7/10/2007

you know you miss synthetic chemistry when...

After an uneventful first few weeks here, I almost started two fires today. While it isn't very difficult to do that in an organic lab, it is not an easy task when working on the physical-chem side of materials.

It will definitely be the highlight of my entire summer.

11 comments:

Mitch said...

More details please, thats like no information at all. I would expect more from an AIM message than that.

Mitch

Ψ*Ψ said...

Yeah, that was kinda the point. There isn't much story to accompany an almost-fire.
In related news, cork ring is not terribly heat-resistant.

kiwi said...

i was going to say, the only way to start a fire in a phys chem lab is a bunch of instrument manuals and a box of matches swiped from a synthetic lab. but cork rings will do to.

Excimer said...

come on, explain how you made fire. in return i'll share my t-butyllithium fire story.

Uncle Al said...

Flip a spin, go to jail. Virtual orbitals may not be used in Federally-subsidized chemistry. Solvent levels in visible bottles must be uniform. Brown bottles only. No white bottles in lab - especially not if they are filled. If we are to end criminality we must begin with criminals.

Did you bend the plug's prongs to fit into an unused 220 V socket? "8^>)

SoapChemist said...

If you share your story with us, I'll share my near fire in grad school.

Details!!! =)

Ψ*Ψ said...

There's really not much of a story to tell. I had some overzealous heating tape and a less-than-awesome temperature controller. You know something's wrong when you see DMSO boiling but the thing still reads 60C.

Hap said...

I think that calling the apparatus a temperature controller is a misnomer, although I guess that it didn't reach nuclear fusion temperatures so the apparatus sort of controlled the temperature.

In related news, I don't think lots of things are happy in boiling DMSO.

Matt Jenks said...

I know a certain type of heterocyclic small molecule scaffold that only likes hot DMSO when it comes to dissolving.

Ψ*Ψ said...

I'm not so happy around boiling DMSO either.

taitauwai said...

Ψ*Ψ, got ur reply. My first fire was in my freshmen organic lab. Leaky gas hose. I didn't check before lighting up with a match, the whole bench was on fire. I managed to keep cool, reach out and turn off the gas. Pheew,but I did burn a little of my eyebrow. TA was no where to be seen. Irresponsible fella!