281 posts tagged with chemistry.
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Adding lavender scent to kinetic sand?

I'd like to add a lavender scent to some kinetic sand for a friend. I was wondering if I could somehow add a scent to store bought batch? [more inside]
posted by unicornologist on Nov 11, 2016 - 4 answers

How could we make fossil fuels?

So, fossil fuels were formed over about 300 million years from dead biomass. Could a far-future society make its own over, ideally, somewhat less time? [more inside]
posted by zompist on Sep 28, 2016 - 14 answers

Can you help me wrap my head around organic chemistry synthesis?

I took the first half of organic chemistry and really struggled through synthesis. I have to take the second half this spring and I am really scared. Do you have any tricks/magical methods to help me beat it into my head? [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants on Sep 12, 2016 - 9 answers

Lower temperature methyl cellulose

Methyl cellulose solution has the handy property of being liquid up to about 50deg C, and becomes solid(ish) above that temperature. I'm looking for a substance that does the same, but with a transition temperature somewhere around 0-20deg C. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Jul 25, 2016 - 9 answers

Is my body composed of a different set of atoms from when I was born?

I would like to know if this statement is scientifically correct, or if it's hyperbole, or if it's basically correct but requires qualification: "Most of the atoms that formed your infant body at birth are now dispersed, as your present atoms will be again, if you have the good fortune to live a few more years on this oxygen-rich planetary home." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 20, 2016 - 15 answers

Plastic books?

Is it possible to use the technology that makes polymer banknotes to create books? [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg on Jun 17, 2016 - 15 answers

Will dry frying salt do anything?

This recipe recommends dry frying salt "at low heat for about 10 minutes until it turn a brownish color". Would this actually change the salt at all? [more inside]
posted by lucidium on Jun 13, 2016 - 14 answers

Chemistry filter: Decaf edition

An idle curiousity question for the Green's resident chemistry boffins: is there a chemical that could break caffeine down into safe and inactive (from the body's perspective) components? [more inside]
posted by duoshao on Apr 2, 2016 - 3 answers

Little floaty bits

Why does almond milk curdle in my cold brew? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Mar 14, 2016 - 10 answers

Hey chemists! An alka-seltzer in isopropyl alcohol - what happened?

I am a 7th grade science teacher, and not a practicing chemist by any means. I had my students experiment with alka-seltzer tablets in water to observe certain features of chemical reactions. One class asked what would happen if we dropped one in a mixture of water and (91%) isopropyl alcohol (which was handy from a previous lab). So we dropped a plain alka-seltzer tablet into a beaker of half water and half 91% isopropyl alcohol and I would love to be able to explain the odd results to my students.... [more inside]
posted by chr1sb0y on Jan 24, 2016 - 4 answers

Books about physics (or related subjects) for middle school age girls?

I'm looking for books that either explain concepts in physics or encourage an interest in physics topics that are likely to be accessible and interesting for ~13 year old girls who are keen on science. What are the contemporary equivalents of "A Brief History of Time" and "Einstein's Dreams" for kids today? Related fields are welcome. [more inside]
posted by eotvos on Dec 3, 2015 - 25 answers

Chemistry/general studying resources?

My niece isn't doing so well in chemistry (read, a point away from an F) and I need to help her. However, it's been a long time since I've done chemistry, and I can't exactly hop back in. Does anyone have any resources for chemistry that would help me learn and help me explain things to her? Also, general studying resources appreciated as well. She has no skills, and it's now or never! [more inside]
posted by needlegrrl on Nov 13, 2015 - 15 answers

The fire is out, but is it possible to spark a new flame?

I don't feel sexually attracted to my spouse anymore. What now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 10, 2015 - 27 answers

What was the source of the glow trailing the missile the Navy tested?

Like a lot of Californians, I saw this light in the sky last night. The Navy has revealed that it was testing a Trident-launched missile, so that part of the mystery is resolved. But why did it look like that? [more inside]
posted by aws17576 on Nov 8, 2015 - 12 answers

Help me dilute a solution to a desired level

I have a solution of (14%) sandalwood essential oil in jojoba oil. I also have pure jojoba oil. I would would like to end up with a 15 ml solution of 2% sandalwood in jojoba oil. How do I get there?
posted by entropicamericana on Oct 31, 2015 - 8 answers

Course/Materials: Chem/Biochem meets Sustainability?

Is anyone aware of an upper-division undergraduate or masters level course - or materials for such a course - with the following criteria. The course should describe, holistically, both scientifically rigorous descriptions of chemistry as well as sociological/anthropological implications of this science that illustrate the intersections of chemistry/biochemistry with sustainability. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 26, 2015 - 5 answers

Please advise about this guy I am stuck on

Hello I am a lady in her late 30s and until 3 weeks ago, in a long-term relationship (12 years). We were not married and had no kids, and lived together for a decade. My ex and I shared a deep understanding, laughs and interests, and I thought this was enough until I met a younger guy a few months ago, for whom I immediately felt a crazy infatuation. [more inside]
posted by muppets on Sep 22, 2015 - 17 answers

Failed kiddie chemistry experiment

We tried to do the Iodine Clock Reaction today for the kids, using 1) HSO3 mixed with starch and 2) KIO3. Unfortunately, instead of changing from colourless to dark blue (cue impressed sounds from the kids) there was no colour change at all. No precipitate or apparent temperature change, either, so I'm not sure anything at all happened chemically. Any ideas what might have gone wrong?
posted by thelaze on Jun 21, 2015 - 7 answers

What is this piece of chemistry glassware for?

