Sciencemadness Discussion Board

A project everyone can pitch in on! Writing the book on chemistry.

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BromicAcid - 9-9-2004 at 17:59

About two months ago I got the idea to write a little section on distillation for my website. However once I finished writing it I realized it was a gateway topic, that I had to continue to branch out, it has grown into my book project.

The purpose of this project is to create the perfect book for the at home chemist. Things written by people who have done what they write about (mostly) and just interesting information in general. Real life experiences and lots and lots of pictures like the old chemistry books that I used to like.

There are people that have said I'm reinventing the wheel, and to some extent that is true. But it's all the information in one place written for the at home chemist is where this project should shine, along with real life stories scattered through out and improvisations of lab techniques and equipment.

The topic list is quite extensive as is what is already done. Some people have pitched in (those I U2U'd, don't feel bad if you didn't get a U2U) And the project is already a 100 page PDF (although the charts and especially elements section take up quite a bit) I'm looking for people that want to contribute to this project. Post here or contact me via U2U if you're interested.

I have a HTML version and a PDF version at:

One thing, there is not going to be a focus on energetic materials. You can write for whatever section you want, even if there is already something written, I can incorporate it. Since this should take till at least January there is currently no need for proofreaders.

Anyway, I hope this project turns out and I look foreword to working with all of you!

Edit: That page that I linked to has the complete index without loading the whole book and I will update information there, however here is a direct link to the book project PDF and here is one to the HTML version.

[Edited on 9/10/2004 by BromicAcid]

Magpie - 9-9-2004 at 18:35

I love that picture.:D

chemoleo - 9-9-2004 at 18:37

Great stuff Bromic, and collaborators (please speak up!! Else we never know who else to credit!). This was high time, and this book shall go down in the hall of fame (the library)!

Should I write something too? Let this be a democratic judgement.... but please, no, I won't write on the purification of urine from urea! ;)...

Anyway, let's hope that this brings all those budding geniuses out! Of course, actual experimental experiences are desired, rather than theory and conjecture (except for the most obvious stuff I guess) ;)

Advice - have a look at the pdf, it looks SOO much better!

[Edited on 10-9-2004 by chemoleo]

Democritus of Abdera - 9-9-2004 at 19:03

Will the book be open source?

chemoleo - 9-9-2004 at 19:23

Freely available... undoubtedly.
Open source? Meaning everyone can meddle in it? Only I guess if there is someone checking accuracy etc... which will be bromic, and the various readers I guess...

thunderfvck - 9-9-2004 at 21:51

Wow, this is a really amazing book so far (bookmarked!). I really don't have time right now to really thoroughly read through it but I love what you've done with the electrolysis section. It's wonderful how you assume the person who is reading it knows nothing - and may not know how/where to start! Very nice. The book really should assume that position I think, that you try to think back to when you first started your hobby and all the things you've needed to do/learn to where you are at this point. Obviously not so much on the theory I guess because with the amount of information you know you could fill many books (maybe a series? :)). But really dealing with the practical side of things and the actual performing of the experiment itself. I love the information you give regarding safety and how you should deal with hazardous gasses and such. Very well done. I'll love to shoot some suggestions but I would really need to look over the whole thing (perhaps this weekend). But I am loving what I'm seeing and am glad someone is compiling their information in this way. I would definitely buy this book once published!

I did think of one thing however, I_am_a_fish's (I hope I got his name right, it looks weird now that I've typed it) sources information, if allowed, would make a nice contribution to your book I think.

Also maybe a chapter dealing with chemistry links/books that you recommend to the new/intermediate/advanced reader! Seeing as how you've read so many...

Anywho, great work! Keep it up!

IvX - 10-9-2004 at 06:20

Speaking as (though guesing to be)your target audiance:very well done.Specially the photos.

Only thing I can sugest is DjVu :)

JohnWW - 10-9-2004 at 09:55

Very interesting, although there is a lot of similar literature floating around on the internet. I will see what I can contribute, when I have more time and have fully read the progress version.

John W.

BromicAcid - 10-9-2004 at 16:25

Democritus, what would be the advantage of posting this open source? It would be interesting to see how much the text changed over the course of a few years though.

Thanks everyone that supports me, I'm hopping for some good contributions so I don't have to write the bulk of it myself.


Hermes_Trismegistus - 10-9-2004 at 16:57

Do you ever have those moments when you are thinking of a concept, idea, article or object and you just cannot put the name to it. It's a common name/theme, and you've used it a trillion times before, but for some reason it just won't come out.

Doesn't that drive you nuts?

Anyway, what I meant was, Would the book be freely distributed without any copyrights to infringe upon. I still cannot remember the phrase I am looking for.

:mad:Piss me off.:mad:

H. Tris.

BromicAcid - 10-9-2004 at 17:19

Royalty-Free License?

And yes, this book can be copied, printed, quoted, used in any way shape or form, in pieces or as a whole.

Except to turn a profit :mad:

[Edited on 9/11/2004 by BromicAcid]

IvX - 12-9-2004 at 23:07

You mean like a GPL or just a copyright wich allows publications to be done for free?

Say bromic, if you want I could have an XML and DjVu version out?Just tell me what tags to use for the XML :)

tokat - 18-9-2004 at 17:20

This site has 100,000+ componds

BromicAcid - 18-9-2004 at 17:24

What exactly is XML format?

