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Author: Subject: A project everyone can pitch in on! Writing the book on chemistry.
amazingchemistry
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[*] posted on 23-6-2013 at 00:21


It seems to me that the book needs a rethinking. As Bromic said, the target audience and niche the book intends to fill are unclear. Do you want a somewhat standard practical chemistry book (a la Vogel), with concise but somewhat in-depth discussions of theory before each technique, but focused on the amateur chemist (who may not have the necessary background to follow an overly technical discussion)? I have seen the section on distillation for example, and while there is some explanation of why it works, the addition of tables and graphs (like the standard mole fraction-temperature graph found on most lab texts or a table of common azeotropes) together with an expanded discussion would be helpful. At the very least there should be a reference to such tables so the reader can go find them. I believe the book should be organized like a laboratory manual, except that certain sections (for example those concerning spectrometry) should be obviated while others (for example those concerning titrimetry and gravimetry) should be expanded. I was also surprised not to find a section concerning the scientific method as such, or any discussion of proper recording, accuracy, precision or the like. Perhaps that's not within the scope of what you are trying to accomplish, but that goes back to my first point of the purpose and audience of the book being unclear. I'd advocate a somewhat more formal, yet still conversational approach, akin to that taken by Zubrick's "Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual" or Thompson's "An Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments"



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[*] posted on 24-6-2013 at 20:46


I like to think that the target audience is someone with maybe a high school class or two in chemistry and that's who I write for when I go through this. The techniques and tips are designed from the amateurs and the professionals and combined into one "handbook". I have not even gotten past basic techniques and glassware to be concerned with procedures and "try this" "do that". Not to be brash, but it's a collection of articles written by many many different people. My current goal is only to make things flow better before the next guy comes along.

Quote: Originally posted by amazingchemistry  
I was also surprised not to find a section concerning the scientific method as such, or any discussion of proper recording, accuracy, precision or the like.


The scientific method, while we all know and love from grade school, is actually going through fundamental changes in how it works (weird, I know, but very true).

[edit] I am planning on including a section for proper lab notebook etiquette and recording one's findings.

Also, I am not sure how important accuracy, error, etc. is in a text like this. This is not a chemistry textbook. I am of course willing to include a whole chapter on this topic, but who will honestly take the time to read it? This is a handbook for the beginning amatuer. Likewise, distillation, while I understand the theory is important, the overall goal is to teach one to separate compounds based on different boiling points. The physical chemistry can wait until senior year of college.

I appreciate your comment, I really do, it means people are reading this and care, which encourages me to continue plugging along. But, as far as target, I think it is clear the direction I'd like to see this text continue going.

[Edited on 25-6-2013 by sargent1015]




The Home Chemist Book web page and PDF. Help if you want to make Home Chemist history! http://www.bromicacid.com/bookprogress.htm
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amazingchemistry
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[*] posted on 24-6-2013 at 22:12


I was thinking you could have sections on basic technique and maybe a bit of theoretical discussion as an appendix or a "starred" section? It's treated this way in Zubrick's book, and I think to great effect. Likewise, most lab books have a small (half a page to a page) discussion of principles before each technique. I understand if that's not your cup of tea, you're in charge of the project after all. Aside from all that, I think there are a bunch of techniques that could be included in the book, as they are within the reach of home chemists:
-Refractometry (a handheld refractometer costs just over 100 bucks)
-TLC (microscope slides and silica are not very expensive)
-Column chromatography
-Melting points (with a thiele tube)
-Steam distillation
Heck, even molecular modeling is at the reach of the home chemist, but that might be pushing it :D

Finally I think you should include at least a bit on error analysis. The reason being that a home chemist doesn't have access to fancy spectrometers and must by necessity rely on old school qualitative and quantitative analysis to figure out what he or she has produced. The old school methods, like titrimetry and gravimetry, while cheap, are in my opinion less forgiving of poor technique.

Just throwing things out there. I'm really interested in this project, but unfortunately do not have much time at all to contribute to it at the moment, and I'd hate to make a commitment I couldn't keep.

Keep on pushing, I for one am very grateful for your work.

