duckbunny (duckbunny)

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  • 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

Arsole

Today, it’s time for something a bit silly. ” This is the second-best pun in the whole of chemistry: arsole, pronounced exactly the way you think. Arsole is actually its correct systematic name. I mean, it wasn’t called that for a joke. If you apply...

Nicotine

We’ve covered two popular recreational drugs, ethanol and caffeine, so let’s look at a third. Nicotine is the major active ingredient in tobacco, and is usually ingested by burning tobacco leaves and inhaling the smoke. The nicotine is absorbed through the membranes of the mouth...

Silicon Dioxide

Yesterday we took a whirlwind tour through liquid crystals. Today, let us consider another strange phase of matter – glass. Technically speaking, ‘glass’ is actually the name of a phase just like ‘solid’ and ‘gas’ are phases, but in common usage glass means a mixture...

Liquid Crystals

This is 4-cyano-4′-pentylbiphenyl, and it’s a liquid crystal. Now, to cover liquid crystals properly would take up another Advent’s worth of posts, so I’m not going to. I’m going to simplify things horribly. I’m going to tell you lies-to-readers, in the same way that teachers...

Cyclohexane

Today’s molecule, cyclohexane, was responsible for the second largest peacetime explosion in British history. Cyclohexane, as the name suggests, consists of six carbons in a ring, with their associated hydrogens, and nothing else. It isn’t interesting primarily for its reactions, but for its shape. Cyclohexane,...

Cubane

This is cubane, so named because it’s an alkane and, well, it’s cubic. It doesn’t actually occur in nature. It’s a purely synthetic molecule, and if I were to guess I’d say that it was invented, not because of its possible uses, but because it’s...

Hydrogen Fluoride

Speaking of things that are very good at what they do, let’s take a gander at hydrogen fluoride. This one doesn’t need a picture, because it’s just H-F, one hydrogen and one fluorine. (I have a terrible habit of spelling it flourine, but it is...

Superglue

Superglue is marvellous. It sticks a lot of things to a lot of things. It’s not the best adhesive there is – it’s possible to drive four hundred miles with an engine held together by Araldite, for instance, which I doubt is possible with superglue...

Teflon

Well, we’ve done a couple of entries on medicines, so let’s go back to some more fundamental chemistry and look at a polymer. This here is a section of polytetrafluoroethylene, or Teflon as it’s better known. It’s a fairly ordinary polymer in chemical terms, except...

Sumatriptan

Sticking with the medical theme, this is sumatriptan: It’s a migraine cure, and it’s marvellous. It works. When I have a migraine attack, I spray twenty milligrams of this up my nose, and the pain goes away. It’s not perfect – in particular, it doesn’t...