Here are the Question(s) of the Week for the school year, 2003-2004. You have a week to find the answer(s). Questions will be posted by Monday morning and answers are due by midnigh on the following Monday. Don't just copy and paste the answers from a CD encyclopedia, or from the internet without actually reading what you find. Some questions should be answered in your own words, whereas sometimes the answer might be a table with data or an image that you can use as is. You must always provide an appropriately formatted reference. Remember, it is the CHEMISTRY that is involved that is primarily of interest.
Set up your document with standard 1-inch margins and put a header that includes Questions of the Week, your name, and the date of the questions (as shown on the website, NOT the date they are due). Include each question, with the answers inserted after each. Save each file as follows: your initials-QOTW-mm-dd-yy. Example: BAT-QOTW-9-01-03 and email the file to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone using a wordprocessor other than Word, should save all files as Rich Text Format (.rtf).
September 1, 2003
There are two questions for this first week. Question one is about something that most of you probably make use of quite a bit, a computer. The second one is to introduce you to one of the lesser known elements, which may actually be more important than you realize.Back to the top
- What are the elements in a personal desktop computer?
- Go to the WebElements Periodic Table website. Select one (1) element from among the lesser known transition or rare earth elements (up to and including element 92, uranium). Tell about this element, giving a description of it, the history behind it (e.g. discoverer, when, etc.), how it is obtained in the pure form, compounds of it, its uses, some if its physical, electronic, and nuclear data, its uses, if any, in biological systems, and where it is found on the earth. See if you can find a picture on another website of something that contains this element. You can put this information into a table or write it as a narrative.
September 8, 2003
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- The following elements are all needed in varying amounts by the human body. Where are these elements found in the body and what are their functions? What are good dietary sources of these elements?
Calcium, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc
- Make up a chemistry joke yourself or find one on the internet.
September 15, 2003
The questions this week are to help get you started on our study of spectroscopy.Back to the top
- The speed of light has been measured using several unique methods over the years. What were the basics for at least three (3) of these methods, and who are the scientists associated with each? What is the current accepted speed of "light"? (Be sure you reference your source for this)
- Why does the sky look blue during the daytime and golden/pink at sunset?
September 22, 2003
The questions this week continue with our theme of spectroscopy.Back to the top
- What causes the rainbow? Why is it in the shape of a bow? What is the order of the colors from bottom of the bow to the top?
- How do we see colors?
September 29, 2003
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Here are another set of questions to continue with our theme of spectroscopy.
- What is "polarized" light and how is it used to make "3-D" images?
- How was the element helium discovered? What part did spectroscopy play in its discovery?
Line spectra of Helium
October 6, 2003
This is the week that the Nobel Prize winners are being announced. The questions this week, therefore, have to do with Nobel Prizes in Chemistry.Back to the top
- Who is/are the winner(s) of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry? Where is/are the winner(s) from and what did the winner(s) do that led to this honor?
- Who were the first four chemists to win Nobel Prizes in chemistry and in what years did they get their awards? Briefly, what did they do?
- How many Americans have been awarded Nobel Prizes in Chemistry? Who are they and in what year did they receive their prize? (The list can include scientists from other countries who came to the United States and did their work here.)
October 13, 2003
Thursday, October 23 is National Mole Day. In honor of that day, the questions for this week are all "mole problems". This week only, you will turn in the problems when you come to class on Tuesday, Oct. 21. Remember to set up the problems will all units, etc. as is required for regular homework. We will have a party during each class on Thursday, and on Friday in PM1 for a delayed celebration of Mole Day. We will also celebrate National Chemistry Week, which is the Week of October 19-25.Back to the top
- Count the number of popped kernals in a bag of microwavable popcorn, then calculate the number of bags of popcorn you would have to pop to get one mole of popped popcorn. Bring two bags of microwavable popcorn for the party.
- What volume of Classic Coke, in liters, would you need to buy to get one mole of sugar? Bring a two-liter bottle of soft drink.
- If you placed one mole of Skittles side-by-side in a chain-like arrangement, what would be the length of the chain? Bring a bag of Skittles or M&Ms.
- A cake is baked that will serve 48 people. What part of a mole does this represent? Bring a cake or some cup cakes for the class.
- Assuming that all of the weight of a bag of potato chips is due to the potatoes themselves, calculate how many moles of potatoes are used to produce one million bags of chips. Indicate the brand and style of chips on which you are basing your calculations. Bring some chips and dip to the party.
