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Author: Subject: Illustrated key syntheses in chemistry
len1
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[*] posted on 24-12-2007 at 19:51
Illustrated key syntheses in chemistry


I want to start this new topic to which I intend to contribute regularly.

The reason for this is that Im generally unhappy with the way this forum treats what for me is the key reason for bothering with hobby chemistry at all. The problems I see is that:

1) Topics become unmanagebly large, with many off-topic and low-value contributions which dilute the worth of the whole thread.

2) Illustrations to back up the contributors claims often absent

3) Analysis of product frequently non-existent.

4) Sometimes no definite theory is presented

5) As a result many threads are not brought to a final conclusive result.

To overcome this I propose the following rules for posting in this thread

1) All procedures reported must be illustrated with clear photos.

2) All experiments must produce results, if the desired product is not obtained, dont post here.

3) Analytic identification of product must be attempted and actual yields, or sensible estimates of yields reported.

4) Clear theory of the reaction must be presented.

5) The reaction must be substantive - this is a bit of a hazy term, but I mean something more complicated than one metal replacing another from its salt.

I believe with this approach we shall form a useful catalogue of the achievement of the members of this forum who actually want to do something. Later this can be compiled.

Comments of course should be allowed, but it has been shown that these blow-out a thread, and would ruin the consise catalogue nature of what is intended, I therefore believe they should be posted in a separate dedicated thread. Len

PS There is of course the prepublication section - but contributions there dont obey the rules Ive outlined. In addition you might not want to bother to present an experiment in report form. Just post a few pics, procedure, and yield.


[Edited on 25-12-2007 by len1]
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solo
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[*] posted on 24-12-2007 at 20:09


Thanks for letting us know what's wrong with our forum..........that's all we needed another lecture on what we should be doing.......this is a hobby not a school course with programmed results and formats.......it's hard enough dealing with want to be censors now the elites with goals and directions......Org was right!, bring back the old sciencemadness.................solo



It's better to die on your feet, than live on your knees....Emiliano Zapata.
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len1
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[*] posted on 24-12-2007 at 20:15


Thats what I mean topics get littered. If what you have written is not a lecture then I dont know what it is. Except its personal and unpleasant, exactly what we dont need. If the aims of what I intend put you off, its simple dont read it, and dont post in it. You can still do what you normally do in other threads.

[Edited on 25-12-2007 by len1]
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Xenoid
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[*] posted on 24-12-2007 at 21:00
PREPUBLICATION


What's wrong with using the "Prepublication" section. This is intended for well written-up and accurate procedures. Forum members can then comment on them, and corrections made! These items are then supposed to be written-up formally and added as a .pdf file to "members publications". Unfortunately little is contributed, and little finds it way to a .pdf file.

This seems to be the ideal section for what you are suggesting.... :D
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len1
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[*] posted on 24-12-2007 at 21:27


I have thought of this Xenoid, but that didnt seem ideal.

First each synthesis is a new thread in prepublication, and with the loud sounding name you are expected to do a serious write-up, that could be a reason for the paucity of contributions there. What Im suggesting is just one thread, a 'quiter' alternative for those like myself at least.

Secondly take a synthesis I needed recently, chlorine. Theres already two threads on this, and I had to wade for 2 hours through unnecessary material, then 'distil' it to whats important - which was that the 'answer' the best method, has been posted in another thread, deliberately to avoid the clutter. That method is still without picture etc, so improvements can still be made. Now devoting a thread in prepublication to chlorine seems ridiculous, as is adding to the clutter (where in a hurry you wont find it). So the thought is a series of low profile, but relatively short and complete synthesis.

And yes I agree comments must be made, and the author, if anything relevant is found, should make modifications - but in a separate comment thread to keep all the relevant information condensed. Len
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[*] posted on 25-12-2007 at 06:14


Research is not about synthing things, its about not synthing things.

In most instances when dealing with chemistry you learn from your mistakes which takes time and money till you obtain what is desired.

Learning from other peoples mistakes is generally takes much less time and a whole lot less money.

