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Offline mir

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Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« on: April 29, 2007, 01:00:29 PM »
What is the most most beautiful word in chemistry?

I often find among pupils I help, that the terms in chemistry often is a bigger challenge than the principles. So if we are trying to teach something to anybody, why not use something that is easy to say?

Acetyl-salicylic acid (in Norwegian) is a beautiful word: Acetylsalisylsyre. I guess englishmen is pronouncing it exactly the same except by that 'R' sound :-)
No single thing abides, but all things flow.
Fragment to fragment clings, and thus they grow
Until we know and name them.
Then by degrees they change and are no more
The things we know.
- Titus Lucretius Carus

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Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2007, 08:24:01 PM »
chemistry is chemystery
"Say you're in a [chemical] plant and there's a snake on the floor. What are you going to do? Call a consultant? Get a meeting together to talk about which color is the snake? Employees should do one thing: walk over there and you step on the friggin� snake." - Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of Glaxosmithkline, June 2006

Offline english

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 04:36:50 AM »
All of the acid-base indicator names are cool.  Maybe even beautiful, I guess. :P

Bromocresol purple....thymol blue....methyl orange...phenolphthalein....


Maybe that's just me then.   :)

Offline hmx9123

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007, 09:16:22 PM »
Fluorine, when correctly pronounced.

Iodinated is kind of funny sounding. :)

Offline dfx-

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 01:49:05 PM »
Fluorine, when correctly pronounced.

Just about to post that :)
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Offline Ψ×Ψ

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2007, 06:40:30 PM »
Crystalline. 
I'm trying to grow xtals for diffraction, though, so I might be a little biased.

Offline hmx9123

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 03:52:11 AM »
Yeah, I hear that.  'Amorphous' and 'twinned' are evil, vile words in my book.

Offline Ψ×Ψ

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 09:21:27 PM »
For that matter, "single."

Offline P

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 05:25:40 AM »
Hey ?*?  -  wern't you origionally Psi*Psi ?

(in case you think this compleatly of  topic  -  I always thought Psi-star-Psi had a nice ring to it!) ;D
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Offline ultrashogun

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2007, 04:27:31 PM »
Indole

Offline Mitch

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2007, 02:19:36 AM »
"reactive" ;)
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Offline lemonoman

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2007, 10:42:10 AM »
cadaverine

Offline enahs

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 01:23:24 PM »
"molybdenum", nobody knows how to pronounce it!

Offline shelanachium

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2007, 04:37:01 AM »
Just 'beauty' - look at the structures! Get yourself some molecular models, solid or computer-based. Charmed plenty of 'artsy' people with them, who are often enemies of science which they regard as cold and soulless. Maybe few of these became chemists, but they at least saw that chemistry contained a form of beauty they could appreciate.

Offline shelanachium

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Re: Most beautiful word in chemistry?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2007, 05:01:01 AM »
And some may then even try to understand it. Appreciation of Beauty without understanding is a poor thing. Read Walt Whitman's poem on 'Hearing the Great Astronomer' then Asimov's demolition.

So Whitman didn't know what we know, so it's a tiny bit unfair - which Asimov admitted. But wouldn't it move the most poetic soul that because of science we really know that we are stardust, our constituents were born in the deaths of mighty stars that long preceded us?

And no literary scholar ever lost their respect for Shakespeare because they learnt a bit how he did it.  So why should scientific understanding not enhance, rather than destroy, our appreciation of the Universe? Terrible and cruel it can be, but as Alan Paton wrote, it is lovely beyond any singing of it.


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