12/09/2006

i <3 pyrex

What chemist doesn't like glassware? Alright, except for the part where it breaks. That's not so fun. So, given that glass is so important to some of us that we hide our round-bottoms[1], I thought I'd post about things made of Pyrex you DON'T see in the lab.

The most obvious is cookware. Lots of chemists also cook. Most of those can cook things that do not involve macaroni. Pyrex is nice stuff for baking.


And then there's art. A good deal of glass sculptures are the kind of things you'd expect to find on your grandmother's shelves collecting dust. Some artists are better than others, though.
There are also the, um, stranger uses. If I ever see either the object to the left or the object to the right in the lab...I'm running.[2]

And then we come to my favorite underappreciated use for glass. It's wonderful for jewelry...but you can't really use any of the above earrings if your holes aren't at least around a 12G. (The way gauging up works? You typically start with 18G and slowly work your way up--smaller numbers are larger sizes. Doesn't hurt if you go up one size at a time, in the shower, with antibacterial soap.) If I remember correctly, these start with 10G on the left, then 8G, 2 pairs of 6G and two pairs of 4G. For the skeptics, and the people who are thinking "ouuuuch," you can also see what one of these looks like in my ear. These can be rather nice for people with nickel allergies or stubborn earlobes. Plus, some of them are sparkly.

[1] I am definitely among "some of us." It's the only way I can keep it clean.
[2] Outside the lab? Maybe a different story.

2 comments:

gaussling said...

We make scandium triflate for sale at my day job. We dry it out in a vacuum oven in a pyrex baking dish we got at Big Box Mart. Of course, we have to be swift in getting it out of the oven, lest we desiccate the room atmosphere and rehydrate the goods.

Ψ*Ψ said...

One thing that amazed me this past summer was finding out just how ineffective desiccators are! A Pyrex beaker taken from the oven to the desiccator and left there for two hours weighs a good bit less than one left there overnight.