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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

Where can I learn more about synthetic elements?

I'm doing a creative writing project involving the history of synthetic elements. I've exhausted Wikipedia but haven't delved too much into other resources yet. Can someone recommend a website or book or other resource? I don't have a chemistry background, so I prefer information that isn't too technical. Alternately, if anyone here is an expert, feel free to share any info at all--it's all helpful.
posted by mermaidcafe on Apr 29, 2013 - 5 answers

Freshly grated parmesan cheese - turns blue in a copper bowl?

My SO and I were having some italian-themed chicken wings, and had some fresh-grated parmesan cheese on the side in a copper bowl. After our meal, we were cleaning up and transferring the leftovers to the fridge for storage, and the cheese on the bottom of the bowl had turned a light blue. Does anyone know why this happened? Given that it happened over only a few hours to just the cheese in contact with the bowl, I'm thinking it was some kind of reaction with the copper.
posted by mikurski on Apr 3, 2013 - 10 answers

Silent Science Videos To Entertain Teens?

Looking for videos to create a youtube playlist to entertain a group of science-minded teenagers for about 30 min that are largely visual. Sound is fine but the bulk shouldn't be someone talking to the class like an instructor - visualizations are best - ideally they should look really, really cool. Class is engineering focused, but chemistry, robotics, wobbly bridges, comp-sci, biology, are all welcome. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Mar 24, 2013 - 6 answers

What combination of these materials will create a cool reaction?

Chemistry-buffs, please help! I'm trying to figure out how to create as destructive a chemical reaction as possible (something along the lines of an acid eating through a base) using only limited materials. For story purposes, this reaction has to be created by using some combination of the following materials only: [more inside]
posted by np312 on Feb 23, 2013 - 7 answers

Not-OK Cupid

I've slept with a lot of guys and only enjoyed it with like 10% of them. Are my standards too high, or too low, or what? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 18, 2013 - 21 answers

New job selling laboratory equipment, but have no lab/science experience

I recently accepted a sales position within a company that sells laboratory equipment. (i.e. centrifuges, GC's, HPLC's, Thermal Cyclers, etc) I have no previous lab or science experience, so learning about a myriad of highly technical products/methods is a quite challenging. My main challenge comes from the fact that I need to engage in conversations with scientists, chemists, biologists on a daily basis. With no previous lab experience, I've been having a hard time talking to them on technical level. [more inside]
posted by AMWKE1984 on Feb 8, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me think through Lead in drinking water-- math, chemistry, biology

We're buying a house (still negotiating, hence the anonymity), and we have learned that the level of lead in the water is slightly above the expected range. Not knowing whether this is a big deal, I've tried to do some math to figure out whether being over the threshold is an object of legitimate concern (or whether the range is the fruit of a hyperactive regulatory state) and the process has led me to even more questions. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 29, 2013 - 14 answers

The one I like isn't the one it will probably work out with.

I'm a woman, 20s. I'm talking to two women - A and B. A has everything I want on paper, and there's a spark there... but there's more of a spark with B, who has next to nothing I want on paper. Is it a bad idea to pick B? [more inside]
posted by Pericardium on Jan 23, 2013 - 18 answers

Smells like SCIENCE

After dropping chemistry post-GCSEs, I find myself reading a couple of books about perfume construction that have made me realise that molecules are interesting, and that if they're written about for a non-scientific audience, I understand and am engaged by them more. How can I learn more without being scared off by Really Hard Science? And are there other books or articles which deal with the construction of scents and smells? [more inside]
posted by mippy on Jan 2, 2013 - 6 answers

Other oils to protect steel

I play an Array Mbira. The tines are made of spring steel. I have sweaty hands, so the tines tend to rust unless I coat them with oil. The folks who make the instrument recommend 3-In-One Oil, which is what I've been using. Does it contain anything toxic? Are there other oils I could use to protect the tines? [more inside]
posted by gray17 on Dec 28, 2012 - 7 answers

Polyester-friendly way to remove/dissolve Oasis wet floral foam

How to remove/dissolve Oasis wet floral foam? Problem: must be polyester friendly. [more inside]
posted by Chef Flamboyardee on Dec 9, 2012 - 3 answers

Bitter aftertaste in apple butter?

