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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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'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]
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]
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]
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]
How would a graduate chemistry student distinguish themselves as more gifted than their classmates? [more inside]
What readily available materials change state at a constant, predictable rate in an easily observable manner? [more inside]
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]
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]
How can you tell where water came from? Lets say I give you a bucket of water taken from a local water source (river, lake, etc). There's some plants and maybe a fish in it as well. What could you tell me about where this water came from, could you pinpoint which body it came from, and how would you come to this conclusion? [more inside]
What do you think should be on a university science department's website? If you were a student researching/applying for an UG or Masters program, or someone generally interested in the dept, what would you like to see and where? Alternatively, what are good examples of science dept. websites that you have seen? [more inside]
Help forgetful me locate this red, science-heavy cookbook! [more inside]
I'm considering going to law school. I have BSs in chemistry and biochemistry. If I went, I'd like to end up practicing in an area where my scientific education is useful. Other than patent law, in what legal specialties would my background be helpful? [more inside]
What would you like to read about Chemistry (and maybe science in general) from a non-scientist POV? [more inside]
In a few weeks I'll be giving a talk to my research group about chemical safety. Please help me find stories, videos, and photos to make it interesting, awe-inspiring, and informative! [more inside]
I'm looking for the chemistry version of A Brief History of Time. Does it exist? [more inside]
If you were to combine 1 cup of skim milk and 1 cup of 2% milk, does that essentially give you two cups of 1% milk? [more inside]
I'm giving a presentation next month need a funny joke about the difference between chemists/scientists and engineers (because I'm an engineer doing chemistry) [more inside]
What's the best software for prepping for college-level hard sciences? [more inside]
BookFilter: I'm looking for a book for my (26-year-old) brother on what I'd call "kitchen chemistry"; i.e. cool experiments that you can do at home just for the sake of making something awesome happen. [more inside]
What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
What is the best way to move hot air? Would it be blowing air across the heat source (ex: wood stove) or suck the air away from the heat source? [more inside]
What happened to my Shampoo? I mixed two different Shampoo brands about 70/30 and liked the resultant mixture. The next time I mixed them 50/50 and overnight the mixture lost all it's "thickness" (viscosity, I guess) and still works fine, but is as thin as milk if not thinner. [more inside]
What is the most important scientific question of our time? [more inside]
Please help me really grok chemistry. [more inside]
Methanol will make you blind. The antidote is ethanol. Drink hard liquor if you can't get to a hospital.
Good resources for rules-of-thumb for laboratory dangers and chemical safety? [more inside]
A question for chemists - I am doing a calculation about the energy requirements of taking CO2 at atmospheric pressure and temperature and compressing it to 2 MPa (2000 kPa, about 300 psi) and cooling it to -31ºC and am a bit uncertain about handling the phase change from gas to liquid. [more inside]
Is there a chemical explanation for the density of an element or is it simply an innate physical characteristic? [more inside]
What is a bricks-and-mortar store at which I could buy a set of model elements / bonds - the molecule model things that students use as they are learning organic chemistry? [more inside]
What is the correct thermodynamic explanation for the fact that all monosaccharides with 5 or more backbone carbon atoms occur predominately in their cyclic form in solution?
ChemistryFilter: What chemicals are out there that can stain a t-shirt, but then be quickly dissolved with a chemical? Bonus points: Chemicals are safe enough for compost heap, and won't dissolve in a washing machine. [more inside]
NewAcademicJobFilter: What did/should you do, to start off a new academic job at a new institution and do it right? Lab? Colleagues? Students? People to know? Actions to take? How did you leave your own institution? [more inside]
"A human is halfway in size between an atom and the known universe"... This is a paraphrased quote I have come across several times. I like it. Who said it first? How true is it in the most literal sense? And, finally, what errors arrive in postulating a universe, or an atom, which can be measured AT ALL from our singular, relativistic, perspective? [more inside]
Measuring alcohol content without a hydrometer? [more inside]
What is the underlying physiological cause for paresthesia (tingling of the fingers) secondary to hyperventilation? Specifically, what metabolic or neurological process causes you to feel tingling in your fingers when you hyperventilate?
When I pour sugar in my coffee the total volume in my mug increases. What happen to the volume when the sugar dissolves (decreasing or stable ?) ?
Theoretically, if I needed large amounts of carbon, could I extract it from the air? How could I do it?
What would happen if you take a cube of ice, at a specific size, and fit it in an airthight glass box with the exact same dimensions, and then let it melt? [more inside]