You might be a chemistry major if...

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oxoiron
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You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby oxoiron » Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:41 pm UTC

Obligatory thread to keep up with the Joneses.

As chemistry merges physics and biology, we can hijack most of their stuff anyway. :P
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PoliteProgrammer
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby PoliteProgrammer » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:34 pm UTC

As a physicist now working on problems in quantum chemistry, you might be a chemistry major if:

--> you insist on using non-SI units (ground state of hydrogen in CALORIES wtf?)
--> you don't go a day without the fire alarm going off (my computer lab is next to a practical lab; I was working yesterday, in complete silence, when all of a sudden someone screamed, "OH MY GOD, PUT IT OUT! PUT IT OUT!" I got burned by cheese.)
--> you have at least two names for everything

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oxoiron
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby oxoiron » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

PoliteProgrammer wrote:--> you have at least two four names for everything
Edited for correctness.
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MHD
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby MHD » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:24 am UTC

If you know how to type Å on a non scandinavian keyboard. (1 Å = 0.1 nm)
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brodieboy255
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby brodieboy255 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:56 am UTC

You remember more exceptions to rules than the rules themselves

Yggdrasil
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Yggdrasil » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:04 am UTC

You know you are an organic chemist if...
... you've started and/or witnessed a fire in lab.
... you see a firetruck with its sirens on and quickly check whether it's headed in the direction of your lab.
... you wash your hands before going to the bathroom.
... all your shirts have holes.
... when someone says 'sodium' you don't think about salt, but you think about a clay-like metal that goes well with a big lake :twisted: .
... OH is a hydroxy group, not Ohio.
... you hear the word 'molar' and teeth are the last thing on your mind.
... you see the word 'periodic' and it is an iodine compound.
... you see the word 'unionized' and it has nothing to do with labor unions.
... working 'in the hood' means something completely different to you than to other (normal) people.

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meat.paste
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby meat.paste » Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:41 pm UTC

You glance at a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook and can spot ALL the synthesis errors.
Where the hell is the addition of a protecting group to the amine before that step?!?

You insist on using full names for drugs (It's acetaminophenol, people).

You have holes in your nylon carpet from spilling a strong acid and can totally explain why.

Mole is a number and not a mammal or a sauce.

The use of non-IUPAC naming pisses you off when you want to draw the structure of a molecule.

You know what IUPAC means.
Huh? What?

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby James Scott-Brown » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

. . .You laugh when someone calls `acetaminophenol' a full name, and insist on calling it N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethanamide

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Kow
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Kow » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:18 pm UTC

Yggdrasil wrote:... you see the word 'unionized' and it has nothing to do with labor unions.

Wow. Definitely this for me. Not a chem major though.

- You can cite Avogadro's number from memory
Image

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby meat.paste » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

James Scott-Brown wrote:. . .You laugh when someone calls `acetaminophenol' a full name, and insist on calling it N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethanamide


Nicely done, sir. However, the IUPAC naming convention would call it acetamide, not ethanamide according to my copy of the CRC (granted it's from 1978, but the name is confirmed in a 2007 paper here
Huh? What?

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oxoiron
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby oxoiron » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:23 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:
PoliteProgrammer wrote:--> you have at least two four names for everything
Edited for correctness.
And now you two have managed to reach the four-name quota for that compound. Nicely done!
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)."-- Mark Twain
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby ducksan » Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:18 am UTC

A few things that happen(ed) to me, as a chemistry fanatic (and a major, to fit the thread):

