to keep it THAT cold...? Of course I'm sure if it's under ENOUGH pressure it will liquify and they'd probably sell it like this. And how exactly would you be playing it safe with this cold material? I hope you have machines doing your experiments for you, because a pair of winter gloves is not going to cut it. :wink:

    But seriously, this stuff is not for the independent researchers, unless of course you have the right equipment to deal with it...
  4. Mar 7, 2004 #3
    I was inspired after reading http://www.polsci.wvu.edu/Henry/Icecream/Icecream.html, a site that explains how to make ice cream using ln (which seems to be quite popular.) I became obsessed after reading this site: http://www.physik.uni-augsburg.de/~ubws/nitrogen.html

    Looking at the first link, it seems like it's certainly possible to receive the liquid nitrogen in a safe container and then immediately go about with your plans. But the thing is, ordering it over the Internet would probably be extremely expensive due to storage and I have no idea how to obtain it otherwise.

    If LN is a bad idea, what are some other cool chemicals? What could I do with them? Where can I learn? I want to do some X-SPEARMINTS (say it slowly and evily).
  5. Mar 7, 2004 #4
  6. Mar 7, 2004 #5
    The first link did not work because the PhysicsForums messageboard software does not handle URLs correctly and included the comma the first time.

    Go to:

    Actually, I'm not really interested in explosions. Just wacky things that will help me learn about chemistry without having to sit in a class and do 1000s of equation balancing problems. I'm not in a chem class at my high school, so I still have some enthusiasm for the subject.
  7. Mar 8, 2004 #6
  8. Mar 8, 2004 #7


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    My dad was a metallurgical engineer working for a large industrial gas company and he used to bring liquid nitrogen to school for demonstrations. They have 30gal tanks that'll hold it for several days without too much boiling off. Though extremely inexpensive ($0.10/gal or so), its not all that easy for an individual to get ahold of some. Perhaps though, you could call up an industrial gas company and have a PR rep come to your school for a demo.
  9. Mar 9, 2004 #8
    You can find liquid nitrogen at your local dermatologist's office. If you're lucky enough to have a little skin cancer, he will even give you a demonstration on how to use it.
  10. Mar 10, 2004 #9
    You shouldn't be using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream. The cost is ridiculous, and the risks of doing something harmful to yourself are there. Any other experiments that you plan on doing with it also are probably not wise to be doing.
  11. Mar 10, 2004 #10
    Good advice.
  12. Mar 20, 2004 #11
    Seems you can't ask a question around here without being mocked. I know you all must show off your incredible wit, but c'mon, all I wanted was to learn something.

    I think I made it clear that I do not want to make things explode, nor do anything else dangerous. If liquid nitrogen is an inherently risky toy, then recommend something else! How about a project kit that is affordable?
  13. Mar 20, 2004 #12


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    Not mocked --- there is a concern for ideas visitors might take from some discussions, as well as concern for you.

    You're interested in low temperature "games," or just in the idea of playing with something that's "too expensive/dangerous/complicated" for school/science fairs/class projects?
  14. Mar 21, 2004 #13
    Sorry for misunderstanding those who responded.

    I am just interested in learning about chemistry. Whether or not what I am doing is banned in 49 states isn't important to me :). Liquid nitro just looked like something fun.

    I think I have *SAFE* experiment ideas taken care of, now that I've read http://amasci.com. I'm still open to other suggestions, though.
  15. Mar 21, 2004 #14
    Sorry for the misunderstanding, I didn't intend to mock you at all.
    The fact is, I had skin cancer removed with liquid nitrogen. It was a lovely experience. I was "lucky" enough to have a guy burn a piece of my face off. I was laughing at my own misfortune, not at you.
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