I plan on making versions of this in any format that I can realistically release, DjVu included, so I can just send you a copy when it's done and you'll convert it over IvX?

JohnWW - 18-9-2004 at 17:51

XML, or XHTML, is Extended Hypertext Markup Language. It is an extension of the coding used for web pages.

John W.

IvX - 19-9-2004 at 05:45

DjVu ready(though I used libre as I dont have the commerical ones).All I need now is a decent(preferebly linux)FTP client that works with my proxy(using FC1 and gFTP hangs when it connects).

[Edited on 19-9-2004 by IvX]

What XML is

Oxydro - 25-9-2004 at 07:07

Actually, XML and XHTML are different things. XML is the eXtensible Markup Language. It is similar to HTML, in that it is a tag-based system, but the difference is that it is designed to store data, not to present it like HTML is.

In fact, one of its greatest benefits for the Internet is that it can separate the formatting and presentation code (HTML) from the actual data (XML) to make the process of adding to or changing either the contents or the way it is shown without affecting the other.

While in HTML the tags are things like {head} {/head}, {p}, etc, and are defined in a standard, in XML you create your own tags to fit the data they will store. This means that an XML document is self-descriptive.

(Obviously, I'm using "{}" in place of angle brackets, since the board software parses the tags if I do it otherwise.)

I was going to post an example, but all the tags are eaten by the board software. If there is any interest (I wrote a sample of a document storing information about chemicals) I would be happy to post it on my website where you can visit it.

As much as I believe XML is a thing of the future, I don't think it has a great deal of application when it comes to Bromic's library. Maybe if he adds a larger database of chemicals, it could store the raw data, but as a method to distribute a book, it has little value.

XHTML, on the other hand, does have some value, but really no more than regular HTML. The idea of XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language) is that it is basically HTML, but with the stronger syntax rules of XML. For example, in HTML some tags such as "{P}" don't need a closing tag, but in XML every opening tag needs a closing tag. So you can either write it as "{p/}" being an open/close tag (not the real name for it, just the only thing I could think of to call it) or you can follow it with "{/p}" at the end of the paragraph.

In short, I see no real gain in making a version in either format. XML could possibly be incorporated into the existing version as a data-storage technique, but other than that, its at its best in good old HTML.

IvX - 25-9-2004 at 09:41

Just an offer :)

Hey bromic can you recieve it through e-mail?It's a 2.3 meg file(same with zip)

BromicAcid - 25-9-2004 at 16:07

Send away, I've got a gmail account now! :)

Mumbles - 25-9-2004 at 16:16

All I can say is beautiful. This is one of those things you always have the ideas for, but never the time nor the enthusiasm to complete. It is wonderful to see someone pushing forward on such a daunting task. I'll see if there isn't something I can submit or help out with. I have a nice book on destruction of hazardous chemicals I could excerpt from and rewrite for some common laboratory spills. Most of the laboratory experience I have, many others would have better. I'll try to work something up just for you though.

Hermes_Trismegistus - 26-9-2004 at 09:14

an excellent addition to a book written for the am. Chemist would be a lage and detailed chart showing the chemical resistance of various materials.

All the enamel was eaten off a large porcelain dish while attempting to evaporate an aqueous sol'n of hydroxide in the oven, and various plastics have been dissolved by solvents while attempting to find a suitable container. Stainless steel was quickly oxidised by a costly catalyst I was weighing out.

These mistakes would have been avoided had I had a good chemical resistance chart.

I have found a couple I use but am always on the lookout for more.

I have also completely sworn off plastics which is unfortunately an affect of my lack of knowledge.

If I knew which ones I could use safely and when I could use them, I certainly would, they are quite economic and don't present the same breakage hazard.

So far I have found these following charts.

BromicAcid - 26-9-2004 at 18:26

Yes that is definately something that will have to be incorporated, I have a secion for it under materials, just haven't gotten around to writing it. I've got some contributions and I've almost finished a good part of the section on gasses, I will upload an updated version soon.

BromicAcid - 27-9-2004 at 17:27

Posted an updated version of the project. Feel free to take a look at it. Not much has been added but it continues to grow.

What I am in need of are simple procedures for the beginner, complete with amounts of reagents and maybe a picture, although I could supply them. Look at the short experiments that I already have listed after the long one for an example of how I want them to sort of look and read.

But if anyone wants to help with anything drop me a line :)

frogfot - 28-9-2004 at 00:06

Cool, this is very nice project. Many people will be thankful for your efforts.

How about adding a section about fumehoods?

AngelEyes - 28-9-2004 at 06:54

I can't access the following sites:

I get either 'page cannot be displayed' or I get redirected to

What's up? Is it my end or is the site actually down?

BromicAcid - 28-9-2004 at 08:38

It looks like the whole server is down, even the main site that I bought the webspace from, is down. Hopefully this is just temporary.

And yes, I do plan on including something on fume hoods, I was leading into it in the gasses section but I haven't got to writing it yet.

BromicAcid - 30-9-2004 at 05:54

A guaranteed 99.9% uptime for your website, high quality Dual Xeon servers, daily server backups and a support team ready to answer any question 24 hours a day.

Hummm... after 36 hours my website is finally back up, as is the main site for the hosting company which was also down. Maybe it's 99.9% uptime over the course of a lifetime? Anyway, people wanting to look at the progress can once again do so.