Whether a synth is complete, incomplete, a complete failure, all of those experiences are helpful because someone might learn something, think of something, then pick up the ball and run with it till the goal has been achieved.




Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
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Nick F
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[*] posted on 25-12-2007 at 07:13


1) Topics become unmanagebly large, with many off-topic and low-value contributions which dilute the worth of the whole thread.

Well, what is off-topic in one person's eyes might be an extremely interesting and perhaps useful comment in another's. True, some things are posted which ARE genuinely uneccesary, but tangential replies are often interesting in their own right. Remember, this is a DISCUSSION GROUP. If you want pure instruction go to Vogel etc.

2) Illustrations to back up the contributors claims often absent

Not everyone can provide illustrations, although if they can't then yeah, they should give an adequate description if apparatus etc is non-standard.

3) Analysis of product frequently non-existent.

This I agree with, even someone with very little equipment and few reagents can provide an analysis which although perhaps not entirely conclusive will at least be suggestive of the identity of the product.

4) Sometimes no definite theory is presented

Sometimes it is not neccesary. If someone is attempting something novel and reasonably complex then yes, we'll need to be told why they're doing what they are with some sort of theoretical basis behind it, but if someone is presenting a procedure for eg chlorination then unless it's really obscure we'll all be aware of the theory behind it.

5) As a result many threads are not brought to a final conclusive result.

Who said a final conclusive result is always possible? Is there a final conclusive result to the problem of producing chlorine? No, because there are many ways to do it, and different people have access to different things. You can't say that MnO2 + HCl is better than TCCA + HCl, they are just different.



2) All experiments must produce results, if the desired product is not obtained, dont post here.

Someone seems to have missed the whole point of experimentation, as has been pointed out already by evil_lurker. I just had to point it out again!

3) Analytic identification of product must be attempted and actual yields, or sensible estimates of yields reported.

Yes yes yes.

5) The reaction must be substantive - this is a bit of a hazy term, but I mean something more complicated than one metal replacing another from its salt.

Isn't there actually a forum rule saying that everything posted must have at least something novel or interesting?

Anyway, I just want to sum up by saying that although I partially agree with you, in that if we all followed your suggestions it would indeed be easier to find threads along the lines of "I did this and it worked here is the proof", which are of course useful to people who can replicate what was done, it would also reduce the number of interesting little facts and anecdotes which people add into topics, and they are what, for me, makes this place such a rich and interesting place to read.

2nd edit: I also think that reading for two hours on, for example, the topic of chlorine production, will give you a much broader knowledge base than just learning one method, and surely that can't be a bad thing..?

Edit: P.S. - I hope you're all having a great Christmas!

[Edited on 25-12-2007 by Nick F]

[Edited on 25-12-2007 by Nick F]
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[*] posted on 25-12-2007 at 14:22


Solo, good old sciencemadness can not be back because this was time when threads were started but now we have to continue from where it was left by others.

I mostly agree with len1 about problems in this forum. It's of course not a grave thing, just i see that it could be better. I too have spent many hours reading long threads without finding what name of thread suggests but just enjoiment from chemistry related jokes and fun talking.

I do not belive this thread could work as len expects because aynthing which will be posted here gets comments and discussions exactly like in any other thread. Particular thread just can not be with so different rules. Posters will not accept it.

Prepublications is solution in my opinion. It was not intended for publishable articles in sense of scientific journals, just the alternative for the cluttered threads and poorly documented works.

It is clear that not all pdf-s there are equal but this is not problem actually. They are at least compact and hopefully will not contain wrong or untested information.

[Edited on 26-12-2007 by chromium]




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len1
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[*] posted on 25-12-2007 at 16:17


@chromium

Yes, I wasnt sure if the thread will work as I suggested, I posted to see what would happen. If it was let in peace and like minded peope would post into it all well, and good. If not it will just merge with the mass and disappear. Of course it relies on the good will of the posters and the desire of moderators to improve things rather than let the status quo rule.

