lazy organic chemist structures, demystified

If you weren’t in class last Monday, you may want to check out this page to understand how structures of organic molecules are usually drawn!


titrations, pH and logs

Since many of you have never seen a titration in practice, I thought I’d share this video so you can get a clear picture of what’s happening!

In addition to that, I found one on pH calculations including some background on logarithms.  I think this might help if your math is a bit rusty there!  Just make sure you know how to use your calculator on the exam…

Once you’re done with the video, you might want to use this quiz to check your understanding.  Instant feedback is very helpful in studying!


If you need a reason to not sleep through class, this thread of serious lab accident stories gives you a pretty decent one.

Note that most of these were chemical incidents perpetrated by biologists and engineers.

How many of your other classes can potentially prevent you from dying a horrific death in the lab?

Here are more stories.  There’s also a video, further down the page, that shows barrels of sodium being dumped into a lake.

I’m thankful to have avoided lab injury, except for one lightly-THF-contaminated needle stick and a few small lab fires.

intermolecular forces in everyday life

Since we just finished talking about intermolecular forces of attraction, here is a quick example.  Have you ever wondered how geckos can walk on ceilings?

This is how!

(It’s a research paper, and these things are full of highly technical language, so don’t worry if it doesn’t make total sense to you.  They’re a bit tricky to read, especially at the intro level, but the science is pretty cool!)


This is a super cool visualization of the gas laws, and helps you picture what exactly happens when we do things like increase the temperature of a gas.  Does require Flash.  Remember…gas particles are like metalheads in a mosh pit.

Here’s a video that explains why the Ideal Gas Law is the only one you REALLY need:

I’ll still give you the other gas laws in your helpful formula section for the exam, so don’t panic, but if you’re comfortable with a little algebra, you really only need to know PV = nRT!

Lewis structures & VSEPR – practice problems and videos

Lewis structures are pretty important on this exam.  It’s a good idea to make sure you always count the number of valence electrons and check for octets!  I found you a nice tutorial, and here’s a Sporcle quiz if double and triple bonds throw you off.  This video might also help:

Dot structures II: Multiple bonds:

Here’s a good set of practice problems on VSEPR and molecular geometry if you find you need more to work than the book gives you.  These cover a few geometries we didn’t touch on in class, involving expanded octets, so beware!

I also found you a video that might help you visualize polarity in molecules.

End electron inequality now!

I thought I’d share this article with you guys since it’s very relevant to what we’ve been discussing in class lately.  We must all strive to promote atomic diversity and fair distribution of electrons within our chemistry.*


* APRIL FOOLS!  (Side note: your instructor actually thinks diversity and income equality are very, very important issues and she does what she can on both counts.)