Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Gems from Ochem

Chemistry isn't real and I can prove it!

Ask any sufficiently knowledgeable chemistry professor (note: there is no actual guarantee of finding said professor) what are the fundamental concepts key to understanding all of organic chemistry, he/she will probably tell you transition states and resonance forms. If you can understand these you've got the rest made. But here's the problem, transition states are theoretical structures necessary to explain chemical reactions. These theoretical structures exist for 0 time, meaning they exist but are instantly converted into the next stage along the path to chemical nirvana. Similarly resonance forms are all possible other configurations of electrons that could give the same structure. The thing about resonance structures is that any given resonance structure doesn't exist. What we see is only a composite of all possible hypothetical other possibilities (this has interesting implications for the universe as a whole, but we'll get to that in a bit.), each possibility in an of itself does not exist. A scientist by the name of John Robert's likened resonance structures to a rhinoceros. If you were to describe a rhino to someone from fantasy land ( no- not chemistry, fairy tail fantasy land) you might describe a rhino as a cross between a dragon and a unicorn, it has the tough hide of a dragon, the bulk and temper of a dragon, but the horn and hooves of a unicorn. Neither the dragon nor the unicorn exist, but the composite, the ugly looking magical mule made by hybridizing the two does. The rhino is real, but the dragon and the unicorn aren't. (We spent 3 hours in class today discussing how we are all made out of dragons and unicorns.)

We now have all of necessary pieces, lets now construct our argument shall we. Organic Chemistry is founded upon the ideas of transition states and resonance forms. Yet, neither transition states, nor resonance forms are real. Both exist for 0 time! Oh yeah, and you can't see them either. So if I were to tell you the world runs because of really tiny things you can't see powered and explained by things that don't really exist, would you believe me or lock me up in a loony bin? Chemistry is no better than a treatise on gnome physics. (and while you're looking up that you can also check out

So we've established that chemistry isn't real, but its seems to work. Maybe we can extrapolate something useful from this information after all. For kicks, lets see where our thought processes take us if we apply the ideas of chemistry to religion. Physics says that there could be infinitely many possible universes, chemistry says there could be infinitely many resonance structures. In chemistry we learn that the actual structure of a compound is roughly the average of all possible resonance states. Maybe there really only is one universe, but it is an average of all possible other universes, maybe that is why our universe is the best of all possible universes. This could explain the curvature of the universe and why it is so precisely tuned--because it is an average, an average of universes that theoretically could have worked, some that didn't these being akin to the minor resonance structures, representing a smaller contribution. And the result is just one with some aspects of many, potentially infinitely many others. If our universe is a resonance structure of other universes maybe we can somehow use Fourier analysis to see how many components are universe is comprised of?

That's the first thing I pondered today while the teacher told us of unicorns and dragons. The second thing came about when he suggested that our drawings of resonance structures are purely a human construction, an artefact of the human mind if you will. This got me thinking about a form of microscopy called atomic force microscopy. A common artefact of this form of microscopy is imaging of the tip. The cantilever that creates the images will occasionally run into something that will produce and image of the thing supposed to be producing the image. Its like taking a picture of the camera, but on accident, and on the atomic scale. Regardless, of how its done occasionally an image of the imager is captured within the image itself. And here's where the spiritual side comes in. The Bible says that man is made in God's image. The LDS scriptures extend this in the Book of Moses 6:63 citing that all things bear testimony of God. If this is true, this then is the becomes THE purpose for science--To learn all we can of this universe, and by doing so study the very face of God himself! So why do we study astronomy? Because "darkness moved upon the face of the deep!" God is watching us, and if we are watching, we are in turn watching him.

Peace. The Ultimate Big Brother is watching!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ochem's Razor

The semester is half over (or only half started :( ) so in celebration, here are some of the things I have learned in Ochem. In case you don't know, ochem is the science of spilling smelly things. Organic compounds come in two varieties; white powdery cancer causing compounds, and clear colorless cancer causing liquid compounds. Compounds may be further divided into: things you boil, and things you mix before boiling.

While taking organic chemistry it is important to be safe, and to understand the substances you are working with. As such, MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets, or more aptly, Magnificently Stupid Danger Signs) have become my life. Here are some gems of wisdom I have found while reading real live MSDS's (Yes, they were alive at the time I read them.)

Spearmint can be quite toxic in quantities greater than 1650 mg/kg. This is not that funny until you realize that in order to die of a spearmint over dose you will need to consume more than 1.6 times your own body weight! Poor rat. Oh and standard clean up methods may be inadequate to deal with spilling an industrial vat of spearmint. IF you do, however spill an industrial vat it is advised that a full body chemical suit be worn while cleaning. Incidently, this is also the same precaution necesary for large water spills as well!

Along the lines of things you can overdose on, Orange oil is also one of them. However, this may prove difficult as 160 grams of orange yield 0.017 g of "Orange Oil" a yield of 0.01%

And the best one:
I found this under potatssium permanganate.
Early symptoms include sluggishness, sleepiness, and weakness in the legs. Advanced cases have shown symptoms of fixed facial expression, emotional disturbances, spastic gait, and falling. Wait! I thought ALL of chemistry caused this, especially 20 hours a day of it!

But enough about safety, ochem surprisingly has has some really interesting parts. Such as borazine ( its an organic ring without any carbons! so cool. And then there's hexahelicene it rotates light 3700 degrees! (that's rotation not temperature.

Cool stuff-good luck gotta go.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Contrary to popular opinion, I am not dead. It is true I have not posted in ages, but I blame that on 20 hours a day of ochem. But my thought of the while is this: Heaven is supposed to be a higher state that we are in currently. God, Christ, angels, etc will on occasion drop from this higher state to visit us mere mortals. When they do, they are often described as being wreathed in a halo of brilliant light. Now consider this, an electron will also emit light as it drops from a higher to lower state. Different states have different colors. My religion says that there are different levels within heaven. If descending from heaven is akin to electron de-excitation then visitors from the different planes might have different colors. Energy evaluations using Planck's constant, C, and the Rydeberg equation to follow.