BromicAcid - 5-10-2004 at 17:48

I've been working on the molten salt electrolysis section lately and figured it would be nice to toss in some of those good old diagrams that I always like to see when thinking about electrolysis, e.g., the origional diagram for a Castner cell from Castner's origional patent from the late 1800's and some other old pictures. Basically I was just wondering what the cutoff is for copywrited material to be sure to be in public domain.

I think this was actually answered elsewhere on sciencemadness but I haven't been able to find it.

Anyway, the work continues.

S.C. Wack - 5-10-2004 at 19:59

This was discussed at the Hive recently, albeit in a different sort of situation:

If you aren't selling anything, I don't think that you would attract attention.

EDIT: I am pointing out fair use, where public domain is a moot point - not answering Bromic's question.

[Edited on 6-10-2004 by S.C. Wack]

BromicAcid - 5-10-2004 at 20:12

Actually I was specifically looking for something like this:

TheFire - 11-10-2004 at 12:50

I must say, this is an extremely valuable resource for those of us who are just getting started with these things. It seems to be the amateur chemistry equivalent to the AARL (a do-it-all guide for ham radio).


As an aside, has anyone considered setting up a wiki for this sort of information? In motivated communities, they tend to perform very well as repositories for useful information such as this...

[Edited on 11-10-2004 by TheFire]

Oxydro - 12-10-2004 at 18:47

Nitpicking a sentence in your book, sorry if this sounds bad, I'm not criticising.... The statement "Lithium perchlorate actually contains more oxygen, gram for gram, then liquid oxygen" seems wrong to me. How can something containing only oxygen have less oxygen than something also containing lithium and chlorine? I assume it was volume not mass that was intended.

You have a very impressive resource there, Bromic. Keep up the good work. BTW, I have scanned "The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual" by James Zubrick, which makes a nice complement to your work. Didn't see it on the FTP, hope I didn't just miss it, or I wasted a lot of time.... as soon as I have time I'll PDF it and upload :).

BromicAcid - 12-10-2004 at 18:49

It contains more oxygen gram for gram because... it's magic!

No, I just made a mistake, writing most of it from memory. It should be on a volume to volume basis or something along those lines, I'll be sure to fix it soon.

BromicAcid - 19-11-2004 at 23:36

Since my last post here I've updated the material twice, although this most recent time tonight was really small. Started writing on titrations but really don't like the way it's turning out. I've got all the links in the HTML version but they don't all work, started heavy into the molten salt electrolysis but really haven't gotten anywhere, took out the experimental procedure with nickel to form nickel oxalate, started writing a number of the other sections, did some major work on gasses, but nothing is anywhere near done, i.e., it's still a major work in progress. Just wanted everyone to know I haven't given up, just buckling under the load of school work. Probably will get some massive updating done during December when I go on break for almost three weeks. As always, contributions are welcome.

HNO3 - 20-11-2004 at 12:14

About the chemical compatibilities, here are two links. Thrier free catalogue has a nice section of chemical compatibilities. They have some compatibilities too.

BromicAcid - 5-3-2005 at 21:58

Since I last posted here I've updated about four or five times. I've been trying for once a month but I didn't make febuary so I managed one today. The project is approximately 150 pages in pdf and a download of about 2.4 meg that way, the HTML is comparable with pictures. I would say it is between 25 and 35% complete. As usual anyone who wants to write any section for it will be given credit at the end just like everyone else who has already contributed and any works for it will be accepted with glee although they may be subjet to some editing.

If you go to the page for the book project the complete sections listing is at the bottom and they are color coded to show how much has been written for each section, several of the ones toward the bottom are in red showing that nothing has been written for them yet, but there are many others that could use some more information.

Note, I keep getting asked this, the book is not up for editing yet. Yes, if you see some information that is grossly wrong then you can point it out, but it's too far from completion to point out that the melting point of tin is 232 C when I might have 230 C listed ;)

BromicAcid - 22-3-2005 at 17:37

There are several sections in my book project that I am dreading writing for the simple reason that I am nowhere near experienced enough nor confident enough to write, I've decided to post a list of the sections that I am asking for help specifically on, no rush as usual, just putting out my requests:

Le Chatelier's Principle (And driving forces in general that are important to an at home chemist)

Furnaces (Axehandle, Cyrus... I'm looking at you two ;))
(a) Gas Fired
(b) Electric
(c) Charcoal

Solvent/Solvent extraction Systems (I'm firmilar with them but suck at knowing when they would be useful)

Also I know someone could do a section on Organic Functional groups better then I could.

As always the book project is on my page and if you go there the progress is evident by scrolling down the page related to it, subjects in red have not even been started yet so don't hesitate to help.

12AX7 - 22-3-2005 at 20:45

Originally posted by BromicAcid
Furnaces (Axehandle, Cyrus... I'm looking at you two ;))

/me waves his hand.

I'm also working on arc and induction heating methods.


My section is close to being "done"....

Cyrus - 30-4-2005 at 09:56

Let's see, I'll have some stuff on
-furnace design
-commercial refractories
-homebrew refractories
-using wood, charcoal, and oil
-crucible stuff

How would you like the stuff formatted and sent to you, BromicAcid? I have some word documents and excel documents... have I asked this before?:)

Oh, the book project site appears to be down currently.


BromicAcid - 30-4-2005 at 10:19

Yeah, I noticed my site went down yesterday, I actually think I exceeded bandwith this month, I figured it would be close. Anyway, *.doc or *.html work well for me, if they're in excel format I can get out what I need as I have excel too. Looking foreward to your submission!

