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Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with compounds composed of atoms, i.e. elements, and molecules, i.e. combinations of atoms: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other compounds. Chemistry addresses topics such as how atoms and molecules interact via chemical bonds to form new chemical compounds. There are four types of chemical bonds: covalent bonds, in which compounds share one or more electron(s); ionic bonds, in which a compound donates one or more electrons to another compound to produce ions (cations and anions); hydrogen bonds; and Van der Waals force bonds.
In the scope of its subject, chemistry occupies an intermediate position between physics and biology. It is sometimes called the central science because it provides a foundation for understanding both basic and applied scientific disciplines at a fundamental level. Examples include plant chemistry (botany), the formation of igneous rocks (geology), how atmospheric ozone is formed and how environmental pollutants are degraded (ecology), the properties of the soil on the moon (astrophysics), how medications work (pharmacology), and how to collect DNA evidence at a crime scene (forensics).
The history of chemistry spans a period from very old times to the present. Since several millennia BC, civilizations were using technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include extracting metals from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, extracting chemicals from plants for medicine and perfume, rendering fat into soap, making glass, and making alloys like bronze. Chemistry was preceded by its protoscience, alchemy, which is an intuitive but non-scientific approach to understanding the constituents of matter and their interactions. It was unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations, but, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. Chemistry as a body of knowledge distinct from alchemy began to emerge when a clear differentiation was made between them by Robert Boyle in his work The Sceptical Chymist (1661). While both alchemy and chemistry are concerned with matter and its transformations, the crucial difference was given by the scientific method that chemists employed in their work. Chemistry is considered to have become an established science with the work of Antoine Lavoisier, who developed a law of conservation of mass that demanded careful measurement and quantitative observations of chemical phenomena. The history of chemistry is intertwined with the history of thermodynamics, especially through the work of Willard Gibbs. Read more...
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Lysergic acid diethylamide
, commonly called LSD
, or LSD-25
, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug
. The short form LSD comes from "L
iethylamid". A typical single dose of LSD during the 1960s was between 100 and 200 micrograms, a tiny amount roughly equal to one-tenth the weight of a grain of sand. Today, a typical single dose of LSD can be as low as 25–50 micrograms, although they are more commonly 50–100 micrograms. Threshold effects can be felt with as little as 20 micrograms.
The effects of LSD can vary greatly, depending on factors such as previous experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength. Generally, LSD causes expansion and altered experience of senses, emotions, memories, and awareness for 8 to 14 hours. In addition, LSD may produce visual effects such as moving geometric patterns, "trails" behind moving objects, and brilliant colors. LSD does not produce hallucinations in the strict sense but instead illusions and vivid daydream-like fantasies, in which ordinary objects and experiences can take on entirely different appearances or meanings. At higher doses it can cause synaesthesia. The drug sometimes spurs long-term or even permanent changes in a user's personality and life perspective.
LSD is synthesized from lysergic acid derived from ergot, a grain fungus that typically grows on rye. LSD is sensitive to oxygen, ultraviolet light, and chlorine, especially in solution (though its potency may last years if the substance is stored away from light and moisture at low temperature). In pure form it is colorless, odorless, and mildly bitter. LSD is typically delivered orally, usually on a substrate such as absorbent blotter paper, a sugar cube, or gelatin.
Introduced by Sandoz Laboratories as a drug with various psychiatric uses, LSD quickly became a therapeutic agent that appeared to show great promise. However, the extra-medical use of the drug in Western society in the middle years of the twentieth century led to a political firestorm and government insider panic that resulted in the banning of the substance for medical as well as recreational and spiritual uses. Despite this, it is still considered a promising drug in some intellectual circles.
History and Philosophy of Chemistry
Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals/Data is a collection of links and references that are useful for chemistry-related works. This includes free online chemical databases, publications, patents, computer programs, and various tools.
Science is Fun University of Wisconsin–Madison Chemistry Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, shares the fun of science.
unit-conversion.info A good place to figure out what equals what.
General Chemistry Online Clear text and comprehensive coverage of general chemistry topics by Fred Senese, Dept. of Chemistry Frostburg State University
General Chemistry Demonstration at Purdue Video clips (and descriptions) of lecture demonstrations.
Intota Chemistry Experts A large online listing of real-world chemistry expert biographies provides examples of the many areas of expertise and careers in chemistry.
Chemistry Webercises Directory A large listing of chemistry resources maintained by Steven Murov, Emeritus Chemistry Professor Modesto Junior College.
MathMol MathMol (Mathematics and Molecules) is a good starting point for those interested in the field of molecular modeling.
Chemistry Educational Resources and Essential References from Wiley, the world's largest chemistry publisher
ABC-Chemistry A directory of free full-text journals in chemistry, biochemistry and related subjects.
The Element Song A goofy little song about all of the elements.
Techniques used by chemists
Equipment used by chemists
Chemistry in society
Chemistry in industry
Background color shows subcategory in the metal–metalloid–nonmetal trend:
Note: Nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson have only recently been named.
Things you can do
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Collaboration of the Month
Every month a different chemistry-related topic, stub or non-existent article may be picked. Please improve the article any way you can.