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"But the problem with reincarnation is that it's hard to imagine what the storage medium for past lives would be. Not to mention the input-output device. I hesitate to rule it out completely, but I'd need pretty definite proof."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Pentavalent Nitrogen  
  A high explosive formed from nitrogen.  

"By the way, what is that explosive-or is it something beyond Tellurian chemistry?"

"It's structure should be clear to you, although you probably could not prepare it upon Tellus because of your high temperature. It is nothing but nitrogen -- twenty-six atoms of nitrogen combined to form one molecule of what you would call -- N-twenty six?"

"Wow!" Stevens whistled. "Crystalline, pentavalent nitrogen -- no wonder it's violent!"

From Space Hounds of IPC, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Thanks to Winchell Chung for this one.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Space Hounds of IPC
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  Tech news articles related to Space Hounds of IPC
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Pentavalent Nitrogen-related news articles:
  - Polymeric Nitrogen: Science Fiction Explosive

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