The first conference devoted to scientific uses of Wikipedia has just finished; there was lots of fascinating stuff but here I concentrate on one report that I thought was especially interesting. To introduce it, I need first to introduce WikiData. This is part of the WikiMedia ecosystem, and one of the newest. The basic concept is really simple.
Most visitors to London use the famous underground trains (the “tube”) or a double-decker bus to see the city (one can also use rivers and canals). So I thought, during the tourism month of August, I would show you an alternative overground circumnavigation of the city using the metaphor of benzene.
The anomeric effect is best known in sugars, occuring in sub-structures such as RO-C-OR. Its origins relate to how the lone pairs on each oxygen atom align with the adjacent C-O bonds. When the alignment is 180°, one oxygen lone pair can donate into the C-O σ* empty orbital and a stabilisation occurs. Here I explore whether crystal structures reflect this effect.
Previously, I showed how conjugation in dienes and diaryls can be visualised by inspecting bond lengths as a function of torsions. Here is another illustration, this time of the mesomeric resonance on a benzene ring induced by an electron donating substituent (an amino group) or an electron withdrawing substituent (cyano).
Management of research (data) outputs is a hot topic in the UK at the moment, although the topic has been rumbling for five years or more. Most research-active higher educational establishments have or are about to publish general guidelines, which predominantly take the form of aspirational targets rather than actionable examples or use-cases.‡ Because the concepts remain somewhat abstract, one can encounter questions from researchers such as “how should I go about achieving such RDM (research data management)?” I thought it might be useful for me to here summarise some key features in the form of an FAQ that can help answer that question. I will concentrate purely on the sub-set chemistry about which I know most.
This post is prompted by the appearance of a retrospective special issue of C&E news, with what appears to be its very own Website: internet.cenmag.org. It contains articles and interviews with many interesting people, along with several variations on the historical (albeit rather USA-centric) perspectives and a time-line covers many of the key innovations (again, from a USA-perspective). Some subjects are covered in greater depth, including computational chemistry. The periodic table too gets coverage, but surprisingly that is not of Mark Winter’s WebElements, which carries the impressive 1993-2015 continuous timeline (hence 22 in the title!).
I recently followed this bloggers trail; link1 → link2 to arrive at this delightful short commentary on atom-atom bonds in crystals by Jack Dunitz. Here he discusses that age-old question (to chemists), what is a bond? Even almost 100 years after Gilbert Lewis’ famous analysis, we continue to ponder this question. Indeed, quite a debate on this topic broke out in a recent post here. My eye was caught by one example in Jack’s article: “The close stacking of planar anions, as occurs in salts of croconic acid …far from producing a lowering of the crystal energy, this stacking interaction in itself leads to an increase by several thousand kJ mol−1 arising from Coulombic repulsion between the doubly negatively charged anions” I thought I might explore this point a bit further in this post.