December 2015

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Click here to see the complete report.

Changing Colors of Leaves

Nature is a great chemist. It is playing with chemical pigments to present vivid colors. Even a single leaf is a piece of art. There are many classes of pigments present inside it but their amount and times of breakdown and synthesis decides the resultant color. The different colors are on display during autumn season. The leaves begin to look less and less green. They can take yellow, orange and red hues depending upon the ratios of the amounts of different pigments present in the leaves. Most important pigment in the leaves is the chlorophyll. It is this pigment which… Read More »Changing Colors of Leaves

Mallet Ferry Wharf 

Mallet Ferry Wharf! I visited the place. It is a ferry terminus and fish trawlers unloading port in Mumbai. You are welcomed by a stench of fishes as you approach the area. Hundreds of fish traders stand up and fish is conveyed to top from boats by ropes and mesh nets. There are mounds of sea fish of every kind. All places are full of fish. There are porters towing it away on the carts. Water drips from the baskets carrying the fish. Trucks are filled by the fish. Every boat has a flag and they are bobbing up and… Read More »Mallet Ferry Wharf 

Chemicals imparting different tastes to whiskies

All the wines and spirits contain alcohol in different proportions. Alcohols are organic compounds with an hydroxyl (OH) group. There are thousands of compounds in this category. But the alcohol which wines and distillates of fermented matter obtained from the carbohydrates is Ethanol or ethyl alcohol with chemical formula written as C2H5-O-H. Compare it to formula of water H-O-H. If you replace one hydrogen atom in water with ethyl (C2H5) group, you get ethyl alcohol. Introduction of non polar ethyl group, reduces the polarity of the alcohol in comparison to water. This causes the alcohol to be the best solvent for… Read More »Chemicals imparting different tastes to whiskies

In Search of Chemist’s pure water

Chemist’s pure water which is formulated as H2O exists only in the theory. In the laboratory too, it has to be prepared from the water from the tap. The reason isits high polarity and very dielectric constant which makes it is a potent solvent. It can dissolve ionic inorganic salts, polar organic compounds, acidic, basic and polar gases. It also carries suspended matter like clay particles which are in the form of colloids. Some of these are loosely suspended and separate out with time by sedimentation and other are stable and has to be destabilized by using defloucculants to settle… Read More »In Search of Chemist’s pure water