Disclaimer: I tend not to read the Daily Mail, especially not for science. Their track record isn’t the best.
Recently I happened on this nice little story about a ten-year old girl who made a ‘new molecule’ using a model kit. This molecule made it from her classroom to an article in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, of which she is a co-author.
The molecule in question is shown below, and from looking at the structure I know I sure as hell wouldn’t want to try to make it. In fact I would run like the wind if someone had a pot of it near by. That many nitrogen and oxygen atoms basically means one thing. BOOM. A nice comparison demonstrating the impact of oxygen and nitrogen is that of toluene – a very stable (aromatic) compound that is used daily in chemical laboratories – and TNT. TNT has the same core structure as toluene, but those extra few oxygen and nitrogen atoms again mean one thing. BOOM.
You think that might be scary enough, but what really frightened me was the enthusiasm of a ten-year old girl for selling it to the military.