# Something + blood = boom

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What chemical or chemicals, on contact with blood, instantly explodes? This explosion doesn't have to kill them, it just has to go boom.

I'm writing a science fiction story about an alchemist/knight during the Middle Ages who put something on his sword so when he goes into battle, people who he slices explode.

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that is moderately humorous.

i was going to mention alkali metals but they would tarnish if left on a sword.

considering the chemical and cellular makeup of blood, i doubt there is something you could use. however, if you want, you can use red phosphorus, which is friction sensitive. back in the middle ages it was sort of a mythical element. striking phosphorus with something hard causes it to explode, so you could have the sword tipped with phosphorus and have the phosphorus explode when the sword strikes a foe's shield/armor/weapon. unfortunately, you have the problem of your own sword blowing up nomatter what you use. also, you have the problem that the red phosphorus can be used once, after which it has exploded...

i suppose it makes a nice tip for arrows and francisca throwing axes however...

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Yeah, that'd be a good idea.

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Perhaps you could use a tip containing concentrated hydrogen peroxide, so when it goes inside the victim the tip breaks releasing the concentrated H2O2. On contact with blood it will immediately burst into a cloud of oxygen and steam.

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Could they purify H202 in the middle ages?

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Not to mention that it would just oxidize your sword, if not blow up when you put it on.

Better stick with curari.

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yeah jdurg, the peroxide would eat through the sword. i still think RP is a good choice

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caesium, lithium. coat with wax and stick em on an arrow.

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There are many chemicals that fit your criteria,however,most of them either tarnishes and corrodes metal and are extremly unstable.It will wore out after several tries anyway.Best way to use it is to place it on a projectile.I suggest you forget about the entire alchemist/knight thing with scientific basis and just say the sword is enchanted.

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What chemical or chemicals' date=' on contact with blood, instantly explodes? This explosion doesn't have to kill them, it just has to go boom.

I'm writing a science fiction story about an alchemist/knight during the Middle Ages who put something on his sword so when he goes into battle, people who he slices explode.[/quote']

here is a possible solution

the knight alchemist is also a metalurgist and he is able to forge very good steel that has flint particles embedded in it so that

when he slices thru the steel armor of the foe it produces a shower of sparks

now in ancient times the Byzantines used an inflammable liquid called

"Greek Fire"

this knight, say, has a squirter of greek fire in the handle of his sword

and as he slices someone, simultaneously making a lot of sparks as the sword cuts the chainmail etc, he squirts some of this lighterfluid greek fire liquid into them------and the sparks ignite it.

maybe there is even a tube running out thru the swordblade

so the liquid can actually squirt out from some holes near the tip of the sword.

this way the sword can be both a cutter and a modest flamethrower

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...I suggest you forget about the entire alchemist/knight thing with scientific basis and just say the sword is enchanted.

Jian that is a very wise suggestion. Enchantments usually work better than technology.

Jian have you found some more about ant pheromones?

personally I like how they use the food-trail pheromone to organize their food-gathering

it means they make efficient use of information.

probably the Google search engine uses something analogous to the ant food-trail pheromone in order to find the good places on the internet.

some websites are like an open jar of peanut butter and attract a lot of hits.

I am joking.

what type of molecule is the food-trail pheromone?

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Speaking of greek fire, Timeline , by Micheal Chriton (excuse the spelling), mentions it as well. He describes it as a substance which ignites when water is added. Therefore, ignoring the Chemistry behind the idea of the weapon and the fact that the greek fire would react with the water vapor in the air, blood includes a fair amount of water and therefore could cause the person hit to ignite in a sense. Therefore, he/she would not need a "squirter"

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Hey Jake, thanks a lot. For about 4 years I've been trying to search for a letter from my 6th grade teacher that I lost regarding a book she read during the summer, and that's the book she was talking about.

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speaking of greek fire, anybody have an idea as to what it is composed of?

vinegar and sand can extinguish it.

i found a source that mentions accounts of sulfur, pitch and burning charcoal, and then later in history the same mixture with naphtha or petroleum. as well, saltpeter and turpentine later on. supposedly the closest idea however is a mixture of sulfur, tallow, rosin, turpentine, saltpetre and crude antimony

wikipedia says that the most accurate representations say that it was a liquid composed of sulfur, quicklime (CaO), and liquid petroleum. as well, they mention that magnesium was probably used

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What is the composition of napalm?

Could that be a step towards greek fire?

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napalm is made of styrene in alkanes where the alkanes are noncyclic and have 7 or more carbon. benzene can be used in addition

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Essentially greek fire could be made with a fuel,a binder, a gelling mixture(which could also be the binder),a reactive metal(Zinc and higher),and a reactive fuel(ie: sulfur)The metal would react with water to produce heat,which would ignite the sulfur,then ugniting the entire mixture.

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perhaps, although magnesium does not react too vigorously with water. in an ocean any heat released would be rapidly dispersed. perhaps they used calcium?

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how about a pressuried CO2 canister in the handle?

a bit like the automatic Wine Cork devices, the needle goes through the cork, the button is pressed the cork pops out with the pressure, I think they use them in Shark Spears too

talking of Alkai metals, in my Early Teen years, we used to get a section of telescopic antenna a little smaller that the .22 cal bore on an air gun, cut a cylinder of Sodium out, push a pin in the sodium, coat it with wax from a candle and let it dry then remove the pin. wede make dozens of these!

then take a few lemons into the woods with an old .22 air gun and shoot the lemons taped to trees.

they dont half go BANG! ))

(btw, DO NOT do this! its VERY Dangerous!)

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"(btw, DO NOT do this! its VERY Dangerous!)"

Howcome everytime you tell us something fun you've done, it's illegal and dangerous?

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well I do alot of fun things that are both legal and safe too

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"they don`t half go BANG! ))"

What do you mean by this sentence??

Btw,I wonder why the sodium 'bullets' didn't explode in the airgun(even though its partly coated with wax),you must be lucky.....

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napalm is made of styrene in alkanes where the alkanes are noncyclic and have 7 or more carbon. benzene can be used in addition

In simple terms,add polystyrene to petrol(or gasoline to Americans)

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Let's stop thinking about something plus water equals 'boom' and let's think about something plus hemoglobin or heme equals 'boom'

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Would an alchemist in the middle ages know about haemoglobin? I doubt it.

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