[Edited on 25-6-2013 by amazingchemistry]

[Edited on 25-6-2013 by amazingchemistry]




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sargent1015
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[*] posted on 25-6-2013 at 05:30


Well, crap, how did I miss chromatography! Probably because that's all I do all day everyday and it has become overwhelming apart of my repertoire. It is for that matter that I actually don't quite know how it is conducted out of the professional lab. I have a couple procedures on how to make the plates at home, but I am no expert on the subject. Or for that matter, how flash columns are undertaken at home!

Hopefully someone would like to contribute more to this topic, since I am at a disadvantage (and quite spoiled by my lab).

Melting points, however, I can definitely go write up.

Titrimetry and gravimetry, besides looking at wikipedias and blogs to learn more about them, I am no expert (and once again spoiled by modern day lab analysis). I am at the mercy of the SM community in helping me write these sections. I will post in my other thread asking for help on these topics.

Thank you for all the input, the encouragement just might make me sit down with the manuscript again tonight ;)




The Home Chemist Book web page and PDF. Help if you want to make Home Chemist history! http://www.bromicacid.com/bookprogress.htm
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[*] posted on 28-9-2013 at 14:31


this is interesting i would like to help as much as i can.



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[*] posted on 5-10-2014 at 21:28


I think, that with enough compiled information on the wiki, the project can now be continued. Who's still interested?



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[*] posted on 21-10-2014 at 03:41


Seargent1015, I assume you own the rights to this project at the moment?
If you're ever interested, I'd like to take the project over, acquire the rights, etc. I don't know if you're still interested in continuing the project, but if you're not, I am. U2U me if you're interested in a transfer.
I would like to epand the book into a reference source for amateur chemists AND a set of reactions, not only for the purpose of demonstrating techniques, but also for simply the obtaining of reagents, etc.
Thanks for your consideration!
Nathan P.




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[*] posted on 21-10-2014 at 04:03


Quote: Originally posted by Brain&Force  
I think, that with enough compiled information on the wiki, the project can now be continued. Who's still interested?


yes i would like to share my nitration experiences(or should i say nightmares:()
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[*] posted on 21-10-2014 at 10:18


I had a look at two of the PDF files that comprise the book. I must say, it's really nice! I like the direction of the book, though I still have not seen any actual experiment description, yet.

My dream for a chemistry book: learn chemistry through practical experiments. So there could be experiments grouped into categories, but not necessarily by the "boring" conventional chemistry curriculum, but rather by the effects produced by the experiment:
- colours of solutions - experiments with transition metal compounds, aromatic and other conjugated coloriferous (is that a word? I don't speak English as my mother tongue) compounds. Experiments with emission spectra - colour of flames and sparks, simple spectroscopy of these flames (also, related to this would be gas discharge).
- oxidation and reduction (explosions, bright and other kind of burning, etc.
- synthesis of odorous compounds
- catalysing reactions, increasing/decreasing reaction rates
- polymerization

And even though you would not follow a well-established chemical curriculum, you could still teach solid chemistry, albeit in a somewhat mixed-up manner. But the brain is very good at putting the bricks in the correct places, as long as it has interest in the subject, and that's where the experiments help - in creating and keeping a high level of interest.
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[*] posted on 21-10-2014 at 14:39


Well, I've worked in industrial chem, built a personal lab, I've worked in photochemical, I've studied ceramics, I produce soap and essential oils...i worked in metal chem and surface chem, and developed a couple novel silicate and other silicon based polymers - with assorted intention; one to chelate, encapsulate and precipitate dangerous cations in wastewater (my fav). I have a Soxhlet extractor. Raw materials to fine chemicals is my specialty. Contact me, and if your so inclined, I will regale you.
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[*] posted on 21-10-2014 at 15:42


Quote: Originally posted by DrMario  
I had a look at two of the PDF files that comprise the book. I must say, it's really nice! I like the direction of the book, though I still have not seen any actual experiment description, yet.

