UTC: Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Not an Organic Textbook – Part 2. AHAs and cosmetics

You can read more about the origin of this post, here. When it comes to nomenclature, organic chemistry is notoriously full of contradictions, historical accidents and anomalies. It is often very messy! I quite often write about this, for example, here and here. For a change, the informal IUPAC term, alpha hydroxy acid or AHA, […]

Not an Organic Textbook – Part 1. Poop, coffee, beer and deer

A few years ago, I spent a couple of years writing an organic chemistry textbook of sorts. I say ‘of sorts’, since it was aimed at a high school audience, so to call it a ‘textbook’ seems a little grandiose to say the least. If I’m honest, looking back it should have been obvious to […]

Beery Molecules – part 6, why is humulone an ‘alpha acid’?

Having talked about humulone in a number of the other beery molecules posts, the title of this one poses a question that I actually do not know the answer to – I’m hoping that this post will attract some comments that will help me to understand why the ‘alpha acid’ label makes sense for humulone. […]

Beery Molecules – part 5, the one I missed!

I was taking a look back at this post about the Hypothesis IPA label, and I noticed that for some reason I had neglected one of the molecules that appeared there. Not sure why (or how) I missed it, but let’s quickly clear that up right here, right now. The third molecule looks much simpler […]

Beery Molecules – part 2, artistic license

Following this post, here are a few more observations about beer, molecules, and what the art director can get away with when there are no chemists around! Hugh Malone is a Belgian IPA produced by the Allagash brewery in Maine, USA, as part of their tribute series. Those of you with a little beer chemistry […]

Beery Molecules – part 1, fictional molecules

Bear with me as I make a couple of seemingly unconnected statements, and then try to pull them together. Many people reading this blog will already know that one of the central passions in my life is beer – if you didn’t, now you do. The beer/chemistry marriage is generally a happy one, since there […]

Complaining about the number of organic reactions I ask you to learn?

Every summer during my Introduction to Organic Chemistry elective, I ask the students to memorize a small catalog of 21 reactions that they then apply in various scenarios. One of the ways I attempt to help them to make connections and build that knowledge is via the use of a ‘Star of Reaction‘. A Star […]

Anthem Perspectives In Chemistry: Organic Chemistry – Reactions and Applications

The initial discussions about my new book, Anthem Perspectives In Chemistry: Organic Chemistry – Reactions and Applications have now taken place, and writing will begin in earnest this week. The idea is to create an exciting insight into the organic chemistry typically studied in the 16-19 age range, with practical, real world applications bringing the […]