Laughing Gas - PLHS

Laughing Gas
Chemical Name: Nitrous Oxide
Common Name: Laughing Gas
Synonyms: Anesthetics
Chemical Formula: N2O
Formula Weight: 44.0128 g/mol
Common uses: Used in rocket motors, Internal Combustion Engine, Aerosol Propellant, and Medicines
History of Compound: Discovered by Priestley in 1776, he inhaled it and said that it caused confusion
and unfeeling. Then later, in 1799 Humphry Davy suggested using it for medical
procedures. However for the next 45 years it wasn't used for medicine it was
used for entertainment. Then in 1844, Horace Wells, an American dentist used
the gas for tooth extraction. Then soon enough an American surgeon, William
Morton, carried out a major surgery while using the gas.
Model of compound:
Physical Properties: Colorless gas, is sweet, odorless
How is it made? Is it found in nature or man made? What does it react with?: Traditionally, nitrous
oxide is made by the thermal decomposition of
ammonium nitrate at temperatures between 170 - 260
oC.7 Man Made, And it reacts with water.
Is it toxic, poisonous, radioactive?: Laughing Gas is toxic
How much does it cost?: About $1,000 for 2 liters
Type of chemical bond?: Covalent
Interesting Facts: Nitrous Oxide was used for entertainment for many years. When celebrities used the
gas they would break into laughter, often accompanied by singing and dancing or
aggressive behavior.