(going back to the Tylenol thing) You hear about a new drug on TV/etc. and immediately go to look up its structure, toxicity, metabolites, class of drug, (e.g. opioids, which I would hope you don't see too often),
all that stuff. Hell, you do this with any drug you hear about, especially one you have to take.
You confuse the MBTA (the T in Boston, our public transit) with the abbreviation for methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE).
At old car shows, you smell the exhaust (the cars still run) and immediately think "No catalytic converters in these things, that's for sure."
You smell something vile and try to determine if it's an amine or thiol, or maybe something else entirely.
You've tried to make thermite with a coffee grinder (aluminum) and steel wool + a propane torch. (It failed.)
You considered buying sulfuric acid at a garage sale (battery acid) to do nitrations with because you have some potassium nitrate at home.
You've bought methanol at a garage sale.
You've bought road flares ("fusees") at a garage sale.
You regularly demonstrate hypergolic reactions to your family and friends.
You manage your own swimming pool and know that alkalinity/pH (in this industry, they are different) increaser is just overpriced baking soda.
Similarly, you are confused by "% active chlorine" listed on shock/sanitizer containers, wondering where they get the number from.
You know aspartame does not cause cancer.
You know that people can easily be misled by the notion of scary-sounding chemicals and are thankfully immune to this.
You've accidentally made a firework.
You can make large balls of green fire.
You've accidentally made chlorine gas.

That's enough for now.
The science flew off Gordon Freeman's face and landed and blowed up in a BOOM!

medlii
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby medlii » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:47 am UTC

... You know that the word "nuclear" doesn't imply something radioactive
... You can look at the t-shirts with some molecule (caffeine, chocolate, etc) and identify it before reading the rest of the shirt
... You've tried to spell out your name using only atomic symbols
... You've tried to incorporate your name into a chemical compound or element (my name is Meg, another handle of mine is megnesium)
... You think of everyday things in terms of their dependence on the rate-determining step (ex- Two friends are coming over for dinner. One is always 15 minutes late. She is the rate-determining step)
... You laugh at things like this (the last one is my favorite)

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby UnderRock » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:55 am UTC

Kow wrote: - You can cite Avogadro's number from memory

84,446,8883 (My professor mentioned this once and I like to remember it this way, instead. :D)

-You look at the ingredients listed on food packages and try to see how many listings you know the chemical composition of.

Edit: I thought of another one!
-You invert a food item when the package states "shake well."
Last edited by UnderRock on Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:46 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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BlackSails
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby BlackSails » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

When inhaling halogen gases is a near daily occurrence in your organic chemistry lab

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Sungura » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Whenever you or a family member is prescribed a new medication the first thing you do is go look up papers of trials, patents, and structure, and try to figure out how to synthesize it yourself for fun (on paper, I mean....not really doing it....although there are some I could...*shifty eyes*)
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Minchandre » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:09 pm UTC

You can tell if your eggs are rotten because they smell like sulfur-bearing compounds. (this actually happened to me once!)

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Kasperl » Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

- You've considered boiling vinegar in your pans as an alternative to washing up.
- You love the smell of acetone.
- You're used to using parafilm to cover small cuts before using organic solvents.
Just another forum newbie, asking all the stupid questions again.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Ingolifs » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:48 am UTC

You remember more exceptions to rules than the rules themselves

You know aspartame does not cause cancer.
You smell something vile and try to determine if it's an amine or thiol, or maybe something else entirely.
going back to the Tylenol thing) You hear about a new drug on TV/etc. and immediately go to look up its structure, toxicity, metabolites, class of drug, (e.g. opioids, which I would hope you don't see too often),
You laugh at things like this (the last one is my favorite)[/quote]

Yes to all of these!

more:
-You look at the ingredients on a bottle of shampoo or similar and are able to provide a running commentary on the chemicals. (PEG-100, for the rheological 'gel' feel, 1-butanol as a solvent, SDS the surfactant, etc)
-You know your E-numbers, and can tell which colours are from natural sources and which are azo dyes. (incidently, the white 'm' on each M&M is printed in titanium dioxide.)
-You wish you had a squeegee bottle of acetone when you do your dishes.
-You are able to identify the taste of ethyl acetate in a bottle of rancid wine.
-You can draw a perfect hexagon (or pentagon, for that matter) in 0.5 seconds
-You use medical syringes in your lab and have done the 'sharing needles' joke to death
-You've jotted down a synthetic pathway to methamphetamine
-You cringe when you hear others attribute 'organic' and 'natural' to healthy.
-You can tell a pair of pretend chemistry beakers are not made of pyrex glass because they don't feel heavy enough.
-You die of cancer