I just made a large batch of apple butter (~8 pecks) in a giant uncoated copper kettle, cooked on top of a wood fire for the better part of the day. The texture is great, but there is a bitter aftertaste (stronger in some parts, like those from the side of the pot, than others) that slightly worries me — what could have caused it, and is it plausibly safe to eat? [more inside]
posted by caaaaaam on Nov 10, 2012 - 9 answers

Best pipettors for a biology lab

Lab workers: With which brand of pipette driver / pipettor should we stock our lab? [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Nov 3, 2012 - 7 answers

How do you recognize a gifted chemist?

How would a graduate chemistry student distinguish themselves as more gifted than their classmates? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 19, 2012 - 16 answers

Help me make mag spray and save $20 (SAIT)

Calling all chemists: I'm trying to recreate a store-bought magnesium gluconate elixir spray and am having some trouble. [more inside]
posted by jocelmeow on Oct 9, 2012 - 20 answers

Better living through chemistry?

Are there unpleasant compounds in plastic (specifically Britta filters) that are soluble in pure ethanol that I don't want to drink? [more inside]
posted by Lame_username on Sep 26, 2012 - 34 answers

Is there a brain chemistry boomerang effect?

Can going off and then later back on an antidepressant "do" something to your brain chemistry or is in some other way unsafe or unwise? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 13, 2012 - 16 answers

Chisel me of a chunk of dessert, will ya?

Food chemists! Help me make a sorbet! Challenge level: Spoonable AND sugar free. [more inside]
posted by sourwookie on Aug 20, 2012 - 8 answers

Nature's egg timer?

What readily available materials change state at a constant, predictable rate in an easily observable manner? [more inside]
posted by londonmark on Aug 15, 2012 - 12 answers

Why is baking soda slippery?

Solutions of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and potassium metabisulfite in water are both slippery to the touch. Why is that?
posted by Prince_of_Cups on Jul 5, 2012 - 3 answers

Chemist looking for non-chemistry work

I'm a current senior graduating with a degree in chemistry from a fairly selective liberal arts problem. The catch is that I really, really do not want a job in a chemistry lab when I graduate. I'm looking for ideas for alternative career options that would be realistic for a chemistry graduate. [more inside]
posted by aleatorictelevision on May 11, 2012 - 17 answers

What ever became of James Burke's little spheres?

In the final episode of James Burke's "Connections", he describes a secret experiment mixing CuSO4 and NaOH, and the potential uses for the result. That was the late 1970s--I am curious what actually happened since then. [more inside]
posted by This_Will_Be_Good on May 9, 2012 - 8 answers

Getting into chemistry grad school with no chemistry background?

I would like to pursue research in supramolecular chemistry, but I am a couple years out of school and do not have a chemistry background. Also, I lack letters of recommendation. I am certain I cannot get into a decent Ph.D. program, but do I have a shot at getting in a Master's program? Or must I resort to taking classes at a university somewhere? [more inside]
posted by nhamann on Apr 29, 2012 - 14 answers

Hemp me dehumidify

How can I quickly reduce relative humidity in a small enclosed environment within a fume hood without raising air temperature? [more inside]
posted by Long Way To Go on Apr 25, 2012 - 9 answers

Organic chemistry reaction/reagent database for a student?

I'm studying for my organic chemistry I final exam and I'm looking for some sort of searchable database of reactions and reagents to help me solve problems. [more inside]
posted by sunnichka on Apr 21, 2012 - 12 answers

Should I, as a gay male, settle when dating or in a relationship?

Should I, as a gay male, settle when dating or in a relationship? [more inside]
posted by jpritcha on Apr 12, 2012 - 15 answers

I want to be the Usain Bolt of Gen. Chem.: Fast and Flawless

Help me go from good to great in my general chemistry course. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 8, 2012 - 14 answers

Do you know anything about City College of San Francisco's biotech/computer skills certificates?

Has anyone completed the "Genomics Technology," and "Computer Skills for Scientists" certificate programs at the City College in San Francisco? My plan is to take these classes while finishing up pre-med requirements at the City College. Then I want to find a job in genetics research while I decide between medical school/finishing my biochem education at Berkeley. Is this feasible? Is this a good plan? [more inside]
posted by sunnichka on Mar 8, 2012 - 7 answers

MarvinSketch/ChemDraw Alternatives

Chemistry professors/authors - is there a more student friendly but web based (plug-in free) alternative to MarvinSketch out there other than ChemDraw? [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on Jan 4, 2012 - 1 answer

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