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  1. I tried this demonstration once. If the NI3 is damp it doesn’t go off; only the dry bits. I didn’t realize just how dry it had to be. So I had the dry enough bit scatter all the bits that were too damp to go off all over the hood. The clean up was nerve wracking. Tiny explosions everywhere I touched. None more powerful than one of those little paper poppers but very loud every time and with a puff of purple smoke. 2/10, would not recommend.

  2. One of my highschool chem teachers said when I was younger and lived in a condo, his newspaper started disappearing. So One day he covered it with the paste and put it back outside. A few hours later he hears a massive BOOM, from somewhere on the floor above him.

    Needless to say, his paper never disappeared after that.

  3. My chemistry teacher had some of this in high school. She had made a batch before class and said that it was drying and that if we clapped loudly enough that it would explode. So the whole class starts clapping and nothing. It was still too damp. So, periodically throughout the class I’d clap my hands to try and make it go off. Then, near the end of class, once everyone had pretty much forgotten about it, I clapped my hands and boom! it exploded. I think I fell in love with chemistry that day.

  4. If it is so reactive to movement wouldn’t it need a better structure to stand still and go BOOM when someone is near it?

  5. In college MANY years ago over Fourth of July weekend there was a campus party at one of the dorms. School only had ~1000 students FWIW. Some genius decided that it would be really cool to put a bunch of this on the grass near their room which was really close to the area where people would be gathered. As a dorm resident I got wind of this. I knew that an NI3 explosion, if big enough, can break skin and inject iodine into the wound which will prevent the wound from healing. I also knew a bunch of people would be walking barefoot in the area so I had the numb-nuts wash the area down with lots of water. Then, after the area dried in the hot summer sun, I had them walk barefoot all over the area to make sure none was left. Not much was; however, there were a few small pops.

  6. One critical part of this demo that is left out in this form is the sound. Each of those little sheets with purple on them sounds remarkably like a gunshot.

    Rewind to 2014 high school chem class, students are finishing their reactions at different times and after each one is ready: a huge BANG goes off followed by the screams of about 30 surprised students.

    Fast forward 10 minutes and the school is in full active shooter lockdown with the entire Santa Barbara police department running down the hallways guns drawn trying to find the hostages.

    TL:DR it’s always best to alert teachers in the classrooms around yours when you planning on setting off gunshot-like explosions for fun

  7. My HS chemistry teacher taught us to make this. He told the story of painting a little of this the doorknob of his dorm room to prank his roommate. We discovered that if you put a small amount on the area where people put down their textbooks on the lab bench, hilarity ensues.

  8. Did this reaction once in my backyard. It took a lot longer then we expected for it to fully dry (it won’t go off wet).

    By the time we got it to go off it was like 10 pm. It was so damn loud my ears were ringing for hours afterwards.

    My neighbours were not impressed.

  9. At university, we called this stuff “puff”. At least once a year the chem major seniors would brew up a batch which would end up scattered in one hall or another of the chemistry building. The first classes the next day were welcomed by small explosions and tiny clouds of purple smoke.

  10. Chem teacher was doing some of this experiment in a fume hood during our class. That shit is loud as fuuuuck.

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