Kamisama - 2-5-2005 at 14:17

If all goes wrong and you run out of bandwidth and serverspace you could make it a wikibook.

However, I think it would be very interesting to see macromedia flash within a tutorial. I have some skills in digital art, but not enough chemistry skills.

If someone were to send me drawing and ideas I could compile a simple chemical reaction or tutorial possibly.

Or if you need something like a digital image or something simple modified/calibrated/cleaned up, just send it to my email at

I found many errors. Someone should run this through Microsoft Word.

Nobel does not equal Noble.
Gasses does not equal Gases.

There are tons of typos and grammatical errors... :o

[Edited on 2-5-2005 by Kamisama]

vulture - 2-5-2005 at 14:52

What the hell? You've got some bloody nerve.

Macromedia flash has nothing to do with this. Furthermore, spend some time on your own sorry excuses for posts before badmouthing this unique project, will ya? :mad:

[Edited on 2-5-2005 by vulture]

Kamisama - 2-5-2005 at 17:31

I didn't mean anything bad by what I said. I help with wikipedia and wikibooks. I was just saying it would be a good idea to run it through MS Word.. :(

neutrino - 2-5-2005 at 18:43

You may be incurring some wrath from the Linux users here by speaking of MS as the only thing in existence that will spell-check. In the future, just refer to a generic spell checker.

BromicAcid - 2-5-2005 at 18:44

This whole book was written in MS word and that is actually the reason for
Nobel does not equal Noble.
Gasses does not equal Gases.
As MS word autocorrects to whatever I have it spelled closest to and it appears I cannot spell those consistently enough. If this were not composed in some word processing program I would have to commend myself for the lack of errors overall. Yes, there is a lot wrong with it, but it's 165 pages of text, much of it coming from the 'top of my head' but there is a large amount generated by members here and there is a good portion that I have personally researched.

A flash movie of some of the important points such as setting up a distillation apparatus would be interesting but it wouldn't carry over to the PDF which according to the statistics most people look at and additionally I believe for now that efforts should be focused not an aesthetic effects but instead on the content of the book. By my estimates it is 20% done.

BTW, the book is back up
As you have notice our services were unavailable for a period of time. This happened due to a massive attack directed to our servers, to protect the integrity of our data we had to unplug the servers to avoid further problems. You should be able to access your sites without problems now.

We're deeply sorry for this.
This is the second time this has happened, I hope it doesn't happen again.

BromicAcid - 4-5-2005 at 17:55

The book continues to grow, yay!

I went through and read most of it today looking it over and writing up a list of things that need to be added to and such, during that time I made a list of pictures I would like to add, a majority of which I would like to set up but I am posting my request sheet here as well as some I cannot setup (I have no iodine) and some I would just like some help with. It's in html format so just look it over when you get a chance and see if you have any matching pictures in your archive of pictures. Of course donate a picture and get credit, please, origional content.

Also does anyone have an idea for a main picture for the book project? Maybe a real life version of the SM logo, using sodium covering strontium to get that perfect color flame on ignition in the background ;)

Attachment: wantedpictures.htm (6kB)
This file has been downloaded 1874 times

The_Davster - 4-5-2005 at 18:10

I have a cracked bomex flask which is perfect for "Picture of something in soda-lime glass heated on a hotplate that shattered from it". It's good to teach the reader while they are beginning what is a bad brand of glassware.:P

"Picture of apparatus (such as gas washing line) constructed from OTC soda-lime glass jars and such"-Applesauce jar gas generating apparatus and prune sauce gas washing bottle.

"Picture of a titration in action, preferably with a nice color indicator and a burette"- I can set up a simple phenolphthalien NaOH HCl titration with all the proper glass.

"Pictures of fluorine, chlorine, and especially iodine of which I have none"-Like the idea of one of iodine vapour?

"Pictures of elements, every element is covered in the index and if you have a good picture of any of them send it on over!"- I have some manganese metal that was purchased years ago that might be something otherwise had to find.

I will hopefully email you most of these later tomorow if you want. Seven megapixels good enough for you? ;) Also, what do you want in terms of backgrounds for these pictures?

[Edited on 5-5-2005 by rogue chemist]

BromicAcid - 4-5-2005 at 18:18

That sounds great, seven megapixels is plenty, my camera only has 1.3 mega pixels, as for background, the only pre-rec is that you can tell what is going on the foreground and that it is not hard on your eyes, oh, and no big corporation things in the background, like, don't do these reactions in a McDonalds and get the arches in focus, though I don't think Firsher or Aldrich would care much if you got something that had their logo in the picture.

Organikum - 4-5-2005 at 18:30

Hey! I posted a copper Liebig condensor here on the board times ago! It´s yours!


neutrino - 4-5-2005 at 18:44

Technically, Bomex is a borosilicate glass. Although it is cheap garbage, it should still have decent chemical resistance.

How are these?

Distilling glassware

Bromine (Change the 7 in the address to change the size of the picture.)

I have some iodine in a nice ampoule resembling the bromine one. Do you want me to take a picture of that?

BromicAcid - 4-5-2005 at 18:51

Neutrino, isn't that picture of the distillation apparatus from the United Glasstec website? As for the iodine, if it's a good picture I will try and use it, although it appears I will probably be getting more pictures of iodine then anything else on my list.

Organikum, the pictures in this thread are not coming up for your copper condenser, are they elsewhere on the forum as well?

