Questions tagged [history-of-chemistry]

Questions regarding the development and exploration of chemical ideas, innovations, and discoveries.

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Distilling milligram quantities of oil like it's late 1970s

In a currently retracted* manuscript by Tomas Hudlicky [1, Retraction Watch] the following has been noted: Fifty years ago professors took an active part in all laboratory instructions and they ...
andselisk's user avatar
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How well the conclusion from the "Ignition!" book on rocket fuel science stood the test of time?

There was a wonderful book called "Ignition!" by John D. Clark, published around 1972, very interesting to read. That book covers the history of the rocket fuel development in the middle of ...
hijarian's user avatar
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Did JJ Thomson know about Eugen Goldstein’s experiment discovering canal rays?

We learn that JJ Thomson discovered the electron in 1897. Several years EARLIER in 1886, Eugen Goldstein performs the same experiment but with the anode and cathode switched to produce positively ...
suse's user avatar
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Does mercury(II) cyanate exist?

Recently, I have answered a question "Comparing explosive properties of mercury(II) cyanate and mercury(II) fulminate" where stability of cyanate vs fulminate was discussed. While I was ...
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Why Rutherford was shocked by results of gold foil experiment?

The way Rutherford's classic gold foil experiment has been presented (including by Rutherford himself) doesn't make sense to me. As many of you know, Rutherford famously described himself as being ...
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What is "activated red phosphorus"?

[WP = white phosphorus ; RP = red phosphorus ; ARP = activated red phosphorus] A YT channel, Extraction & Ire has a video from two years ago (2018) on converting WP to RP by keeping the former in ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
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Alternatives to Dalton's atomic theory

During the 19th century many scientists did not believe in Dalton's theory of atoms. What was the alternative view of matter?
Einstein's user avatar
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how was freezing point depression dependence on solute concentration described?

Molarity is arguably the most intuitive descriptor for the "number of particles". But freezing point depression dependence on solute concentration is commonly described in textbooks as a function of ...
nvja's user avatar
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Law of multiple proportion fitting in the notion of an atom

I have been reading about atoms. Currently, I am referring to the book "Atom : Journey across the subatomic cosmos" by Issac Asmov. I believed that if we start dividing something so we can ...
Shekhar Dangi's user avatar
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160 views

What was wrong with Schroedinger's interpretation of the wavefunction?

I've read in a couple of different places, and was told when first learning about quantum mechanics, that Schroedinger interpreted the wavefunction as being representative of the charge distribution ...
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What common observations in chemistry were unexplainable by an early twentieth century chemistry who had no knowledge of relativity

I was reading quite a well-known paper titled 'Relativistic Effects in Structural Chemistry' by PEKKA PYYKKO, and in it, he states that 'it was not until the 1970s that the full relevance of ...
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Where can I access H. Landolt's article/book on his Iodine Clock experiments?

I simply want to take a look at Landolt's original writings and data so that I can make notes and reference it for a report I'm writing. I've looked everywhere on Google and I can't find anything ...
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What were the original methods for determining atomic weights?

I am reading "History of Chemistry" by William Brock and I am confused about the original methods (early 1800s) used to determine molecular weights and hence determine the correct formulae for pure ...
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Comparison of oxygen and carbon-12 as standards for mass

While studying about the standards of atomic and molecular mass, I have learnt that while initially hydrogen was used as a standard of mass (its mass taken as unity), according to my book, oxygen was ...
Smarika Singh's user avatar
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Is there a name for the law that in chemical reactions atoms are conserved?

One characteristic of chemical reactions is the trivial fact that the number of atoms of a given element is conserved. This is not conservation of mass, albeit conservation of mass is a consequence of ...
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Is there a specific historical figure or era that is most responsible for our current definitions of "physical change" and "chemical change"?

I understand that there is a very blurred distinction between the idea of a physical and a chemical change at advanced levels of chemistry, so I'm referring mainly to the definitions provided in most ...
genchem_student's user avatar
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Benzene ring position labeling (ortho vs para)

Why is the ortho position on a benzene ring next to the primary carbon and not in the opposite position, as ortho means "straight", not "next to" as in para?
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