My dream for a chemistry book: learn chemistry through practical experiments. So there could be experiments grouped into categories, but not necessarily by the "boring" conventional chemistry curriculum, but rather by the effects produced by the experiment:
- colours of solutions - experiments with transition metal compounds, aromatic and other conjugated coloriferous (is that a word? I don't speak English as my mother tongue) compounds. Experiments with emission spectra - colour of flames and sparks, simple spectroscopy of these flames (also, related to this would be gas discharge).
- oxidation and reduction (explosions, bright and other kind of burning, etc.
- synthesis of odorous compounds
- catalysing reactions, increasing/decreasing reaction rates
- polymerization

And even though you would not follow a well-established chemical curriculum, you could still teach solid chemistry, albeit in a somewhat mixed-up manner. But the brain is very good at putting the bricks in the correct places, as long as it has interest in the subject, and that's where the experiments help - in creating and keeping a high level of interest.
Check out the wiki (in my signature) if you haven't already. It's also a work in progress, but our goal there is to make a resource similar to what you're talking about, as well as having a good reference to find anything a chemist could need. We could always use more contributors!



Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
Have a particular topic you're really interested in currently? Why not make a page for it? The wiki can always benefit from more contributors.

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[*] posted on 22-10-2014 at 08:02


Quote: Originally posted by zts16  
Quote: Originally posted by DrMario  
I had a look at two of the PDF files that comprise the book. I must say, it's really nice! I like the direction of the book, though I still have not seen any actual experiment description, yet.

My dream for a chemistry book: learn chemistry through practical experiments. So there could be experiments grouped into categories, but not necessarily by the "boring" conventional chemistry curriculum, but rather by the effects produced by the experiment:
- colours of solutions - experiments with transition metal compounds, aromatic and other conjugated coloriferous (is that a word? I don't speak English as my mother tongue) compounds. Experiments with emission spectra - colour of flames and sparks, simple spectroscopy of these flames (also, related to this would be gas discharge).
- oxidation and reduction (explosions, bright and other kind of burning, etc.
- synthesis of odorous compounds
- catalysing reactions, increasing/decreasing reaction rates
- polymerization

And even though you would not follow a well-established chemical curriculum, you could still teach solid chemistry, albeit in a somewhat mixed-up manner. But the brain is very good at putting the bricks in the correct places, as long as it has interest in the subject, and that's where the experiments help - in creating and keeping a high level of interest.
Check out the wiki (in my signature) if you haven't already. It's also a work in progress, but our goal there is to make a resource similar to what you're talking about, as well as having a good reference to find anything a chemist could need. We could always use more contributors!


Very interested!... In theory. But I cannot seem to find an actual entry point to this content. You know, like an index or something. This is what I, an absolute outsider, see at the link you provide in your signature: "On the Wiki" tab, with some recent activity listed (various types of edits), but no index in sight. The "This is a great place to start" link doesn't show and index, either. So I click on the "Wiki content" tab, but under that, I only find "Recently changed pages". Again, no index.
So my issue, as a dude dropping in right now (as opposed to sciencemadness oldtimers), is that I don't see the structure of this project. Now, some people may feel perfectly OK and just start writing content that is missing - after all, you do make it quite clear what is missing. But you do not at all make it clear what is already there, and that messes with the way my brain works.
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[*] posted on 23-10-2014 at 06:55


I think the wiki has more profit, but I'd still like the rights to the book if the owner wants to 'sell' or trade? (See above post)



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[*] posted on 24-2-2016 at 21:41


Is there a recent version? I'd be interested in reading the thing
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[*] posted on 13-3-2016 at 15:24


Quote: Originally posted by Great  
Is there a recent version? I'd be interested in reading the thing

It's on Bromic Acid's Website, but in parts. Not a full PDF/DOC.




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[*] posted on 29-4-2016 at 11:02


A recent edition would be great. Ideally a complete one.



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[*] posted on 21-1-2017 at 01:01


I am already writing a book on organic chemistry, it will be finished soon I guess ;)
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[*] posted on 21-1-2017 at 02:55


Personally, I do not like the book.

mostly because it is a book,
I have become used to hyperlinks and I like them.
I prefer web pages.




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