Anyone else, just send pictures to my Gmail box (in my profile) and I will be able to sort them better. Any pictures I use will get the picture taker credit where credit is due, if you want your name to appear in the credits in a certain way then include that too otherwise it is just sciencemadness name and your country if you have it listed.

Thanks a lot everyone!

Note! I posted a list of pictures I am trying to find on the previous page of posts, please check it out!

[Edited on 5/5/2005 by BromicAcid]

Organikum - 4-5-2005 at 19:38

Darn! I will fix it.

neutrino - 5-5-2005 at 02:25

Maybe I misunderstood you. Do you want original pictures or pictures that came from just anywhere?

chemoleo - 5-5-2005 at 05:46

Original pictures of course! How convincing are some castrated pictures from some corporate website? :P

neutrino - 5-5-2005 at 13:02

Ah. You might then want to know that that bromine ampoule is one of Theodore Gray’s.

I have some Vycor tubing lying around. Do you want a picture of that?

The_Davster - 5-5-2005 at 13:06

Check your Gmail. I still need to do the iodine vapour and titration pic. They should be done within the next few days.

BromicAcid - 5-5-2005 at 20:28

Thank you very much for the pictures Rogue Chemist, and Neutrino, a picture of Vycor tubing would be much appreciated.

Nerro - 17-5-2005 at 14:29

Any word on the project?

BromicAcid - 17-5-2005 at 17:46

I updated at the start of this month to keep with my trend of updating once a month. This update amounted to 25 or so pages and as usual the page on my page relating to the project had the series of subjects updated as well to reflect their degree of completion. I made a list of subjects that I would like something written for, being that I have little to no firmiliarity with them or thing I would do a terrible job of writing the sections (being that I really am looking for experienced people to write for them), I will post this listing of subjects hopefully this weekend.

Again, thanks to all the people who have contributed!

Cyrus - 18-5-2005 at 19:07

Check thy Email, BromicAcid. :D


BromicAcid - 3-6-2005 at 20:11

Okay, going to be a little late getting the update for the book project this month (I usually go for the first week or so of a month to update). This is because I am taking school and working and it's really taxing me, but school is out for the summer soon so I can get back to work on the book. In the mean time I made a list of sections that I would really like for other people to write. I can use help on everything, I'm always accepting more sections from people and look foreward to getting more, but I made a list similar to my requested pictures list that I posted a while back, this on is for requested topics. If you want to help with this take a moment to look at this, thanks a lot everyone!

Attachment: writing.htm (5kB)
This file has been downloaded 1618 times


Nerro - 22-6-2005 at 10:35

Any news?

Btw; it appears that your site is down Bromic.

BromicAcid - 22-6-2005 at 17:02

Yup, it's down, so is the host's website, I'll change my signature when it's back up.

In the meantime I've got two additions to the book, thank you IPN and Cyrus. Always looking foreward to more additions from other people. Been busy lately trying to get more good pictures and working with waste disposal methods and such. I should have an update at the begning of next month seeing as how my school schedule will cease by then. I'll post a good update to this thread then.

IrC - 19-7-2005 at 12:15

Just a thought, but along the lines of the real chemistry book I was asking about in the newbie forum, could you add a really large section on practical chemistry, with a lot of inorganic stuff. Things like how to make this or that, what side reactions and dangers there are to look out for (what to expect, reactive strengths, etc.), and so on.

Fleaker - 22-7-2005 at 19:40

Very nice job on the book; I appreciate it and the hard work of those behind it.

Hm, I have a couple pictures I'd like to offer that I think would illustrate principles, processes, and perhaps spark ideas.

Some I already have on PC and other things I can just take pictures of. Examples:

Iodometric Titration w/o starch indicator

Bromine Distillation, and a bottle with about 150mL

Silver Spoon Dissolving in red fuming nitric

Picture of molten silver casting w/ furnace

Nifty hydrogenation setup

A large thermite reaction, couple pounds of magnesium burning in a graphite crucible.

Quite a few pictures of some elements I've collected.

Now you want these .jpg right?

BromicAcid - 22-7-2005 at 20:00

Those all sound like spectacular pictures, I'd be extremely happy to add them to this project! JPG is a fine format.

I have just finally got a good reliable internet connection back and I will put up what I have of the book either tonight or tommorow, much more work needs to be done in the coming days though as a I haven't incorporated everything that I've gotten from donors lately into the book.

Fleaker - 22-7-2005 at 20:05

Excellent! I'm glad to be able to offer my small bit in this huge project. I'll scan and crop some photos for you. Thanks for the excuse to do a couple reactions I've been wanting to do ;)

Madandcrazy - 24-7-2005 at 06:56

Nice, extensive project.

I`m happy to see such great work in the forum with a couple of pic´s for chemirtsy related.

[Edited on 24-7-2005 by Madandcrazy]

Fantastic Project

Ozone - 28-7-2005 at 19:15

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to say what a wonderful project this is! So far, the project is beginning to look like an excellent practical manual with a scope ranging from the inexperienced to quite advanced laboratory tecniques.:D

I understand the aweful auto-correct feature in Word--it sucks particularly when "scientific" language is used. Everythime I "train" the software, Win crashes, and I end up having to reformat and start over. GAH!:mad:

I can and will supply many of the pictures that you have requested. I have for example, a TLC developing jar where the Iodine has sublimed into rather large crystals; violet vapour is apparent.

