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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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemistry lab safety: Is the teacher at fault or am I overreacting?

Chemistry lab safety: Is the teacher at fault or am I overreacting? [more inside]
posted by gray17 on Dec 26, 2011 - 16 answers

Pre-exam Intermolecular Forces Confusion

Intermolecular forces questions: Why do H-S-S-H molecules have dipole-dipole attractions to eachother? Why does ion-dipole attraction make for a stronger solute-solvent interaction than hydrogen bonding? [more inside]
posted by sunnychef88 on Dec 13, 2011 - 8 answers

Come To Me, Red Cookbook!

Help forgetful me locate this red, science-heavy cookbook! [more inside]
posted by lonefrontranger on Oct 4, 2011 - 7 answers

Molar, normal, etc. in American?

How are American Chemistry textbooks different from international ones? [more inside]
posted by Marduk on Aug 4, 2011 - 16 answers

How do I identify this metal?

How do I identify the metal from which that this nameplate is made? It's from a WW2-era lathe. Is behaves somewhat like lead, but is harder. [more inside]
posted by introp on Jul 18, 2011 - 12 answers

Why is the best part of a homemade popsicle the melted part?

Homemade popsicle filter: why does melted popsicle taste better than frozen popsicle? [more inside]
posted by rebekah on Jun 5, 2011 - 16 answers

I wanna come down from this cloud

Why is my lemoncello cloudy? When I combine the simple sugar and the lemon infused alcohol, both of which are very transparent (although one is a luminous yellow) the resulting mixture becomes instantly cloudy. Can anyone explain why? For bonus points can you suggest a way to minimize this? [more inside]
posted by Lame_username on Apr 7, 2011 - 25 answers

Regulatory/ Legal issues for selling a chemical direct to consumers?

Can one sell a chemical over the internet if its not a precursor to meth or an ingredient in explosives? What regulatory and legal issues are there? [more inside]
posted by Twinedog on Mar 14, 2011 - 12 answers

splitting a froghair three ways-or, who is right?

Does compressed oxygen burn? Or do only objects IN compressed oxygen burn? Please settle this dinnertime discussion...The hubs and the daughter's boyfriend need to be told which one of them is right. Thanks!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Jan 5, 2011 - 19 answers

How can sulphur hexaflouride both be a greenhouse gas and heavier than air?

How come sulphur hexaflouride is an extremely potent greenhouse gas when it's much heavier than air? [more inside]
posted by gkhan on Dec 12, 2010 - 6 answers

Why do some liquids form azeotropes and not others?

I know *what* an azeotrope is, but I don't really know *why* an azeotrope happens. Please enlighten me. [more inside]
posted by selenized on Nov 11, 2010 - 7 answers

H2O2 + baking soday yields?

Hydrogen peroxide + baking soda = ???? [more inside]
posted by Kevin S on Sep 8, 2010 - 22 answers

Help me understand hair care chemistry

Help me understand hair care chemistry. When I look at the list of ingredients on bottles of conditioner, what ingredients should I avoid. I can't stand the 'waxy' feeling I get from some conditioners. My old favorite standby conditioner changed formulas recently and it now has the dreaded waxy ickiness. NOT looking for specific product recommendations, only for ingredients to avoid or possibly ingredients to look for. [more inside]
posted by marsha56 on Aug 17, 2010 - 16 answers

Making icecubes.

Should I use warm or cool water when I fill an ice cube tray to freeze? [more inside]
posted by Kilovolt on May 4, 2010 - 22 answers

Would a drug-manufacturing machine be legal?

Would a drug-manufacturing machine be legal? [more inside]
posted by unmake on Apr 5, 2010 - 20 answers

I'm melting

I am looking for a torch to melt pyrex (borosilicate glass). [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 25, 2010 - 11 answers

What are the top academic journals in various fields?

What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
posted by ollyollyoxenfree on Jan 30, 2010 - 49 answers

what's the science? and should i drink it?

my mother used to put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in milk to keep it fresh past the 'use by' date. it appears to work. very well. what's the chemistry behind this? and should i drink it?
posted by msconduct on Nov 30, 2009 - 16 answers

Hydrogen and Oxygen bond to make water... but why?