The fact is that most threads are like our info-tainment, they titelate you for the moment, then disappear without a trace from memory and without bringing any useful fruit. Its a sign of our modern throw away mentality.

You may have noticed that Im now also effectively littering this thread by not posting according to my suggestion. Thats because its already littered and will soon disappear (I mean from memory but might as well from the hard disk) without having come close to achieving its aims, like 99% of the threads on the internet. Most people have responded with suggestions of posting in prepublication. I will have to do that now, although, its not ideal. There will be repetitions, because many so called threads, for example the chlorine thread, have not achieved its aims. That is why Organikum posted the result, in a separate thread. Not only that but going thru the debris in the chlorine thread, only a throw away line by someone points you to its existance. Else you would have come away empty handed. And with a feeling of being cheated. Its all very good if youre here to read jokes and participate in the general atmosphere, but sometimes thats not your aim.


Organikum presumably posted the results of his chlorine thread separately to avoid the clutter. What I am saying is that that is what you should do. But do it somewhere where its easy to find, its catalogued, and its nice if some general rules apply to such postings.

@nick

My general comment to you is something Ive said to a few others as well, I am not proposing new rules for the forum here. If yields really ruin chem for someone thats OK there are still 6000 odd threads to satisfy them. If posting pics is unfair to the destitute, there are many threads with just dreary dialog. If results are offensive, there are plenty of threads leading nowhere. I was just trying to create ONE thread for like minded people.

Quote:
this is a DISCUSSION GROUP. If you want pure instruction go to Vogel etc.


If thats all everyone on the forum wants it to be, and nothing of any other sort is allowed, thats fine. Im sorry for intruding, I had other ideas. But there are at least a few people here who dont think Vogel is end-all-and-be-all.

1) Its not illustrated - and this is a key part of what I was proposing. You say who needs illustrations? I say I prefer them to useless smart-arse comments from ignoramuses (I dont mean you, but there are plenty on the forum).

2) Its far from complete - where is its procedure for Benzaldehyde? You are expected to buy it - which all amateur chemists regularly do of course. And having bought it what's it for? For making something else of course - which you can buy as well. So wheres the amateur chemistry?

3) Not only that, many preparation are cognate.

4) It doest do things the way an amateur chemist would.

5) Some 'publications' by apparently respectable sources, are complete lies, as I have recently shown on this forum. With the format I was proposing lies would be much harder to pass off.


Quote:
Sometimes (theory) is not necessary


Now what you are saying sounds like we are all professionals over here. Well most are far from that as evidenced by the posts. And even if youre a professional in one area you are not in another. Lets take your TCCA example. It is advocated in the chlorine thread because hypochlorite produces oxygen. Where is the formula and proof for such a simple thing in the 9 pages? Not needed? Its just that many posters were struggling with the standard way to chlorine let alone how impurities arise. Its not an attempt at being elite here, just a desire for something useful.

Quote:
who said a conclusive result is always possible?


99% of things tried here, are not new, and conclusive results exist. While you can argue that MnO2 + HCl is no different from TCCA + HCl, for some reason two very different people, Organikum and myself, agree the later is definitively better. In fact I went to this thread exactly for the reason Organikum established it in the first place - thoughI didnt know that a priori. Moreover the former is available in all textbooks - they mostly copy each other, and the latter nowhere. Thats why I say - Vogel is not the final word.

Failed synthesis are just as important - Im not belittling them, they are just not relevant if you are like me a few days ago, wanting to quickly find a method to make A and having to wade through several hours of things that have failed, will fail, or are just irrelevant, to find nothing suitable is there.

I guess the real point of the reaction is that Im somehow belittling someone. Im sorry it came across that way. No insult is intended (and I didnt name anyone). I was just expressing my exhasperation, my vision is that many people adding their efforts together and picking-off each other should have a catalogue of achievements, the sum total of this shouldnt be quantifiable. One doesnt get that feeling.


Quote:
I hope you're having a great Christmas!


Merry Christams to you as well! Len

[Edited on 26-12-2007 by len1]
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