anonymous asked:

Favorite bad chemistry/science joke??

Oh man the semester before I transferred I had a habit of leaving sticky notes with chemistry/science pickup lines on the door of one of my hallmates, but now I can’t remember the one that was my favorite.

I know one of the ones I used was “you’re hotter than 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide” which is the IUPAC name for capsaicin (the active component that makes chili peppers spicy) but that wasn’t my favorite one. DAMN I wish I could remember… I should’ve written it down…


Some of the heaviest elements ever seen have been given tentative names by their discoverers. The namesakes? Three places and a Russian dude.

These names aren’t settled on quite yet - there is a five month probation period during which the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) welcomes public comment. You can email the IUPAC president directly with your thoughts.

If you discovered an element, what would you name it?

Nomenclature Corner: Carboxylic Acids

The typical sophomore organic course covers the basics of IUPAC nomenclature for simple molecules: linear chains of 5 carbons and greater are denoted by numerical prefixes from Greek and Latin, while groups smaller than that are given historical prefixes: “meth-”, “eth-”, “prop-”, and “but-”.

However, chemistry has a tendency to retain a lot of trivial names. The series of linear carboxylic acids, while easily named with IUPAC nomenclature, all have a separate set of historical names with varying usage frequency. These names, up to C10, are:

  • C1: Formic, “ant” - Formic acid is found in ant venom, and was originally isolated via the distillation of ant bodies.
  • C2: Acetic, “vinegar” - Acetic acid is the primary component of vinegar (after water).
  • C3: Propionic, “first fat” - Propionic acid is the first carboxylic acid to have physical properties similar to the archetypical fatty acid; Although miscible in water, addition of salt will cause a separate organic layer to form (unlike formic or acetic acid).
  • C4: Butyric, “butter” - As with many four-carbon compounds, butyric acid has the smell of rancid butter.
  • C5: Valeric - Valeric acid naturally occurs in the gardan valerian, V. officinalis.
  • C6/8/10: Caproic/Caprylic/Capric, “goat” - All three of these carboxylic acids have an unpleasant goat-like smell.
  • C7: Enanthic, “wine bloom” - The smell of enanthic acid is similar to wine that has gone bad.
  • C9: Pelargonic - Pelargonic acid is found in geraniums, genus Pelargonium

As the number of carbons in the carboxylic acid increases, the frequency of the common name in the chemical fields tends to decrease: C1 and C2 acids are exclusively known as formic and acetic acid, C3~C5 acids are called by either name, and C6+ acids are generally known by their IUPAC name. Biochemical and biological fields use the trivial names more frequently (for example, cholesteryl pelargonate and testosterone enanthate). Lactones and lactams are also sometimes named using these trivial names (γ-valerolactone, ε-caprolactam, etc.).

IUPAC, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: Name new element 117 Octarine, in honour of Terry Pratchett's Discworld
This petition is to name element 117, recently confirmed by the International Union of Applied Chemistry, as 'Octarine', with the proposed symbol Oc (pronounced 'ook'), in honour of the late Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series of books. The Discworld series has sold more than 70 million books worldwide, in 37 different languages. Terry Pratchett died in 2015 and his final book, The Shepherd's Crown, was published in the same year. He was well-known as a lover of science and, with two well-known science writers, co-wrote a series of four books called The Science of the Discworld, which took a sideways look at 'roundworld' (Earth) science. Octarine, in the Discworld books, is known as 'the colour of magic', which forms the title of Pratchett's first ever Discworld book. According to Disc mythology, octarine is visible only to wizards and cats, and is generally described as a sort of greenish-yellow purple colour, which seems perfect for what will probably be the final halogen in the periodic table. Octarine is also a particularly pleasing choice because, not only would it honour a world-famous and much-loved author, but it also has an 'ine' ending, consistent with the other elements in period 17. Octarine is being counted as 'a mythological concept' under IUPAC rules, which state that elements must be named after "a mythological concept or character; a mineral, or similar substance; a place or geographical region; a property of the element; or a scientist". The Discworld stories are certainly stories about gods and heroes, and 70 million books surely count for something.

Like the idea? Go sign the petition. I did.

hi, my name is S)-N-((R)-1-(((3S,6R,7S,10R,11S,15S,17S,20S,25aS)-10-((S)-sec-butyl)-11-hydroxy-20-isobutyl-15-isopropyl-3-(4-methoxybenzyl)-2,6,17-trimethyl-1,4,8,13,16,18,21-heptaoxodocosahydro-1H-pyrrolo[2,1-f][1,15,4,7,10,20]dioxatetraazacyclotricosin-7-yl)amino)-4-methyl-1-oxopentan-2-yl)-N-methyl-1-(2-oxopropanoyl)pyrrolidine-2-carboxamide,

but you can call me Aplidine.

I’m at Dubai International Airport right now, 12.20 am Local time (4.20am Malaysia Time)!! It’s just the first transit and I’m halfway dead already!! 2 more to go!! I hope I can still stand up straight once I arrive at Puerto Rico Airport (> 24 hours later) :)

The above update is as promised! Stay tuned for more!! ♥ Thanks for all your support!