Please help me really grok chemistry. [more inside]
posted by Vorteks on Sep 24, 2009 - 14 answers

hotdogfilter - Why do BallPark Franks plump when you cook them?

hotdogfilter - Why do BallPark Franks plump when you cook them? [more inside]
posted by Paleoindian on Aug 6, 2009 - 22 answers

What is that strange acrid smell whle showering

My shower (an in-stall water heater) sometimes smells like something rubber is burning. It's a strong acrid smell that I only notice while in the shower and usually only after a sweaty workout. There is no sign of smoke like you would expect with burning rubber. Is this just some sort of weird sweat and treated water chemical reaction? Anybody heard of something like this?
posted by srboisvert on Jul 24, 2009 - 11 answers

Peeing for science!

PeeChemistryFilter: what the hell is going on here? [more inside]
posted by elizardbits on Jul 5, 2009 - 6 answers

Molecular cartography - how's it done?

What techniques do chemists use to map the molecular structure of a substance?
posted by shivohum on May 31, 2009 - 15 answers

What is a gel that turns to liquid with minor agitation?

What do you call a gel that turns into a liquid with very minor agitation/pressure? [more inside]
posted by Bugbread on May 30, 2009 - 10 answers

Flavor tome?

What are the main basic references on the art & science of flavor creation? [more inside]
posted by gorgor_balabala on May 25, 2009 - 6 answers

Attention chemists and nurses.

What chemical did I inject into myself, and will I be okay? [more inside]
posted by lostburner on May 21, 2009 - 14 answers

You've got something on your head there

I've just poured myself a Dark Horse Brewery Tres Blueberry Stout. A slow, steady pour that left a modest head on top. And then a droplet or two skidded around over the foam like a water droplet on a hot frypan for maybe five seconds before disappearing. Darndest thing I've ever seen. Beer geniuses, how did this happen? How can I make it happen again?
posted by ardgedee on May 15, 2009 - 6 answers

Laser printing and inkjet techology filter

How do laser and inkjet printers work? I know the basics, of course, but I am looking for serious expertise at the level of the actual chemistry and physics... things like fuzer specs, toner chemistry, deposition, transfer, particle masses, exotic materials; in short... the stuff an actual expert would know. [more inside]
posted by FauxScot on May 7, 2009 - 5 answers

It's Alive!!!!

I have sulfuric acid, de-ionized water, and basic lab equipment. Can I revive my crappy car battery? [more inside]
posted by scose on Feb 23, 2009 - 18 answers

the green fairy's cousin

why does pernod turn milky when water is added? [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Feb 14, 2009 - 7 answers

Aluminum foil turned brown; should I be worried?

I made (delicious!) mashed sweet potatoes in a conventional stove-top pot, covered the pot with Reynolds aluminum foil, then put it in a still warm but off-position oven (simply to save stove-top and counter space for the moment while wanting it to stay at room-temperature). Retrieving the pot a few hours later, I found that the inner surface of the foil had turned a light brown. It was also moist from the condensation, but had remained clean, unoiled, unburnt. I've cooked quite a bit and never seen this. What could be causing such discoloration, and is it a worrying symptom (of, say, toxins in the foil)? [more inside]
posted by taramosalata on Dec 14, 2008 - 6 answers

How to change the brightness on a Varian SpectrAA 55

Chemist-Filter: I am an analytical chemist working for a company that specializes in leaching semi-precious metals out of waste material. The display on our Varian AA (atomic absorption) Spectroscope is too dark. Can it be fixed without calling in our repair/maintenance technician? All information is appreciated. [more inside]
posted by mrw on Oct 9, 2008 - 5 answers

Density? I'm dense.

Is there a chemical explanation for the density of an element or is it simply an innate physical characteristic? [more inside]
posted by beta male on Jan 21, 2008 - 14 answers

Your Experiences with Online Dating Services?

Have you used Chemistry.Com? eHarmony? Match? Etc.? [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Sep 20, 2007 - 48 answers

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