What on earth is this item of chemistry glassware for?
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Jun 19, 2015 - 4 answers

science and art are pretty much the same thing in my eyes

Career-advise me! Fellow mefites who enjoy both the humanities and the sciences: which did you pick for your career, and why? Or: were you able to somehow combine the two? Bonus points if you have experience with the medical field. [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Jun 19, 2015 - 8 answers

Does anyone here have experience growing crystals?

What types of crystals should I look into growing if I want them to grow/attach onto a wooden panel? [more inside]
posted by modernsquid on Jun 11, 2015 - 11 answers

Chemistry Content of Cell Phone Batteries

I just finished reading The Powerhouse by Steve Levine and it inspired me to be curious about the specific lithium battery chemistry of current cell and smartphones. I've found this link from Battery University which does a great job describing the current major variants used (LMO, NCA, NMC, etc). In some google searching I haven't found any specs on what phones like the Nexus 6 or the S6, or iPhone 6 uses. [more inside]
posted by wonderfullyrich on May 1, 2015 - 3 answers

What do do with this 35% food grade H2O2 (Hydrogen peroxide)?

I have a small dropper container with about half an ounce of H2O2 with a rubberish top (the part that you use to make the drops). I was using it for something a few months ago and I forgot about it and it has been sitting in my kitchen for about 2 months. Today I noticed the rubbery part has expanded a bit. I'm not sure what to do with it because I remember my chemistry teacher saying that H2O2 can be dangerous stuff. Can I open the container? Should I just toss the container?
posted by eq21 on Apr 16, 2015 - 12 answers

How to give myself a remedial science education

So I was recently faced with a serious health care decision, and the people advising me strongly disagreed with each other, which made me realize something: I don't know enough science to make well-reasoned decisions for myself and my family. Help me figure out a DIY way to make up the gaps. [more inside]
posted by feets on Mar 24, 2015 - 15 answers

What is the enthalpy of formation of trichloroisocyanuric acid?

[ChemFilter, asking for a teacher friend] I'm designing an exercise on the heat released in the decomposition of trichloroisocyanuric acid (aka Symclosene) but I'm missing a crucial piece of information! [more inside]
posted by Elachim on Mar 9, 2015 - 1 answer

Probability distributions and their practical applications

I am looking for a resource that lists probability distributions and their common real-world applications. For example, I'd expect to see: Lognormal - daily returns in the stock market. Poisson - failure rates for mechanical equipment, ... [more inside]
posted by wivy on Feb 19, 2015 - 6 answers


how is benzonitrile less soluble than methylbenzene? I'm baffled [more inside]
posted by iamcharity on Jan 26, 2015 - 4 answers

Why my potassium citrate gently weeps

My pillbox is gross, and it seems to be coming from a pill. What the heck? [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Dec 13, 2014 - 6 answers

Looking for advice to break into my career.

I am really hoping for some advice to help get me my first entry level job in a lab. Preferably relating to my forensic science/chemistry degree. [more inside]
posted by Blue Minutiae on Oct 27, 2014 - 11 answers

Chromatography for newbies

Chemists! I have a question about chromatography. Specifically, what is the best way to isolate a specific molecule, if I want to produce large volumes of this isolated molecule? [more inside]
posted by special agent conrad uno on Jul 19, 2014 - 7 answers

Learn Chemistry the fun way...via audio?

Is there a way to learn chemistry that is 1) fun/funny/in some way entertaining 2) via audio? [more inside]
posted by Calicatt on Jul 1, 2014 - 5 answers

What cooking chemistry should I know?

What are basic pieces of kitchen science that would be helpful for me to know? I'm most interested in baking but cooking is okay too. Things like the effect of salt or liquid on a recipe or whether I want my bread dough to rise in a dry or humid area and why would be really great. I'm okay at following recipes but I'd absolutely love to know why different ingredients and combinations have different effects and how I can use that to my advantage. [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl on Jun 23, 2014 - 22 answers

Mg(OH)2 + CaCl2 = ???

I mixed milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) and pickling salt (calcium chloride) together and was very surprised when the glass suddenly heated up. I haven't taken a chem class in 12+ yrs and I can't figure out what the exothermic reaction was that I inadvertently made. Any chemists out there to shed some light?
posted by thelaze on May 20, 2014 - 7 answers

What is causing my clear plastic glasses to change color?

