DailyDirt: Chemistry Isn't Just A Class Everyone Hated In High School….

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Chemistry is a fascinating subject, but usually it gets a bad rap. Still, chemistry affects almost every aspect of our lives — even though most people don’t think about it that much. Here are some interesting chemical discoveries that have made it into the news recently. Any reactions?

By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Chemistry Isn't Just A Class Everyone Hated In High School….”

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Raptor85 (user link) says:

I loved chem..

Until high school when they decided fire from the burners, the oxygen nozzles, and CHEMICALS were too “dangerous” for students to be around. Once we were restricted to 100% book work my interest in chemistry fell to a minimum until I started getting into small electronics and…er..data destruction.

Any reactions?


The helium 3 problem is actually pretty interesting though, my memory is fuzzy but wouldn’t that be one of the side products of a reactor capable of using what’s currently being buried as nuclear waste as fuel? (not my area of expertise) If so that’s THREE birds with one stone (make helium 3, generate energy, get rid of nuclear waste)

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Making Chemistry Both Fun and Safe.

Well, you understand, myself, I took chemistry back in the early 1970’s. I don’t remember the details, but I believe someone did something dumb with carbon tetrachloride one time– but no harm done. We used nitric acid all the time, and made bits of glassware from tubing in a bunsen burner flame…

I understand that at U. Oregon, they are doing what they call “green chemistry,” meaning, for example, an experiment in which they use evaporating dry ice in a test tube to pressure-extract the essential oils from fruit peels, that kind of thing. There was an article about it in the alumni magazine. I used to know some people in the chemistry department there. There was one professor who was famous for having explosions during his demonstrations, to the point that it became standing joke. Maybe that had something to do with Oregon’s early adoption of Green Chemistry.


Anonymous Coward says:

Chemistry is something, started with cooking thousand of years ago and evolved into what we have today.

BTW, did you guys know that, Kelvin was a brewer and because he needed to maintain temperatures at exact levels he made some amazing discoveries for what he was honored for eternity by having his name be a measure of temperature? or that airplanes manufacturing in the beginning of the last century was done by furniture manufacturer’s?(see Hitler’s Stealth Fighter a.k.a. Horten Ho 229 and the Amerika Bomber), or that microscopes came about in the weaving industry because textile manufacturers needed a way to inspect what they produced, I don’t think people realize how much transferable abilities there are in their normal lifes.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

I loved Chem class in high school, and even more in college. Then again, I did some stuff in high school chemistry that would likely have gotten me expelled and the teacher fired (some on accident, others on purpose.)

My most favorite was making hydrogen, then lighting it on fire. Of course, I also accidentally mixed Silver Nitrate with Nitric Acid, and the teacher evacuated the classroom (since I didn’t do it under the fume hood.) Cannot remember exactly what I was trying to do, but I had never made Nitrous Oxide (NO) before that.

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