duckbunny (duckbunny)

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Recent Comments

  • More bits - So that's why when the punctuation goes wrong you get three symbols in place of the one! I am excited to know this!
  • Capsaicin - Honestly? I have no idea. Ask a biologist ;)

All Posts by duckbunny

What’s A Widget?

How are widgets made? Let’s say that today, a widget is equivalent to a nice cup of tea. How do you make a cup of tea? You put tea leaves in a pot, pour boiling water over the leaves, wait, and then pour out the...

The Widget Factory

Let’s make some massive, huge, ridiculous assumptions, and say you’ve got a factory. Your factory has been built, equipped, and prepared for your use. All you are responsible for is running it. You are the widget-maker, and this is your widget-making factory. These are the...

Quality Is A Thing

Quality control, or quality assurance, or quality management, is the attempt to make sure that everything you make and every service you provide is done exactly right. At base, that’s all quality is. It’s one of those apparently simple questions – How can we do...

Titration

Titration is, like most of the concepts I’ve covered this year, basically quite a simple trick. You take an unknown amount of something, and you add somethig it reacts with in small, known amounts, until the reaction stops. Then you know how much of the...

Dropwise

Sometimes – often – there are no shortcuts. If you wan to get the best results, you have to take time over them. You have to let your mixture reflux for long enough. You have to dry it off in the oven until it’s properly...

Magnetic balances

One of the more curious devices in a chemistry lab is the magnetic balance. This is an extremely precise balance – as in, accurate to the nearest hundred thousandth of a gram or closer – with an electromagnet underneath. The balance lives in a nearly...

Piping hot

I’ve mentioned concepts like making things hot before, but I haven’t gone into detail about how. The rather charming image of a chemist in a dark laboratory, tending to a bunsen flame, while the varnish on the wooden bench gleams in the light, and green...

Hot Filtration

Filtration, like recrystallisation, is about physically seperating things. It’s not about doing a reaction. It’s just a way of getting the thing you want in a pot on its own. If what you want is solid, and everything else is liquid, this is quite easy,...

Recrystallisation

Once you’ve collected your product, in its lovely freshly-grown crystal form, you need to purify it. This first version is full of bits of unspent reactant and solvent and side products and waste products, and everything would be better if it were not. Washing it...

173px-Scheitrechter

Separating funnel

Separating solids from liquids is as simple as using a sieve. Sometimes a complicated version of a sieve, designed to be faster and finer, but basically still a sieve. Sieves are not noted for their ability to separate liquids, but luckily there is an extremely...