This one's more specific
You know you're an azulene chemist when:
-You cut yourself, see blood and think to yourself 'That's an interesting colour'.
I belong to the tautologist's school of thought, that science is by definition, science.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Link » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:58 am UTC

Ingolifs wrote:
You remember more exceptions to rules than the rules themselves

-You cringe when you hear others attribute 'organic' and 'natural' to healthy.
...You give those people a flask of methanol to drink just to prove them wrong. :D

-For any and every solid a person names, you can instantly name a liquid in which it is soluble.
-Not only can you name the majority of compounds of anything you taste, you also know exactly which functional groups are responsible for each nuance in the taste.
-When you inevitably burn yourself with hydrochloric/sulphuric acid, your first reaction is to grab some lye to neutralise it.
-You have a small waste disposal and water purification plant in your basement.
-You dislike gold because its inertness is boring.

AFedchuck
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby AFedchuck » Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:24 pm UTC

Gold, boring?
Might want to take a look at a few catalysts (C-H activation), aurophilicity or its high electron affinity. You want boring, you need to look at the lanthanides.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Link » Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:49 pm UTC

AFedchuck wrote:Gold, boring?
Might want to take a look at a few catalysts (C-H activation), aurophilicity or its high electron affinity. You want boring, you need to look at the lanthanides.

Well there ya go. I'm no chemistry major and you just proved that :-P .

e: also...
YMBACM if...
-More than 80% of your household's gas bill is due to bunsen burner usage.
-You feel strangely naked when you're not wearing goggles and gloves.
-You have a chemiluminescent night light - just because you can.
-Your favourite cure for clogged sinuses is sniffing ammonia.*
-Whenever someone mentions "plastic", you can't help but wonder which plastic they're talking about.
-When you find you're out of a certain chemical, your first thought is "do I have anything to synthesise it with?" instead of "I need to buy it".
-You've modified your car to run on filtered waste products.

*I've done that on numerous occasions. It works well, but it hurts like hell if you inhale too deeply.
Last edited by Link on Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Sungura » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

You enjoy putting a piece of dry ice in a small eppi tube and throw it under someone's desk...and wait... :D

You have figured out the art of hiding a dH2O squirt bottle doodad in your labcoat, walk up to someone and aim it inside the slit in the side of their coat (the one that goes through for getting to your own pockets) so they don't know they have wet pants until they take the lab coat off.
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BlackSails
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby BlackSails » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:36 am UTC

Link wrote:-When you inevitably burn yourself with hydrochloric/sulphuric acid, your first reaction is to grab some lye to neutralise it.


Water works much better for neutralization. With Lye you need a very particular amount to not overshoot the equivalence point and give yourself base burns instead of acid burns. Water you can just put as much on as you can.

Lab safety is serious business

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Yggdrasil » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:48 am UTC

In case of acid burns*, sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) is best. It's basic so it'll neutralize the acid, but it won't harm you like lye would (aqueous sodium bicarbonate give a buffered solution of pH ~7). Plus, it's cheap and easy to obtain even for home chemists. Every chemistry lab should have an easily accessible jar of sodium bicarbonate for just this purpose. Do you know where your lab's supply of sodium bicarbonate is?

*unless it is HF. Then, immediately apply calcium gluconate paste (a must when working with HF).


Of course this leads to another YMBACM: You say sodium bicarbonate rather than baking soda.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:38 am UTC

YM not BACM if this discussion just reminds you of Fight Club.
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Animastryfe » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:57 am UTC

Yggdrasil wrote:Of course this leads to another YMBACM: You say sodium bicarbonate rather than baking soda.


I'm not a chemistry major, but I am far more familiar with the name "sodium bicarbonate" than baking soda. I have only just started learning to cook.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby meat.paste » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:16 am UTC

A blast from the past...

YM become ACM if you've ever burned a hole in a marble counter top, then realized that of course the CaCO3 decomposed and left pockmarks.
Huh? What?

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Link » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:24 am UTC

YMBACM if...
-You reek of sulphur and your skin is a permanent orange from working with nitric acid all day long.
-You have to re-pour your concrete basement floor every few months because it's too corroded to stand on.
-When you die and are cremated, the crematorium explodes/if you're buried, the grass near your grave dies.
-You use the term "ethanolic" instead of "alcoholic".

