Friday, January 28, 2011

Chemistry in Cartoons: Boom

This is an odd coincidence. Two comics on the same day with a chemistry theme. It so happens that the e-comic "Indexed" is a favorite of mine for pretty much the same reasons I like "Sheldon". It has the added factor of often including Venn diagrams one of my favorite mathematical tools from elementary school (that and geometry sets, I love me some geometry sets, I will buy sets even when I don't need them "for the lab").

In terms of the content of the cartoon, I guess it comes down to the word "dissimilar". There are few elements that spontaneously explode on contact with another element. Even hydrogen and oxygen need to be initiated. While I was a fluorine chemist in my youth and we made our AsF5 by the reaction of As and F2 I can't say that they would have "exploded". I bet elemental Cs would give a bit of a woof if you exposed it to F2 so maybe she has a point.

I only came in contact with elemental Cs when I interviewed for a post-doc with James Dye at Michigan State. He was leading a very well funded research group in the area of alkalides and electrides. I remember a graduate student passing my a vial with 100g of Cs in it and hovering while I chatted with the supervisor as if his life depended on me giving him back the vial. Good times.

Anyway the comic reminds me a favorite quote:

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction both are transformed." Karl Jung

1 comment:

Science Is Awesome !!! said...

Very Funny!!
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We will share this our page and provide link for your blog.

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For a while it was all about research and then it was all about teaching and now it's all about trying to find a balance while teaching at a small liberal arts and science university.