Topic: Chemicals

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πŸ”— The official term for the smell after it rains

πŸ”— Meteorology πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Soil πŸ”— Weather

Petrichor () is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra (πέτρα), meaning "stone", and Δ«chōr (αΌ°Ο‡ΟŽΟ), the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

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πŸ”— LK-99

πŸ”— Korea πŸ”— Physics πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Electrical engineering πŸ”— Materials

LK-99 is a proposed ambient pressure and room-temperature superconductor with a grayβ€’black appearance.:β€Š8β€Š LK-99 has a hexagonal structure slightly modified from leadβ€’apatite and is claimed to function as a superconductor below 400Β K (127Β Β°C; 260Β Β°F).:β€Š1β€Š The material was investigated by a team of Sukbae Lee et al. from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).:β€Š1β€Š As of 26Β JulyΒ 2023 the discovery of LK-99 has not been peer reviewed or independently replicated.

The chemical composition of LK-99 is approximately Pb9Cu(PO4)6O such thatβ€”compared to pure lead-apatite (Pb10(PO4)6O):β€Š5β€Šβ€”approximately one quarter of Pb(2) ions are replaced by Cu(II) ions.:β€Š9β€Š This partial replacement of Pb2+ ions (measuring 133 picometre) with Cu2+ ions (measuring 87 picometre) is said to cause a 0.48% reduction in volume, creating internal stress inside the material.:β€Š8β€Š

The internal stress is claimed to cause a heterojunction quantum well between the Pb(1) and oxygen within the phosphate ([PO4]3βˆ’) generating a superconducting quantum well (SQW).:β€Š10β€Š Lee et al claim to show LK-99 exhibits a response to a magnetic field (Meissner effect) when chemical vapor deposition is used to apply LK-99 to a non-magnetic copper sample.:β€Š4β€Š Pure lead-apatite is an insulator, but Lee et al claim copper-doped lead-apatite forming LK-99 is a superconductor, or at higher temperatures, a metal.:β€Š5β€Š

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  • "LK-99" | 2023-07-27 | 101 Upvotes 58 Comments

πŸ”— Borax

πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Occupational Safety and Health πŸ”— Food and drink πŸ”— Rocks and minerals πŸ”— Chemicals/Chemicals worklist

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve in water. A number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content are referred to as borax, and the word is usually used to refer to the octahydrate. Commercially sold borax is partially dehydrated.

Borax is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound, in the manufacture of fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, as a cross-linking agent in Slime, as an alkali in photographic developers, as a precursor for other boron compounds, and along with its inverse, boric acid, is useful as an insecticide.

In artisanal gold mining, borax is sometimes used as part of a process (as a flux) meant to eliminate the need for toxic mercury in the gold extraction process, although it cannot directly replace mercury. Borax was reportedly used by gold miners in parts of the Philippines in the 1900s.

Borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was imported via the Silk Road to the Arabian Peninsula in the 8th century AD. Borax first came into common use in the late 19th century when Francis Marion Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company began to market and popularize a large variety of applications under the 20 Mule Team Borax trademark, named for the method by which borax was originally hauled out of the California and Nevada deserts.

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  • "Borax" | 2021-09-05 | 81 Upvotes 47 Comments

πŸ”— Toxic squash syndrome

πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Plants

Cucurbitacin is a class of biochemical compounds that some plants – notably members of the pumpkin and gourd family, Cucurbitaceae – produce and which function as a defence against herbivores. Cucurbitacins are chemically classified as triterpenes, formally derived from cucurbitane, a triterpene hydrocarbon – specifically, from the unsaturated variant cucurbit-5-ene, or 19(10β†’9Ξ²)-abeo-10Ξ±-lanost-5-ene. They often occur as glycosides. They and their derivatives have been found in many plant families (including Brassicaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Begoniaceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Datiscaceae, Desfontainiaceae, Polemoniaceae, Primulaceae, Rubiaceae, Sterculiaceae, Rosaceae, and Thymelaeaceae), in some mushrooms (including Russula and Hebeloma) and even in some marine mollusks.

Cucurbitacins may be a taste deterrent in plants foraged by some animals and in some edible plants preferred by humans, like cucumbers and zucchinis. In laboratory research, cucurbitacins have cytotoxic properties and are under study for their potential biological activities.

