March 26th, 2006

(First off: Note to Sarah. Yes, I have heard of Vienna Teng, but I didn’t give the poor girl much of a chance–I think I downloaded “Harbor” just before the Great Format. So now, upon your urging, I’m kinda seizing upon every mp3 I come across. Sorry, I’ve been busy completing my CORE OF SOUL collection.)

I’m an organic chemist for all of three hours every week. Just so you Arts students (and non-organic chemists) understand what this feels like, I’m reproducing a page from my lab notebook):

10:10 Finish assembling app. Charge 50 mL rbf w/2 g 5-t-butyl-m-xylene and stirbar. Cool 5 mL HNO3/7 mL H2SO4 in Erlenmeyer.
10:15 Begin addition of cooled acidic mixture to reaction vessel. Reaction mixture turns pale yellow. Brown deposits on wall of flask?
10:25 Finish addition.
10:30 Switch ice bath for oil bath. Power: 7 Temp: 50 ºC
10:40 110 ºC reached. turn power to 5. Reaction mixture turns orange. Yellow/orange fumes being evolved into condenser.
11:15 Remove oil bath, switch for ice bath.
11:35 Transfer to 40 mL ice
12:00 Triturate + air dry crude pdt
12:10 Receiver weight: 48.78 Receiver + crude pdt: 54.70
12:20 Set up reflux apparatus. Add EtOH to cover crude pdt. Heat Thermowell.

And it kind of disappears after that. Of all the times to have a fire alarm–it just happens to be at the end of a lab. Just as I’m about to finish. (My observations should go on to recount the pale yellow crystals afforded from recrystallization, but I was just concerned about getting out of there. Besides which, they’re not collecting the observations from this lab, anyway.)

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 26th, 2006 at 9:02 pm and is filed under ramblings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “A page from an organic chemist’s lab book”

Bobby Says:

Wow, as an Arts student, I can’t possibly imagine working methodically on anything for 2+ plus hours. I have a hard time just sitting still for 50 minutes in lectures. Doing these labs must require so much patience and dedication. And lemme guess… it was a false alarm?

Sami Says:

Yikes…sounds complimacated. I remember the fun chem labs in high school though…being told exactly what to do, and it not really mattering when you mess up as long as you say why you did.

Remember the ethers lab? My sense of smell was so messed up…the wind smelled like vinegar!!!