I also will attempt to provide content that is derived from direct experience. Is there any section that you are requesting specifically?

I would also like to suggest sections involving the resistance or lack therof of glove materials and specific chemicals--for example (from experience)-DCM (chloroform too) penetrates both latex and nitrile, where it will burn the skin (With this chemical I do not use gloves! I shake it off, allowing it to rapidly evaporate;BP=40C) and for the energetics fans, di-trinitrophenols (sp. sec-butyl-2,4-dinitrophenol) will penetrate nitrile without damage. This leaves you with yellow fingers, a flushed appearance, rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating, and a migrain (classic decoupling of electron transport):o.

Additionally, a section involving the design of home and professional laboratories may be interesting.

Sorry about the long post, great project!


Finally posted an update.

BromicAcid - 7-11-2005 at 22:14

After nearly 4 months of no updates I finally updated what I have on my site. It has grown by about 15 pages, nothing major. I still have some text from individuals that needs to be incorporated but it's coming along well, any help is appreciated.

There are some minor formatting issues in the PDF where the text is going off the screen but those will be corrected easily enough, also starting to format the rest of it to make it look nice. I added to various parts but for the life of me I can't rattle off a list of what I have worked on and what I haven't, I've been working on it on and off for a while and school has really been hitting me hard. Hopefully I will get some more nice pictures for it and some people here will feel inspired to contibute.

Aside from more pictures and formatting I feel a few parts are written in a way that focuses much too much on just the technical side of things and I may need to 'dumb' them down, or at least make them more readable, this is supposed to be for the average person afterall, readable, not boring like some of the things I've added. And the section on safety came out much too stiff and serious, and there seems to be an uneccesary slant against energetic materials in the safety section, although I don't research in energetic materials it can of course be fun as many members of this board prove all the time and it can be persued in a safe manner, although that is not the goal of the document, to tell the synthesis of potentially explosive compounds, that doesn't mean I should have that negative slant toward them, that's just wrong it should just help people in whatever aspect of chemistry they choose to go to.

Anyway, much thanks to all those who have contributed and I hope you like where I am going with this.

IrC - 1-6-2006 at 09:56

One thing I would do is put those sections on separate pages with a main TOC with links to the sections/pages, so you don't have to scroll forever and have a hard time finding a specific place. Also the link for the following image, just below the quoted text is bad. It took me a while playing around (one slash is reversed also) and comparing to working image links but I finally got the correct link for it, the corrected image links in this post work.

"Below are some steps we can take to get our solution concentrations."
Link on page:
Correct link:

Next missing image: (I am going up from the bottom), just below the following text: Hydrogen Halides except Fluoride HCl, HBr, HI WS:

Correct link:


If I had to guess I would say some images did not get copied over from an older to a newer server space?

Anyway, just FYI for everyone.

BromicAcid - 1-6-2006 at 17:30

I didn't even realize that I had done anything with the book during my aol days. I will try to fix those images asap so that they work correctly. I'm way behind posting an update and I intend to separate out the sections so that I can work on them better and put them all back together at the end.

As always I accept submissions to sections. For some reason I thought I would finish this project in a year or two.... It's coming along I guess.

IrC - 1-6-2006 at 18:04

Anything as good as this book is takes much time, a work of love. Humor me though and have two versions, one where each section (like 1, 2, etc.) is a separate page with a TOC link page, so I can read it without scrolling through one masive page. Because of my vision I keep my computer screen size low, a max of 800 by 600, so I can read the print. Makes it easy to scroll around in a page if it is not so long.

Just a thought.

n1k - 12-6-2006 at 23:56

I'd just like to say, excellnet work on the book, but I've found one error.

In the alkali metals section there is this claim that "Lithium perchlorate actually contains more oxygen, gram for gram, then liquid oxygen." Which seems to me to be a physical impossibility. Should that read "by volume" or more active oxygen I guess?

Keep up the good work!

EDIT: I read on another page on the site that lithium perchlorate is one of his favorite compounds since it has more active oxygen than liquid oxygen, I guess that's what he meant.

[Edited on 13-6-2006 by n1k]

mert - 22-8-2006 at 11:03

a lot thanks......

Chemguy - 28-9-2006 at 03:48

Awesome book, can I add something. One about pure chemicals in the house, if so should I email it to you?

Intergalactic_Captain - 25-6-2007 at 22:40

Not to be an ass, but just some drunken ramblings...

I do appreciate the effort put forth by everyone who has already/is currenly/is planning to contribute to the book. I would contribute something myself, but as I have not fully read what's gone on so far I'm not sure if I have anything that hasn't already been covered...Also, I apologize for digging up an old post...But then again, this is a sticky, so I guess all is fair...

One thing that should definitely be addressed is the language of the book. Yes, everyting that has been written has come from the mouths of amateurs - Note, I do not mean "amateurs" as in your level of competence...One thing I have seen on this board from my time here is that the vast majority of contributors have an incredible level of competence in the chemical arts. What is lacking in the book, though, is a clear grammatical discipline. Props to BromicAcid to doing what he did, but before this is "released" I propose the work is proofread and rewritten in a more professional manner. No offense to anyone whose words were transcribed, but the chemical community of the future could greatly benefit from a more "legitimate" text.

Once again, I mean no offense to the competence of anyone who contributed to the project...I simply wish that such an important publication "felt" more "professional." BromicAcid, U2U me if you'd like any help with editing...Along with anyone else - If this project is going to go anywhere, it might as well go somewhere.

tito-o-mac - 6-7-2007 at 06:33

"Most Importantly!

