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Author: Subject: Motivation
Aratama
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[*] posted on 24-5-2016 at 18:49
Motivation


Hey ScienceMadness community, if you don't mind my asking, what motivates you to begin a new experiment?

I ask because I'm having trouble motivating myself, or understanding what motivates me. Even though I love performing reactions and isolating products, the product has to be meaningful to me, and there aren't many home-synthesis targets which I consider very useful or desirable of their own. (That's not to say that there aren't any, just that I haven't found them.)

What do you look for in a synthetic target? Do you have any resources which help you decide on new projects to pursue? I appreciate your input.
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Daffodile
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[*] posted on 24-5-2016 at 18:53


Money
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phlogiston
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[*] posted on 25-5-2016 at 00:48


I am most motivated by trying things that I don't know in advance whether they will or even can work and cannot find any information about. Treading into unknown territory.



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myristicinaldehyde
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[*] posted on 25-5-2016 at 02:55


Pretty scents and colors. Trying out an unusual reaction.

Also, having a bottle of something probably very illegal made 100% OTC and no one else knowing has a thrill to it.
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woelen
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[*] posted on 25-5-2016 at 03:16


For me the motivation to do things is twofold. First it is getting an understanding of the world around us and being capable of doing very remarkable things. I try to explore the borders and beyond of what is commonly known and accepted. I sometimes find very weird compounds, and sometimes there is no literature known to me about these observations.
Another motivation is to make new (young) people enthusiastic for science and more in general for the natural world around us. I hope that my experiments and my writings about them arouse interest in people and make them enthusiastic.

See my signature . . .




The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
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Texium
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[*] posted on 25-5-2016 at 20:18


Quote: Originally posted by Daffodile  
Money
I hope this is a joke, being as it's essentially impossible to make money as an amateur chemist (at least legally anyway). You basically have to accept that you're going to lose money, and find other reasons to enjoy the hobby. If you can't do that, it isn't for you.

For me, the motivation is similar to what woelen describes, however, for me it comes in bursts. Usually I'll have a few very productive days in the lab, and then not do anything for a couple weeks. I find that the best way to find something to do though is to just set a fairly challenging but reachable goal that will keep you busy for a while and then keep working away at it. For example, right now I'm working my way up to my first Grignard reaction. So far, I've distilled bromine and made phosphorus tribromide but I still need to...

-Brominate an alcohol
-Distill ether from starting fluid and dry it with sodium (which I'll have to obtain somehow)
-Synthesize the Grignard reagent
-Synthesize an interesting ketone (I'm thinking of going with cyclohexanone)
-React the Grignard reagent with the ketone

So I have enough stuff to keep me going for a good while with the rate I usually work at.




Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
They're not really active right now, but here's my YouTube channel and my blog.
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100PercentChemistry
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 02:16


Trying a unsustainable reacrion. It's satisfying going through a long process and finally reaction your end goal?
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Eddygp
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 03:27


making things that can do things, just for the sake of thinking about how you are an architect of the microscopic world




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[ˌɛdidʒiˈpiː] IPA pronunciation for my Username
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crystal grower
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 07:16


For me it's obviously making crystals from almost anything, often with awesome results. My motivation is also finding ways to make elements for my collection, interesting experiments such as pyrophoric iron, etc. or reactions with unexpected results.
But generally I never got bored from chemistry, I simply have it in my weins :P.




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Magpie
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 09:14


I like to rearrange atoms. I like the challenges. I like to write and share my experiences on this forum. I don't know if I would be doing home chemistry if it were not for this forum. It certainly makes the chemistry easier and more fun.



The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 09:42


Knowledge is what motivates me. Gaining it, refining it, expanding it, using it all is great joy and better yet sharing it.
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crystal grower
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 10:10


Quote: Originally posted by XeonTheMGPony  
Knowledge is what motivates me. Gaining it, refining it, expanding it, using it all is great joy and better yet sharing it.

That's exactly my attitude :).
Very well said, XeonTheMGPony!




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Check out the ScienceMadness Wiki: http://www.sciencemadness.org/smwiki/index.php/Main_Page
Also make sure to check out my and hegi's website :) :
http://pieceofscience.com
Thanks.
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ficolas
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 11:17


As Eddygp said, making things to do things, and if I cant make anything with the thing I make, either I keep it if its pretty, or I try to burn it somehow.
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aga
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 11:45


The motivation is mostly to see if it works/if i can do it/to see what happens/to see if i can understand it :

in a nutshell, Curiosity.

If seeing a piece of orange coloured paper turn almost black (or red !) does not make your eyes light up, then Chemistry isn't something you should bother with.

Try the new Doom game from 'id software', probably safer in the long run.

(Yes, all that is Old is once again New).