October 20, 2003
Mole Day, October 23, is this week, so in honor of the day the questions this week have to do with moles.Back to the top
- What did Avogadro actually do that resulted in "Avogadro's Number"?
- Why was this amount called a "mole"? Is there anyone specifically given credit for coming up with this name?
- What is the lastest value for a mole that you can find? (Give reference)
The questions this week deal with the events leading to the modern day arrangement of the periodic table.Back to the top
- Identify the following people by briefly describing what each one did that related to the development of the periodic table:
- What is the Periodic Law as it is stated today? How was it stated originally? Who is responsible for the way it is stated today?
- Why is the periodic table useful today?
November 3, 2003
Gasoline prices are in the news daily as the cost at the pump fluctuates markedly from place to place. The questions this week, therefore, have to do with petroleum and the refining of petroleum for making gasoline.
November 10, 2003
1. Draw or find the structural formulas for the following over-the-counter pain relievers.Back to the top
2. What is the IUPAC name for each?
3. Do they have ketone, aldehyde, carboxylic acid and/or amino groups? If so, circle each of them.
4. Do they have similarities in structures?
5. Do any of them have chiral centers? If so, label them.
January 12, 2004
The Questions of the Week are back, now that we have started into Second Trimester. This week the questions are about organic compounds that are "optically active".Back to the top
Scholar, chemguide and Creative Chemistry are all great starting places although there are several other websites that have good information that you can use.
- What makes some compounds "optically active"?
- Find a drawing that shows an optical polarimeter and explain how it works.
- Look up the following compounds and describe why they are optically active and of what importance this activity could be to you.
January 19, 2004
Just one main question this week and it is about a VERY important compound...glucose. The molecular formula for glucose is C6H12O6. It is classified as a monosaccharide, which literally means "one sugar". It is also classified as a hexose and an aldohexose.Back to the top
a. what does the "-ose" suffix mean? the "aldo" prefix?
b. How does glucose differ structurally from its isomers, fructose, galactose and mannose?
c. What are the optical properties of glucose, fructose, galactose and mannose?
d. Why are the structures of glucose and its isomers drawn as straight six-carbon chains and as a cyclic ring?
The following links will help you get started.
Source for these images are from http://faculty.virginia.edu/bio201/oldlectures/Lecture4pix/LineartoringGlucose.gif
February 2, 2004
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This week's questions deal with the subject of thermal imaging, a most helpful use of the infrared region of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum.
Click on the link below the image of Atlanta to find out how a community uses this type of imaging.
- How do "night-vision" goggles work?
- Describe how, with examples, thermal imaging used by each of the following: firefighters, physicians, the DEA, the military (in addition to night-vision goggles), astronomers, and contractors/builders.
A Short Overview of Infrared Remote Sensing This link is to a PowerPoint presentation on remote sensing. It is a bit technical, but you might find it ineteresting to look at it. You should understand some of it.
February 9, 2004
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This week's questions are the first ones relating to our new unit on polymers that we will be starting next week, barring anymore snow days.
There are six classes of recyclable plastics that make up most of the containers, wraps, and utensiles that you probably use every day. These classes are numbered 1 - 6, and they represent six different polymer combinations.
There are a number of excellent websites where you can find the answers to these two questions. One of the best sites is Plastics Resource from the American Plastics Council.
- What is the abbreviation for and the name of each of these six classes of recyclable plastics?
- What are at least three (3) original uses for each of these classes?
- What are at least two (2) of the recycled products from each of these classes?
February 16, 2004
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Photo courtesy of ConocoPhillips.
The questions this week are about the kinds of polymers with which you come in contact every day.
- Start by looking around your room at home. Find at least three examples each of items made of PETE, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS. If you can't find enough items with the recycle number on them, then look in the bathroom, kitchen or garage. How do these items demonstrate the properties of the polymer of which they are made?
- Pick a favorite sport. Identify the different polymers that are used in the uniform (including shoes) for the sport, any protective items that are worn when playing this sport, and other implements (such as balls, rackets, etc.) that go along with the sport. A good website to check out first for this question is The Macrogalleria.
February 23, 2004
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This weeks questions are in about the late Dr. Linus Pauling, who was born February 25, 1901. Pauling's Electronegativities are probably the most often values used to help determine the polarity of chemical bonds. Since Experiment 7 was about hydrogen bonding and polarity of molecules, it should be interesting to find out about this most interesting person.
- What did Linus Pauling do that earned him the high honor of being awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry? What influence did this work have on later developments in chemistry?
- Pauling is the only scientist to have been awarded a Nobel Prize in a scientific discipline and the Peace Prize. What did he do that warranted such distinction?
