Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:58 pm
Clara Lazen is the discoverer of tetranitratoxycarbon, a molecule constructed of, obviously, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. It's got some interesting possible properties, ranging from use as an explosive to energy storage. Lazen is listed as the co-author of a recent paper on the molecule. But that's not what's so interesting and inspiring about this story. What's so unusual here is that Clara Lazen is a ten-year-old fifth-grader in Kansas City, MO.
Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:17 pm
Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:20 pm
Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:28 pm
Symmetrical molecules of that type are usually more stable than the otherwise analogous molecules of lesser structural symmetry. Nitromethane is almost stable [one could initiate a detonation in it, but it self-extinguishes after traveling a short distance]. Dinitro- and trinitro-methanes are sensitive true explosives. Tetranitromethane is stable [as long as it is not admixed with something oxidizable - then it forms one of the more powerful binary explosives]. And so on.Doctor Stochastic wrote:Has she build a ball-and-spring molecular model and thrown it against the wall to test stability?
After checking the picture at the article, that model definitely deserves the wall test.