Nuclear Chemist
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7 answers
15 votes
17k views
If the human body consists of 60% water why can't we put out fire with our body?
27 votes

We need to consider something. Are the people being truly burnt at the stake or are they being killed by the effects of fire? If the fire is very prolonged then their bodies will dry out and then ...

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1 answers
17 votes
616 views
Understanding the synthesis of twistane
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18 votes

The first step is a conversion of the nitrile into a carboxylic acid, in the literature Martin Olbrich, Peter Mayer, and Dirk Trauner (J. Org. Chem., 2015, 80, 2042-2055) used KOH in ethylene glycol ...

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3 answers
14 votes
589 views
Can Hückel's rule be applied to inorganic compounds?
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15 votes

Huckel's rule can be applied to "inorganic" cyclic molecules but only if they have a delocalised pi system. They also have to have flat (or close to flat) rings. Recently some N5 rings which 6 pi ...

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1 answers
3 votes
1k views
Geometry of Ni(acac)2
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8 votes

It is a good question, it is a gemstone hiding in the mud. I have searched the Cambridge database, all the bis-acetylacetonatonickel complexes which have four coordinate nickel centres are square ...

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1 answers
4 votes
6k views
Why Benzene is a good solvent even while it is not polar
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8 votes

Benzene is a good solvent for many organic compounds, the term good solvent to me does not mean a nice solvent with a good all round profile. To me the perfect solvent would be non toxic, not ...

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5 answers
11 votes
3k views
Is benzene harmful to human health?
8 votes

Benzene is toxic to humans, it can be oxidised by enzymes in the body (might be a P450 enzyme) to form benzene oxide which is an epoxide. This is 7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]hepta-2,4-diene which can then ...

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2 answers
9 votes
2k views
Why does chlorination of toluene stop at two chlorine atoms?
6 votes

It will not stop at the dichloro compound, it is a free radical halogenation reaction. The benzyl radical is very stable so it is easy for a chlorine atom to abstract a hydrogen from the methyl grup ...

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1 answers
13 votes
1k views
Is there a real detection limit in NMR spectroscopy?
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6 votes

This is an interesting problem which also appears in gamma spectroscopy. Both 1D NMR and normal gamma spectroscopy are related. A sample emits photons, the photons are then captured by a detector. In ...

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1 answers
17 votes
294 views
Directionality of ring current-induced magnetic fields in purines
6 votes

This is an interesting problem, I think it is best for a moment before I get stuck in that we considered a slightly different compound. I will consider it with an external magnetic field applied to it....

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1 answers
9 votes
5k views
How does chloroform react with cyclopentadiene in base?
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5 votes

The worry I had is that the normal way to make dichlorocarbene from chloroform is to treat it with a strong base, this will convert the cyclopentadiene into the cyclopentadienyl anion. This anion is ...

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3 answers
8 votes
1k views
Are risks (hexavalent chromium) during Chrome plating temporary, or remain with the product?
5 votes

If we assume that the plating process was done correctly onto tin then according to a XPS study on a chromate conversion layer on tin plate (J. Sun et. al., SURFACE AND INTERFACE ANALYSIS, 2009, ...

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3 answers
8 votes
405 views
What is the proof of complete ionic dissociation in water?
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5 votes

One method is by making electrical conductivity measurements on aqueous solutions of salts. If we take four strong electrolytes: Sodium chloride Potassium chloride Sodium perchlorate Potassium ...

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2 answers
10 votes
4k views
How does the addition of acetone cause a shift from hexaaquacobalt(II) to tetrachloridocobaltate(II)?
5 votes

The great problem is that the ability of a chemical substance to act in some way, is controlled by the activity of the substance and not by the concentration of it. Oftein people consider the ...

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2 answers
4 votes
1k views
Synthesis of Polypropylene glycol
5 votes

There are two broad classes of polymerisation, there are the condensation polymerisations and the addition polymerisations. The classic addition polymerisation is the reaction of a free radical with ...

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1 answers
8 votes
175 views
Is the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methane a solution or a problem?
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5 votes

The problem is that the carbon dioxide which is released from burning is often mixed with other things which include air. If we were to want to convert carbon dioxide into methane then the oxygen of ...