By reading further you agree not to hold the authors of this document responsible for any injuries/fatalities that may occur from attempting to make any of the products or following any of the procedures that are outlined within. Chemistry inherently possesses a degree of danger and you must understand this, wear gloves and more if the situation calls for it, your safety is in your own hands, not mine!"

Remember to check out the safety issues first before doing anything...

BromicAcid - 6-7-2007 at 16:00

Intergalactic_Captain, don't worry about seeming like an ass. About 3/4 of what I have written is rough draft - off the top of my head material just to get the ideas down to form around. And although I believe myself to have the capacity to efficiently edit the work once it is complete, I have mentioned in this thread before, particularly to people offering their editing services, that they are encouraged to help with the editing once it is complete. Completion being the main goal in my mind.

More importantly though, people should be outright complaining by now about my lack of updates. Not sure if I mentioned it before but after my last computer crashed and I lost my copy of MS Office Word and I have been reluctant to work on the book since it shows up strange (at least the original patent work-in-progress copy does). So I didn't want to mess things up so I haven't done much. Well, that's a lie, I have written a lot but none of it is anywhere significant, furthermore, I live in an apartment now so I really can't get the interesting pictures that I would like to accompany the text.

Now that I have MS Word again and can work on the book, I have been trying to really sit down and get things written after such a long hiatus. Then, finally after I get everything roughed out, I would be very very very happy for some other people to take over the editing. I mean, I can compile and such but just reading and re-reading all the stuff I'd written might be enough to induce some sort of multiple personality disorder.

Again, sorry for the lack of updates but as always, everyone is more than welcome to contribute (both pictures and written works), albeit with the quantifier that they recognize their work may be altered so as to better fit within the work. So some parts might be expounded on, re-written, or removed, but you will always receive your credit at the end.

Again, I am sorry! :(

Nerro - 28-6-2008 at 13:30


Wouldn't it be cool to finish this?

mattrod9523 - 10-10-2008 at 17:01

Well, I've always wanted to write a book on chemistry, but just couldn't get it right individually. Then again, I've never been in touch with such great chemistry enthusiasts. I look forward to it. I will send you images and writings directly to your email adress. ;)


mattrod9523 - 10-10-2008 at 17:11

Before we begin, we will have to decide on which way we will organize the book; by experiments, by chapters, sections, and so on. Just decide on what you all want and I can do the computer work, which is practically what I do for a living, inserting the images and organizing the text. But, we all need to agree on what we write at every point. By the way, everyone should also do a little computer work, as well. However, the book won't be more than 30 pages long if we just put down stuff that you can do in a kitchen.

harrydrez - 6-12-2008 at 13:58

I'm just curious, any plans to finish this?

BromicAcid - 6-12-2008 at 20:24

I'm not saying it's not going to happen but the odds are steadily slipping. This is due to a number of factors.

First off, I've gotten lots of promises for contributions since my last update but no one has stepped up and submitted anything.

Secondly the individuals who offered their advice and feedback on sections have remained silent. The only area I have an abundance of offers for help is editing and currently the work is in such a state the editing would be an excersise in futility.

And third I am finding it more difficult to picture the target audience. As my experience in the lab continues to grow I think I am loosing touch with my at home experimentation side. Part of that is also due in part to the changing climate of this board, I see some experimenters taking things further than I had ever anticipated in the home setting but for the most part I've seen a regression in the dedication and motives of the people posting to this forum and that alone is dissuading.

Submissions are still accepted I have never stopped taking them except from some individuals that blanatly plagarized material or some people who missed the theme of the book (I don't need to include methods of preparation of acetone peroxide). If there was someone else out there with the modivation to work on this I would work with them to transfer the reins of power. Simple as that. Currently it is edited in MS Word and turned into a PDF with CutePDF writer so there is no real need for advanced prorgrams.

If I get to writing more, I do. If I don't, I don't. And unless someone else puts an effort forth I am sorry to say that is the way things are going at the moment, and it's been such a long time since I worked on it that I've lost most of my modivation to pick it up again.

[Edited on 12/6/2008 by BromicAcid]

harrydrez - 6-12-2008 at 20:57

Oh I was just curious, I understand. I thought you guys were doing a pretty good job there, not trying to bust your balls or anything.

Nerro - 7-12-2008 at 06:35

I'll pitch in, give me the word on what you need and I'll get on it.

BromicAcid - 7-12-2008 at 11:01

Nerro, here is the page that gives the status of each section. It's all at the bottom of the page and is color coded.

Anything in Red is what would need to be completed the most. But most everything needs some work. But if you want to start something from scratch go for the red.

And harrydrez, I didn't mean to come off as defensive. It's just that I hadn't posted to this topic in awhile and I took it as an open opprotunity to give everyone and update on where things stand and such.

Alexein - 9-12-2008 at 23:26

Maybe convert the book to a Wiki-like website?

Assloads of "free wiki" servers out there... some better than others....

The wiki concept is useful in that it allows members of the board to freely update and improve the articles as time progresses and reduces workload on you.

Might also be convenient way to put in the publications this board produces from time to time.

Lambda-Eyde - 12-3-2009 at 14:32

Pssst. The "Inert Atmospheres" section says that freon is a flammable gas. Isn't it weird for a gas used as a fire extinguisher to be flammable? ;)

Give me two weeks and I can get you the "thermometer picture".