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πŸ”— Transparent Aluminum

πŸ”— Chemicals

Aluminium oxynitride (marketed under the name ALON by Surmet Corporation) is a transparent ceramic composed of aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen. ALON is optically transparent (β‰₯Β 80%) in the near-ultraviolet, visible, and midwave-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is four times as hard as fused silica glass, 85% as hard as sapphire, and nearly 115% as hard as magnesium aluminate spinel. Since it has a cubic spinel structure, it can be fabricated to transparent windows, plates, domes, rods, tubes, and other forms using conventional ceramic powder processing techniques.

ALON is the hardest polycrystalline transparent ceramic available commercially. Because of its relatively low weight, distinctive optical and mechanical properties, and resistance to oxidation or radiation, it shows promise for applications such as bulletproof, blast-resistant, and optoelectronic windows. ALON-based armor has been shown to stop multiple armor-piercing projectiles of up to .50 BMG.

ALON is commercially available in sizes as large as 18-by-35-inch (460Β mm Γ—Β 890Β mm; 46Β cm Γ—Β 89Β cm) monolithic windows.

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πŸ”— M44 (Cyanide Device)

πŸ”— Environment πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Animals

The M44 cyanide device (also called a cyanide gun or cyanide trap) is used for the killing of coyotes, feral dogs, and foxes. It is made from four parts: a capsule holder wrapped with cloth or other soft material, a small plastic capsule containing 0.88 grams of sodium cyanide, a spring-powered ejector, and a 5-7 inch stake. To install the trap, the stake is first driven down into the ground, and then the capsule is put in the holder, screwed onto the cocked ejector, and secured to the stake. The wrapped capsule holder is smeared with scented bait to attract coyotes and make them bite and pull on it. (The use of a bite-and-pull action makes the trap less likely to be set off by non-canine wildlife.) When the trap is triggered, the spring propels a dose of sodium cyanide into the animals's mouth, and the sodium cyanide combines with water in the mouth to produce poisonous cyanide gas. In addition to the cyanide, the capsule contains Day-Glo fluorescent particle marker (orange in capsules used by the Wildlife Services, and yellow in capsules prepared for other users).

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πŸ”— Great Oxidation Event

πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Palaeontology πŸ”— Geology πŸ”— Evolutionary biology πŸ”— Limnology and Oceanography

The Great Oxidation Event (GOE), sometimes also called the Great Oxygenation Event, Oxygen Catastrophe, Oxygen Crisis, Oxygen Holocaust, or Oxygen Revolution, was a time period when the Earth's atmosphere and the shallow ocean experienced a rise in oxygen, approximately 2.4Β billion years ago (2.4Β Ga) to 2.1–2.0 Ga during the Paleoproterozoic era. Geological, isotopic, and chemical evidence suggests that biologically induced molecular oxygen (dioxygen, O2) started to accumulate in Earth's atmosphere and changed Earth's atmosphere from a weakly reducing atmosphere to an oxidizing atmosphere, causing almost all life on Earth to go extinct. The cyanobacteria producing the oxygen caused the event which enabled the subsequent development of multicellular forms.

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πŸ”— Pentaborane(9)

πŸ”— Chemicals

Pentaborane(9) is an inorganic compound with the formula B5H9. It is one of the most common boron hydride clusters, although it is a highly reactive compound. Because of its high reactivity with oxygen, it was once evaluated as rocket or jet fuel. Like many of the smaller boron hydrides, pentaborane is colourless, diamagnetic, and volatile. It is related to pentaborane(11) (B5H11).

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πŸ”— Spy Dust (Nitrophenyl Pentadienal)

πŸ”— Chemicals

Nitrophenyl pentadienal, nitrophenylpentadienal, NPPD, or METKA (Russian for "mark") colloquially known as "spy dust", is a chemical compound used as a tagging agent by the KGB during the Cold War Soviet Era. Soviet authorities in Moscow tracked Americans by applying an almost invisible powder to their clothing, cars, doorknobs and other objects. Some other variants of "spy dust" may have contained luminol and would glow under ultraviolet light.

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πŸ”— Dihydrogen monoxide hoax

πŸ”— Internet culture πŸ”— Environment πŸ”— Skepticism πŸ”— Chemicals πŸ”— Sociology

The dihydrogen monoxide parody involves calling water by an unfamiliar chemical name, most often "dihydrogen monoxide" (DHMO), and listing some of water's well-known effects in a particularly alarming manner, such as accelerating corrosion and causing suffocation. The parody often calls for dihydrogen monoxide to be banned, regulated, or labeled as dangerous. It demonstrates how a lack of scientific literacy and an exaggerated analysis can lead to misplaced fears.

The parody has been used with other chemical names, including "dihydrogen oxide", "hydroxyl acid", and "hydroxylic acid".

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