Big Picture Science – Elements Never Forget: Nitrogen Ice Cream

by Gary Niederhoff on June 19, 2016

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Big Picture Science – Nitrogen Ice Cream
click to listen (TRT 3:50)

Part 3 of Elements Never Forget, featuring a trip to a local ice cream shop which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze their product.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar SellaTheChemist June 23, 2016 at 8:52 am

Shame you didn’t mention the history of the liquid nitrogen ice cream… it goes back longer than you would think.

avatar Richard September 10, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Molly – question – why is Nitrogen not in the endangered list, whereas Helium is, since we use both of them?
Seth – answer – The Nitrogen atom is almost 4 times heavier than the helium per atom so sticks around due to gravity.

Correction Seth, Nitrogen gas consists of Nitrogen molecules, not Nitrogen atoms.

Individual atoms of nitrogen cannot freely exist together. They can only exist as molecules, which are 2 nitrogen atoms, having a molecular weight of 28. The atomic (and molecular) weight of Helium is 4, as Helium is a Noble gas and hence has monoatomic molecules (the atom is also the molecule).

So Nitrogen is 7 times heavier than Helium.

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