[Edited on 26-5-2016 by aga]




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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 26-5-2016 at 12:53


Hey, I like both chemistry and the new Doom!
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Aratama
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[*] posted on 27-5-2016 at 14:10


Thanks everyone for your responses. It seems like this is a pretty easy question for most of you.

zts, that's exactly the way I've approached home chemistry in the past. maybe after a few successes I'll feel more confident and/or be better at setting appropriate goals.

aga, you raise a good point. if I'm bored, maybe chemistry isn't for me. but to hell with that. i'm here because there's something I love very much about chemistry, but i'm not quite sure yet how to actualize it.

I'll have lots of time this summer to try new things. Again, I'll ask if you guys use any particular resources to help you come up with new projects. I have a wealth of potential experiments in my textbooks but maybe you guys look somewhere else?

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aga
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[*] posted on 27-5-2016 at 14:49


Pick any post on SM where someone is actually Doing chemistry and try to copy what they already did.

e.g. http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=66361

Personally i like the idea of turning mothballs into something useful, so i'll be looking for mothballs tomorrow.

At the very least i'll find out what they saw when they took those photos, and might (just might) see something different that is worth mentioning.

[Edited on 27-5-2016 by aga]




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[*] posted on 27-5-2016 at 14:53


Quote: Originally posted by MrHomeScientist  
Hey, I like both chemistry and the new Doom!

Hopefully that does not mean you're Chemically Doomed ;)

I stopped after Half life/CounterStrike: it's too addictive.




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PHILOU Zrealone
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[*] posted on 31-5-2016 at 11:43


-Curiosity about the world and its wonders (everything is physico-chemical, chemical or biochemical to some extand/in essence).

-Understanding of the world.
What are the rules, limits, how does it work? ...
Does it fit a theory (or a group of theories) which explains well observation?

-Prediction on the basis of theories...hypothesis verifications.
If it works wel --> super ... everything is fine and normal
If it doesn't work wel --> super ... a challenge, why it didn't work as expected?, find explanation or new theory...a discovery?

-Discover new compounds or characterize not wel characterized ones.

-Being able to make nearly anything from OTC materials...just in case...a la Mac Guyver style ;):P

I like energetic materials and explosives because it joins chemistry and physic (solid, liquid, gas, light, sound, heat, energy) and experimentation with results is pretty straightforward and a lot of fun (if done with moderation and caution)...
Christmass and New-Year eve remember my homemade bangers, sparklers, Bengale's fire and fireworks :D


[Edited on 31-5-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]




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Richard3050
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[*] posted on 31-5-2016 at 16:44


I like to think that when you are studying chemistry there are two things that you are primarily interested in. The first is the book work; learning what you don't know, reading scientific papers, etc. The other is actually going into the lab and trying to apply yourself. Knowing how to do the mechanism for a given reaction is great but actually seeing it happen is just as important. Doing new and different experiments refines your skills in the lab and makes you think about why different reactions or side reactions might occur that allow you to do more research into different subjects.

When I was just beginning chemistry and did my first oxidation of an alcohol I thought since I knew the mechanism and had a descent idea how the reaction worked that I could do it in the lab with no problem. My first attempt to synthesize the corresponding aldehyde ended when I accidentally used 18M sulfuric acid instead of ~9M and everything in the boiling flask exploded in the fume hood. However I learned from that lab experience and its been awhile since I had an accident that was quite so bad. Motivation to do more experiments comes from a desire to refine one's skills.




"Science knowledge only adds to the excitement... I don't understand how it subtracts."
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[*] posted on 8-6-2016 at 08:15


Quote: Originally posted by myristicinaldehyde  

Also, having a bottle of something probably very illegal made 100% OTC and no one else knowing has a thrill to it.


Dear god yes. Although this isn't my main motivation, it's still pretty damn great in it's own paradoxical way. Pretty much anything elusive in one way or another.

[Edited on 8-6-2016 by halp]
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[*] posted on 8-6-2016 at 09:11


I enjoy the process in a sense. I like being able to follow a process, gain an understanding of it in a fundamental way and then be able to apply that to a different set of problems. So I suppose I like watching the whole thing go from failure to minor success to mastered process.

I double majored in chemistry and psychology and use to joke when people said "arent those completely unrelated" I would say "chemistry gives me an understanding of the universe as its one of the underlying principles of interaction among matter and psychology gives me an understanding of human behavior, the underlying force guiding society"

Plus watching myself learn and grow constantly leads me to be completely indifferent to the passing of time and myself aging as I get to think, "oh man if i learned all this in 6 months i am going to be amazing at 60 years old, who knows what ill be doing then" where as most people my age fear getting to 30 because the fun stops... i do not have that fear.

But I also really enjoy working with my hands and occupying my mind. I have also picked up making fireworks and wine indirectly from studying chemistry i suppose. I make fireworks when I want something to do that uses my creative side and wine really to master the process of making ethanol and getting good at wine will make a nice gift to a lot of people, more so then fireworks or random isolated/synthetic compounds.

[Edited on 8-6-2016 by szuko03]




Chemistry is a natural drive, not an interest.
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