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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Why does almond milk curdle in my cold brew? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
I don't feel sexually attracted to my spouse anymore. What now? [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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?
What on earth is this item of chemistry glassware for?
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]
What types of crystals should I look into growing if I want them to grow/attach onto a wooden panel? [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
[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]
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]
how is benzonitrile less soluble than methylbenzene? I'm baffled [more inside]
My pillbox is gross, and it seems to be coming from a pill. What the heck? [more inside]
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]
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]
Is there a way to learn chemistry that is 1) fun/funny/in some way entertaining 2) via audio? [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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]
I would like to make my own nail polish remover. Where can I buy acetone-safe measuring equipment? [more inside]
Do you have any tips on how to behave on early dates to increase romantic chemistry? [more inside]
Decent paring knife emerges from bleach-soap-water presoak with pitting corrosion. WTF? [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
How do you go about calculating the quantity of a base you would need to change the pH of a solution? [more inside]
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?
To what extent should someone question their ability to fall in love after enduring countless "lukewarm" relationships? [more inside]
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]
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]
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.
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.