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby BlackSails » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:05 pm UTC

YMBACM if you have a pair of shorts of jeans with larges holes from concentrated sulphuric and nitric acid.

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oxoiron
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby oxoiron » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:40 pm UTC

YMBACM if your non-chemist friends and family think you know what every chemical is and ask you questions about things they saw on a paint can, nail polish bottle, etc.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)."-- Mark Twain
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Whelan » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:YMBACM if your non-chemist friends and family think you know what every chemical is and ask you questions about things they saw on a paint can, nail polish bottle, etc.

YMBACM if you actually know the answers to their questions.
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Sungura » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:02 am UTC

Whelan wrote:
oxoiron wrote:YMBACM if your non-chemist friends and family think you know what every chemical is and ask you questions about things they saw on a paint can, nail polish bottle, etc.

YMBACM if you actually know the answers to their questions.

YMBACM if you answer these questions without them actually asking them.
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:36 am UTC

Ingolifs wrote:-You can draw a perfect hexagon (or pentagon, for that matter) in 0.5 seconds
I gave up and bought a stencil for hexagons. (I wish I could have had the nicer one with pentagons and the boat/chair conformations, but that was never priced for a student budget.)
Kasperl wrote:- You love the smell of acetone.
I prefer the cool and refreshing sensation of spilling it on yourself.
Yggdrasil wrote:Of course this leads to another YMBACM: You say sodium bicarbonate rather than baking soda.
Sodium hydrogen carbonate, dammit!

-You have more than one molecular model kit
-Having found you don't need it anymore, you've constructed amusing animals from your molecular model kit

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Ingolifs
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Ingolifs » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:01 am UTC

oxoiron wrote:YMBACM if your non-chemist friends and family think you know what every chemical is and ask you questions about things they saw on a paint can, nail polish bottle, etc.


My dad does that to me all the time. He knows a bit about what I know and what I do, so he'll ask me obscure questions about stuff he notices while painting/digging trenches/gardening or whatever. Usually I say straight off that I do not know the answer to his question, but then go on to explain some general concepts and likely answers anyway.
I belong to the tautologist's school of thought, that science is by definition, science.

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby oxoiron » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:-Having found you don't need it anymore never needed it, you've constructed amusing animals from your molecular model kit
YMBACM if you bought a molecular modeling kit just to make animals, because it's easier and faster to manipulate molecular models in your head.
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby philsov » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

you see this:

Image

and don't think "triangle."
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby Whelan » Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:56 am UTC

I thought "Fire Triangle" Does that count?
"I like to be understood whenever I open my mouth; I have a horror of blinding people with science"- Richard Dawkins
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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby The-Rabid-Monkey » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:12 am UTC

philsov wrote:you see this:

Image

and don't think "triangle."

Whelan wrote:I thought "Fire Triangle" Does that count?

I think "Give way sign"
This is why;
Image
Yes I know it's upside down.

YMBACM if you always carefully examine tables and benches before leaning on them.
OR
YMBACM if you have to buy new pants every few weeks because you don't check benches and tables carefully before leaning against them.
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right. - Salvor Hardin, From Isaac Asimov's "Foundation".

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Re: You might be a chemistry major if...

Postby dedalus » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:37 am UTC

You might be a biochemistry major if the lab's safety advisor has given up trying to get you to wear labcoats or safety glasses...
You might be a chemistry major if:
- You think using million dollar pieces of equipment just to test a hunch is standard practice
- You see a hexagon and wonder if there is a carbon at each corner
- You interchange the words alcohol and ethanol whilst talking about drinking
- Whilst inebriated, you describe in detail what the chemicals are doing to you.
- The number one reason why you don't like drugs is because they're not made in a laboratory.
- You'd get much more pleasure synthesising the drugs yourself then actually taking them.
- You think novelty glasses with different shapes are boring because the lab equipment beats them hands down.
- Cigarettes don't bother you because you deal daily with chemicals about 10 times as carcinogenic.

Btw Amy, I like your squirt bottle trick :D. Will have to learn. We usually just put ice down peoples shirts.
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