Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

Give me a second, and the title will make sense, I promise.

With the confusion of atomic weights finally put to rest, chemists could now bitch and complain about other facets of the discipline. One of the biggest controversies at the time (around 1860)…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

It’s 1858, and we’ve reached a point of critical mass.

Dalton proposed the existence of tiny, indivisible pieces of matter called atoms roughly a half century ago. While this led to equivalent masses, and therefore, molecular formulas, it still confused more than it calmed…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

We previously discussed the hot mess that is chemical combination (aka “bonding”) theory for organic molecules in the 19th century — it was all over the place. Further, it became quite heated between factions of different theories, and there was snark everywhere. Here’s my…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

Even though the nature of the organic molecule was very much in question as well as how to classify them (radicals, types, etc.), organic chemists were absolute beasts when it came to analysis. …


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

While Davy and Faraday were off farting around with voltaic piles and electrocuting themselves, there was still plenty of important work to be done, especially in field of carbon-containing compounds — that’s the modern definition of “organic” chemistry. But where did the term “organic”…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

We’ve covered quite a bit of chemistry history (an we haven’t even gotten to the periodic table, subatomic particles — a whole bunch of stuff!), so I figured it would be a good time to conduct a quick review of where we’ve been.

Chemistry of Antiquity

While…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

Remember when I said that ‘burning things’ was hands-down the most popular method of analysis for chemists? In the early 1800s, ‘electrifying things’ gave ‘burning things’ a run for its money, and this was brought on by the invention of the “voltaic pile.” I…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

There are two very important things to remember about John Dalton and the beginning of atomic theory:

1) Dalton had no direct physical evidence of atoms.

Zip. Zilch. Nada. Due to this hard to ignore fact, his theory was relegated to chemistry “meta” in some circles of researchers. …


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

Atoms, f*** yeah!

With phlogiston and the four classical elements relegated to mythology, the stage was set for the creation and advancement of knowledge in chemistry. I realize that “creation of knowledge” is a phrase that most don’t encounter in their daily lives, and it begs the…


Chances are, you’re not like me: you cringe when someone says the word “chemistry.” Your memory of it vaguely harkens back to an undergrad class whose knowledge you flushed once you finished the final. That’s okay — my goal for this series is to change that paradigm, make it understandable to all, and provide some entertainment.

I covered the scientific contributions of Antoine Lavoisier (aka the Hugh Hefner of chemistry) previously in very general terms mostly because I wanted to highlight the cooler things about him as a person (he threw chemistry parties with live demonstrations!). Here, I want to…

Organic Live

I’m a former chemistry assistant prof that is out to prove that chemistry is both interesting and entertaining

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