- Pauling was in his 90's when he died. What are some of the other interesting stories that you can find that show what a unique individual he was?
March 1, 2004
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The questions this week continue with our theme of polymers.
- Rubber is the most important of all elastomers. What is an elastomer? Compare natural rubber with synthetic rubber, explaining both their similarities and their differences. Why was the work of Charles Goodyear so important?
- What is a copolymer and what are the three types of copolymers? Sketch and label the structure of Nylon, an important copolymer.
- The use of plastics in automobiles and trucks has expanded considerably over the past few years. Select two of the following areas and describe the various applications of plastics in those areas: exterior, interior, electrical, power train, fuel, chassis, engine.
Photo courtesy of ConocoPhillips.
March 8, 2004
Many of the things we use daily are combinations of two or more different materials that have the proberties of each material. Many of them are made partially or completely of polymers, both natural and synthetic. The questions this week will help you find out more about these important products.Back to the menu
- What is the basic definition of composites and what are three examples of commonly used composites?
- What are fiber-reinforced polymer composites? Explain how Charles Macintosh made what is probably the first man-made composite using polymers.
- Describe how the fiber and matrix work together to make a better product than either polymer alone.
March 15, 2004
Additives are often-ignored components of plastics. In discussions of the market success of PVC or PP, for instance, only the polymers are usually mentioned, and little credit is given to the different additives that contribute to the wide range of properties, and thus the uses, that characterize these polymers. The questions this week, therefore, are about these additives.Back to the menu
- Plasticizers make up the largest class of polymer additives. What are the names of some of these plasticizers? What is/are their purpose(s)?
- Stabilizers are another important group of additives used in polymers. How do they work?
- Flame retardants are very important additives in polymers since much of what we wear is made of some kind of polymer, and furniture, flooring, wall covering, siding, and any number of items in and around our homes are also polymers. What are some of these flame retardants? How do they improve the flame resistance of a polymer?
- There are about 15 different kinds of additives including the three mentioned in the first three questions. Identify at least eight others and give an example where each would be used.
March 22, 2004
This week's questions are on the topic of chromatography, an important technique used to separate the componenets of mixtures and the focus of Experiments 14 and 15 which you will be doing on March 31/April 1 and April 7/8.Back to the menu
You can find the information needed for these answers on Dr. Tissue's website at VA Tech. Click on Separations.
- What are the two main purposes of chromatography?
- What is meant by the terms "mobile phase" and "stationary phase" in relation to the different kinds of chromatography?
- What is meant by "partioning" as related to chromatography?
- How does Thin-Layer Chromatography, TLC, differ from the other four kinds of chromatography? What is meant by the "Rf" value in TLC?
- Liquid Chromatography, LC, can be done in columns several feet tall or only inches tall, several inches in diameter or just a few millimeters in diameter. What is the basic operation of any LC column?
April 19, 2004
The QOTW are back after a brief break. This week's set of questions goes along with the Competency 3 review of writing formulas for ionic compounds, plus what you learned in the unit on organic chemistry.
The questions this week are titled "If Your Cat Took Chemistry, Would She Eat This Stuff?
The following are the labeled ingredients for Puss'n'Boots Pounce (Shrimp Flavor) Treats for Cats: Flour, liver, dried whole egg, glycerin, pre-gelatinized wheat flour, shrimp by-products, wheat gluten, torula dried yeast, calcium sulfate, cheese meal, phosphoric acid, animal fat (preserved with butylated hydroxyanisole, otherwise known as BHA), potassium chloride, salt, potassium sorbate (a preservative), wheat middlings, color, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, BHA (again!), cupric oxide, cobalt carbonate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin B-12 supplement, vitamin D-3 supplement, water sufficient for processing.
The purpose of these questions is the practice of writing formulas for simple inorganic and organic compounds whose names are found on labels of products in the supermarket, drugstore, or at home.
Print off the assignment and bring it with you to class on Tuesday, April 27. We will go over your lists in class. This also gives you an extra day to get them done.
- List the compounds that are bold-faced in the ingredients above, followed by their correct chemical formulas.
- List the compounds that are bold-faced red in the ingredients above, followed by their correct structural formulas.
- Look on the labels of at least three different food items (canned, dried, frozen) and list all of the ingredients for each of them. Bold-face the ionic compounds as above, then list them with their chemical formulas. List the organic compounds and either put them in bold-faced red or highlight with a yellow marker after you have printed off the assignment.
You may email me if you need some help finding sources.
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