One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A very unstable acid isomeric with isocyanic acid.
Chemical formula: HCNO
- ‘The friendship between Liebig and Wöhler began in 1825 after they amicably resolved a dispute over two substances that had apparently the same composition - cyanic acid and fulminic acid - but very different characteristics: the silver compound of fulminic acid, investigated by Liebig, was explosive, whereas silver cyanate, as Wöhler found, was not.’
- ‘An entirely different rearrangement is observed for reactions involving more polar reactants, for example, the 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between fulminic acid and ethyne: The bond breaking and formation now involve shifts of whole electron pairs rather that spin-recouplings.’
- ‘As a second example, let us have a look at the gas-phase 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of fulminic acid to ethyne.’
Early 19th century: fulminic from Latin fulmen, fulmin- ‘lightning’ + -ic.
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