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1 answers
0 votes
818 views
Why is iron pentacarbonyl known, but iron(III) hexacarbonyl is not?
4 votes

There are several things which are needed to be known to be able to deal with this question. Firstly there is the 18 Valence Electron (18VE) rule (description at libretexts.org). The iron ...

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3 answers
4 votes
344 views
How can an Organic chemist know the chemical formula of a natural product she isolated from an organism?
4 votes

Working out the structure of a compound (organic, organometallic or organomain group) is not a simple matter. It is something which can be very intellectually taxing. I have done it many times in my ...

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2 answers
4 votes
321 views
Can the alkyl-oxygen bond in lactones be cleaved in an SN2 reaction?
4 votes

Yes, it is possible. If you consider the chemistry of a four-membered lactone (a β-lactone), it is able to act as an alkylating agent, as nucleophiles can attack the C–O bond in an SN2 fashion. One ...

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2 answers
0 votes
2k views
What's the monomer in a polycarbonate?
4 votes

Like Dr J said there is no single polycarbonate polymer, the most common one is formed from phosgene (or another carbon dioxide reagent) and bisphenol A. The repeating unit is $\ce{C6H4C(CH3)2C6H4-O-C(...

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1 answers
1 votes
1k views
Formation of oximes by ketones and aldehydes
4 votes

An oxime is formed by the reaction of hydroxylamine (NH2OH) with either an aldehyde or ketone. The oxime nitrogen has a double bond (sigma and pi) to the oxime carbon, a lone pair and a single (sigma) ...

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1 answers
1 votes
54 views
Is there a blanket term for all variants (both nuclides and ions) of a chemical element?
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4 votes

Yes, for example consider selenium. You can say "selenium species".

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1 answers
2 votes
163 views
How is more than one pinacolone is possible?
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4 votes

The problem is what is a reaction which gives "only one product", the problem is that very few reactions give a 100 % yield of a substance. For almost all real life reactions there are a small ...

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1 answers
1 votes
238 views
How does bismuth's lone pair affect its properties as a metal and alloy?
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3 votes

If you look at the chemistry of lead(II) and the work by Tony F. Hill (and others) on platinum group metals you will see that bismuth is clearly not the only metal to have lone pairs. What Tony Hill ...

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1 answers
0 votes
6k views
What is the difference between an ionic compound and a salt?
3 votes

The GCSE answer is. An ionic compound is one in which the bonding between the atoms is ionic, for example sodium chloride is an ionic compound. It is formed from sodium cations and chloride anions. ...

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2 answers
0 votes
520 views
Nitrocellulose (flash paper) synthesis without Sulfuric Acid?
3 votes

I do not think it will be possible to form nitrate esters of cellulose without sulfuric acid present, I am sure that you need the strong bronsted acid to make the reaction work. But I think that there ...

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1 answers
0 votes
2k views
What kind of drugs can be absorbed through skin?
3 votes

The skin is able to prevent some things from passing in and out of a person but it is not a perfect barrier. The lipophilic things like nicotine, hydrogen flouride, VX, hexane and iodine vapour can ...

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2 answers
3 votes
124 views
Does ICP-OES detect molecules in suspension?
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3 votes

It will depend on the size of the particles which are in suspension. If the particles are very large compared with the capillary feeding the solution into the spray chamber then the capillary will ...

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1 answers
1 votes
6k views
Why carbonyl groups are strong benzene deactivating group for electrophillic aromatic substitution?
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3 votes

A carbonyl group such as an aldehyde is a deactivating group as it withdraws electron density by both the inductive effect (through the sigma bonds) and the resonance effect which involves pi systems. ...

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1 answers
0 votes
46 views
dangers of radiation question
3 votes

900 mCi is a lot of activity, the problem is that it is impossible to know how bad it will be without knowing which radionuclide is present. If it is a tritium light with 900 mCi in it, then the ...

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1 answers
5 votes
100 views
Test for a dipolar compound?
Accepted answer
3 votes

In general substances whose molecules have a strong dipole tend to dissolve better in water than compounds which do not. If we consider for example diethyl ether and THF. The two are almost identical ...

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