Sedit - 12-3-2009 at 15:05

Very nice work there Bromic granted yeh its not finished and still a little rough but to me it looks to have great potential.
Every consider a getto section to teach those how to make many things in there homes such as magnetic stirers, improvised seperation funnels , simple homemade distillation setup ect..? Just a thought, Now Finish it already:P

asilentbob - 2-12-2009 at 13:01
This thread has many reaction roadmaps, some periodic tables, etc that could be good material to add to "the book."

Yes 420chan and its /chem/ board are pretty immature, but sometimes genuinely good threads pop up. So add to the thread if you can, or save and add to the book if you think it could benefit from some of these.

[Edited on 12/2/2009 by asilentbob]

sonogashira - 2-12-2009 at 13:08

Thank you for the link! - they look very interesting browsing.
Best wishes.

peach - 27-7-2010 at 05:06

My main concern is that we'll write it and it'll essentially be a poorer version of the huge number of guides already available from bookshops. It has to fulfill something they don't. Which will almost certainly be that it is geared towards knowing the reader is guaranteed to be working at home and that they likely don't have a lot of money to spend on catalogue purchases.

It might be an idea to edit it as a wiki, with access only given to people posting in the thread to limit the scrambling effect of randomly inserted sentences that is sometimes seen on Wikipedia; along with redundant copypasta. That would accelerate the rate of corrections, improvements and such.

One of us should be in charge of our sections and they can then supervise the revisions and additions to check it's going together okay, but in a quicker format than emailing them between ourselves. The wiki format keeps an edit history and allows rolls backs as well.

Something I don't like is the page layout and colouring, sorries! It looks too jumbled and amateur. I'd condense it all into one PDF book. Using Wikipedia, I can click 'create book' and then 'add to book' as I find things of interest. The resulting list can be titled and ordered by the reader, compiled to a PDF and downloaded or sent to their printer, who'll bind it into a physical copy and post it out.

I'll read it soon and see how I can help. This is precisely what I was thinking of doing.

[Edited on 27-7-2010 by peach]

LanthanumK - 5-7-2011 at 10:29

I am trying to work on Chapter 5 of the book, but ran into a problem and RVincent is too busy to answer. Under "Chemical Reactions", there are experiments, but there are no experiments under "Chemical Experiments". Is there a reason for this?

White Yeti - 6-9-2011 at 11:59

I think the reason why people lack interest in this project is that there is so much to do. It's almost like you were trying to fill up a lake with a spoon and a dripping tap. I think this is still a very good project, but you should narrow it down. There are things you can find in every chemistry encyclopaedia and you don't need to repeat them.

Just a thought.

sargent1015 - 3-5-2012 at 06:51

Well, I am reviving this thread. This project is rather important and I cannot sit here and let it just fade away with time. Bromic, I will be contacting you shortly about possibly taking this project over. Something about this excites me beyond all belief. I want to finish what you started, or at least run with it for a couple years and pass on the torch to another brave soul.

I also want to know if anyone else feels like this is something worth re-undertaking. I can see more than ever, reading through this thread, that this is impossible for one person to handle on their own.

U2U me with what you think or just post here!

sargent1015 - 5-5-2012 at 10:01

Alright Science Madness, I have officially undertaken the project and have some requests. The book is quite old right now and the photos are such quite dated (remember the good ol' days when 2.5 megapixels was big?). As such, I am specifically looking for updated glassware pictures, preferably with a black background and with high resolution. Also, if anyone is willing to help and write some sections (You will be famous!), check out BromicAcid's website for what still needs to be done:

Currently, I am reading through the whole thing to get a feel for the text and the style with which Bromic has already established. If you have additions or comments, please feel free to U2U me and I will supply you with my email address.

Also, any pictures you guys have (free of copyright of course) would be fantastic.

Looking forward to advancing this project, stay tuned for more developments in the future!

Bezaleel - 13-5-2013 at 02:14

Great to see somebody pick this up. I saw this thread a few weeks ago, and felt sorry it seemed to have slowly bleeded to death.

I can produce pictures of glassware, but only 1280X960. In my opinion this really is enough for creating a book.
My experience is that pictures of glass on a black background are not necessarily the clearest. How well the shape of glass objects can be recognised from a picture, strongly depends on lighting conditions, and to a lesser extent to the reflection of other objects in the glassware.

I think that the best strategy to drive this to completion, will be to make a breakdown per section of the book of what needs completion, clarification, or is missing entirely. If you put the breakdown here in this thread, other mad scientists may jump in to write a chapter of the book.

bfesser - 21-6-2013 at 18:19

I haven't read any of this thread, but I did see the following:
<a href="" target="_blank">
Picture Needs (all pictures need to be free from copyright concerns, either take them yourself or find something that specifically says that it can be copied and distributed):

Periodic table with element names written on it as well as symbols, current one just has symbols, must be legible at comparable size.
Use the <a href="" target="_blank">IUPAC table</a> <img src="../scipics/_pdf.png" /> and leave their copyright information on it. I'm sure they won't mind.

[Edited on 7/10/13 by bfesser]

sargent1015 - 22-6-2013 at 22:42

I know I have staggered in my work on this project, but I am still plugging away in my free time. My senior thesis kind of blocks my writing juices. However, if anyone wants to help edit/revamp/rewrite sections, that would be lovely!
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