This blog is my attempt to reconnect with the world of chemistry. I have a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and make a living doing research for a large company in Michigan. As times have changed, that company has changed its focus and I no longer have as much chance to do the basic, fundamental research which I most enjoy. Through this blog, I am hoping to recapture the magic which I felt during my graduate (and undergraduate) days in college. Expect topics on chemistry and alchemy along with some non-chemistry related items which I think might be interesting.

"The chymists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasure among smoke and vapour, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I would change places with the Persian King."

Johann Joachim Becher (phlogistonist)
Acta Laboratorii Chymica Monacensis, seu Physica Subterranea, (1669).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Francium -- Probably Only Good For About One and a Third PhDs

Two new elemental podcasts are available for download at chemistryworld. This week's elements of interest include Francium and Aluminum. The Fr podcast is especially interesting. Considering that Fr has a halflife on the order of 20 minutes, it's probably not a good idea to base your thesis on its chemistry. All the quick experiments have already been done. And it cannot be classified as a disappearing element since it's continually being generated by radioactive decay. It's estimated that the steady state amount of Fr on the earth at any one time is about a kilogram, which is another reason not to base your thesis on it.

* Post title was edited based on Mitch's comment.


mitch said...

A third of my thesis is on the transport and detection of francium.

Chemist Ken said...

Whoops! Well, if it is only a third of your thesis then it's probably okay.;) I've already changed the post title.

Do you mean transport in biological systems? It must be fun working on these timescales.

Mitch said...

It was gas-phase studies with Francium.

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