You can visit a lot of chemistry websites. Check out the Chemistry Blog Roll in the middle left of this blog for starters, if you like.
You could even make it a point to read a great book about chemistry! I have several
to recommend, but you can start with the books I review in my new review as seen under My Latest Book Review . Perhaps you notice the new background? I'm giving it a try.
Maybe you could learn that cats can teach us a lot about chemistry, too! I found a delightful site calledMaster Organic Chemistry with a post that caught my eye, written by James. I have grabbed excerpts from this post:
"Behold: a cat in my neighborhood.
In the picture on the left, she’s lying down, whereas in the picture on the right, she’s
sitting and scratching. She’s changed her shape, but you recognize her as the same cat. Why’s that?
Beyond the fact that the markings are the same, we know intuitively that cats can move their limbs
around – they have a certain freedom of movement.
Depending on what they’re
doing at the time, whether sleeping or scratching or looking out across the street, they’ll move their limbs to adopt
He goes on, with some lolcat images to explain high energy conformations and low
energy conformations and continues with the most unusual image to represent what molecules CAN and CAN'T do, much in the way
what cats can and can't do without some gruesome manipulations:
"Here’s two more pictures
of cats in my neighborhood.
Now is THIS the same cat? No way – kitty on the left is normal whereas the one on the right looks
like it paid a visit to the Island of Dr. Moreau.
Unlike conformations, which can be
interconverted by movement of the limbs, here the connectivity is different. The leg and tail are switched.
No matter how they move, they cannot interconvert. The limbs are in a different configuration.
However, they *are* similar. If we did some (very morbid) major surgery but if we just switched
the leg and the tail back, we’d clearly obtain the same cat. In other words, their constitutents -
that is to say, their limbs - are the same, but arranged in different orders. Let’s go out on a limb and call them
Go visit and learn more if
you like. For those not quite up on their chemistry iso- means "same" and the proper term he substituted
isocats for is isomer. Isomers are molecules that have the same number of atoms but differ in the way the atoms are arranged.
Here is one more LOLcat poster explaining science:
Most of us know at least of protons, neutrons and electrons in atoms, but may be less familiar with quarks.
Every proton is made up of two UP quarks and one DOWN quark (there are six flavors of quarks all together, but their
names are about all I know by heart), hence why these cats are labeled U for up and D for down.
How are protons
important in chemistry? Do you know? The number of protons in an atom is known as the atomic number, which determines
the chemical element to which the atom belongs. For example, the atomic number of Gallium, from which "disappearing
spoons" are made (and you can link to a video to see this happen in my video review) is 31; this means that each gallium
atom has 31 protons and that all atoms with 31 protons are gallium atoms.
Watch a gallium spoon disappear!
My personal goal for this International
Year of chemistry is to make more videos featuring the chemistry of make-up. I've explained the chemistry of mascara and of nailpolish. I've got some good ideas coming up.