N2O is commonly known as nitrous oxide; however, it is also known as dinitrogen monoxide, nitros, NOS or laughing gas. It is a colorless gas that is used as an anesthetic and an analgesic. When inhaled, it can cause a mild form of hysteria, sometimes accompanied by laughter, and it decreases the sensibilities of pain.
Because nitrous oxide is stable and is a non-flammable gas, many motor sports cars as well as rockets use the gas as an oxidizer. An oxidizer adds oxygen to the mix when an engine fires and increases the power output of the engine. Motor sports use it for extra power, while rockets use oxidizers primarily because there is no oxygen in space, and oxygen is required during combustion.