Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas or sweet air, is a chemical compound with the formula symbol N2O. It is an oxide of nitrogen. At room temperature, it is a colourless non-flammable gas, with a slightly sweet odour and taste.
It is used for the process of producing whipped cream within a steel vessel called a cream charger. The reason it is used within cream chargers is because of its ability to migrate into a liquid and also its natural antibiotic properties.
It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anaesthetic and analgesic effects. It is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it, a property that has led to its recreational and dissociative anaesthetic use.
It is also used as an oxidizer in rocketry and motor racing to increase the power output of engines as a propellant. At elevated temperatures, nitrous oxide is a powerful oxidizer similar to molecular oxygen.
Nitrous oxide gives rise to (nitric oxide) on reaction with oxygen atoms, and this, in turn, reacts with ozone. As a result, it is the main naturally occurring regulator of stratospheric ozone.