Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen - Composition

Composition

The gas is made of a mixture of fifty percent nitrous oxide (N2O or laughing gas) and fifty percent oxygen (O2). The ability to combine nitrous oxide (nitrous oxide is the common name; dinitrogen monoxide, systematic name) and oxygen at high pressure while remaining in the gaseous form is caused by the Poynting effect (after John Henry Poynting, an English physicist).

The Poynting effect involves the dissolution of gaseous O2 when bubbled through liquid N2O, with vaporisation of the liquid to form a gaseous O2/N2O mixture.

Inhalation of pure nitrous oxide over a continued period would render a human hypoxic, and the 50% oxygen content prevents this from occurring. The two gases will separate at low temperatures (<4 °C), which would permit administration of hypoxic mixtures. Therefore, it is not given from a cold cylinder without being shaken (usually by cylinder inversion) to remix the gases.

Read more about this topic:  Nitrous Oxide And Oxygen

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Famous quotes containing the word composition:

    Since body and soul are radically different from one another and belong to different worlds, the destruction of the body cannot mean the destruction of the soul, any more than a musical composition can be destroyed when the instrument is destroyed.
    —Oscar Cullman. Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead? The Witness of the New Testament, ch. 1, Epworth Press (1958)

    The composition of a tragedy requires testicles.
    Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694–1778)

    If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. As to that regular, uninterrupted love of writing ... I do not understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get rid of, but never as a pleasure. On the contrary, I think composition a great pain.
    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)