I have two pairs of clear plastic/acetate framed glasses. Over time, both have changed color from completely clear to blueish in one case, and orangeish in the other. What's causing this and how do I stop or reverse it? [more inside]
posted by crookedneighbor on Apr 22, 2014 - 14 answers

Calling all chem- physics- and math-philes!

For the grad-level education I want, I need an understanding of chemistry, physics, and calculus at a minimum. I have a BA in a tangentially related field (or will in a couple months). What are the best resources for learning these subjects without spending even more time/money on tuition? [more inside]
posted by Urban Winter on Apr 4, 2014 - 10 answers

What equipment should I use to safely mix acetone and glycerin at home?

I would like to make my own nail polish remover. Where can I buy acetone-safe measuring equipment? [more inside]
posted by fanlight on Mar 23, 2014 - 9 answers

How is chammistry formed?

Do you have any tips on how to behave on early dates to increase romantic chemistry? [more inside]
posted by Mr C on Mar 19, 2014 - 29 answers

How did my knife get pitted?

Decent paring knife emerges from bleach-soap-water presoak with pitting corrosion. WTF? [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Dec 7, 2013 - 13 answers

Why don't laundry detergents rinse clean?

If I spill tide laundry detergent on my hand it doesn't just rinse off with water like it should, you have to actually wash it off with hand soap or dish soap to get it off. Why is this?
posted by john123357 on Oct 8, 2013 - 14 answers

Rocket fuel from dirt... Let's cook!

For a book I am ghostwriting, I'm researching how a Mars colony might support itself. Perchlorates in the martian soil can be refined out to produce solid rocket fuel. My question is -- how would the stuff be manufactured? [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit on Oct 2, 2013 - 9 answers

What amount of pool hypochlorite would damage an adjacent lawn?

My neighbor believes I am killing his lawn by emptying small amounts of pool water into a pond on my property which borders his property. I do wish he would stop yelling at me. How much pool chemistry (say, calcium hypochlorite) would I need to add per gallon to my pool to damage his lawn? [more inside]
posted by mindsound on Sep 11, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me find a multi-line (4-8 lines preferred) scientific calculator!

One of my chemistry courses this semester requires that I use a non-programmable, scientific calculator on all exams. Do you know of any multi-line calculators with a similar keypad to my TI-84+ Silver edition? A lot of the calculators I've looked at on Amazon appear to be of the 2-line variety; the ones that have 4-lines don't have the ability to take inverse logs or to create custom-defined exponents. It'd be really nice to have as large a display as possible; money is no issue.
posted by lotusmish on Aug 20, 2013 - 5 answers

How do I grad school: management skills edition

I'm a grad student in the sciences, going into my (mumble) year. I've been assigned an incoming grad student to show the ropes. Great! What the hell do I do? [more inside]
posted by kagredon on Aug 20, 2013 - 9 answers

Looking for a Chinese and English GCSE science book

I'm looking for two books, one biology, one chemistry. They are related to GCSE, they say that on the front of the books, but I don't know if they're licensed. One has a green cover, one has a blue cover, but they both have pictures on the front. The good thing about these books is that they explain scientific concepts through diagrams in one-pagers, which are conveniently in both Chinese and English. Help me find these books? [more inside]
posted by sarae on Aug 14, 2013 - 3 answers

Acid base calculation?

How do you go about calculating the quantity of a base you would need to change the pH of a solution? [more inside]
posted by RobotHero on Aug 8, 2013 - 5 answers

When detergents burn

If a detergent such as sodium lauryl sulfate burned (say it was a additive to gunpowder) what does it become? Does it stay as sodium lauryl sulfate, or does it change into something else?
posted by john123357 on Jul 27, 2013 - 25 answers

Falling in love feels impossible to me.

To what extent should someone question their ability to fall in love after enduring countless "lukewarm" relationships? [more inside]
posted by jpritcha on Jul 23, 2013 - 16 answers

How to sort of cram for my cumulative chemistry test

I need to ace a cumulative general chemistry 1 test on Wednesday. It's worth a huge portion of my grade. Cramming (in the traditional sense of the word) is pretty much inevitable as it is a summer class so a shitload of information had to be covered in a few weeks. What should I do for the next 24-32 hours? How little sleep can I get away with the night before the exam? P.S. I have ADHD [more inside]
posted by DayTripper on Jul 8, 2013 - 12 answers

Futuristic functional food inspiration needed

I want to write a science fiction story where somebody spends a few weeks or so living off a food that was intended for people colonising another planet, with odd effects. I'm not that scientifically knowledgeable and I want this to be grounded in facts. More details below. [more inside]
posted by KateViolet on Jul 7, 2013 - 14 answers

How caustic are alkaline batteries?

I had some AA energizer max alkaline batteries in my keyboard and one leaked. When I went to remove it some one the powder got between the keys on my keyboard. How caustic is the potassium hydroxide solution in this stuff? Is it concentrated or pretty diluted? Is it safe when its dry? I cant easily clean between my keys.
posted by john123357 on May 26, 2013 - 7 answers

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