Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

May 19, 2012

Mechanism of the diazomethane alkylation of a carboxylic acid.

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Henry Rzepa @ 9:58 pm

Many reaction mechanisms involve a combination of bond formation/cleavage between two non-hydrogen atoms and those involving reorganisation of proximate hydrogens. The Baeyer-Villiger discussed previously illustrated a complex dance between the two types. Here I take a look at another such mechanism, the methylation of a carboxylic acid by diazomethane.


December 11, 2011

Mobile-friendly solutions for viewing (WordPress) Blogs with embedded 3D molecular coordinates.

My very first post on this blog, in 2008, was to describe how Jmol could be used to illustrate chemical themes by adding 3D models to posts. Many of my subsequent efforts have indeed invoked Jmol. I thought I might review progress since then, with a particular focus on using the new generations of mobile device that have subsequently emerged.


October 31, 2011

Blogbooks, e-books and future proofing chemical diagrams.

Most of the chemical structure diagrams in this blog originate from Chemdraw, which seems to have been around since the dawn of personal computers! I have tended to use this program to produce JPG bitmaps for the blog, writing them out in 4x magnification, so that they can be scaled down for display whilst retaining some measure of higher resolution if needed for other purposes. These other purposes might be for e.g. the production of e-books (using Calibre), the interesting Blog(e)book format offered as a service by Feedfabrik, or display on mobile tablets where the touch-zoom metaphor to magnify works particularly well. But bitmap images are not really well future proofed for such new uses. Here I explore one solution to this issue.


October 24, 2011

Science publishers (and authors) please take note.

I have for perhaps the last 25 years been urging publishers to recognise how science publishing could and should change. My latest thoughts are published in an article entitled “The past, present and future of Scientific discourse” (DOI: 10.1186/1758-2946-3-46). Here I take two articles, one published 58 years ago and one published last year, and attempt to reinvent some aspects. You can see the result for yourself (since this journal is laudably open access, and you will not need a subscription). The article is part of a special issue, arising from a one day symposium held in January 2011 entitled “Visions of a Semantic Molecular Future” in celebration of Peter Murray-Rust’s contributions over that period (go read all 15 articles on that theme in fact!).


April 29, 2011

What is the future of books?

At a recent conference, I talked about what books might look like in the near future, with the focus on mobile devices such as the iPad. I ended by asserting that it is a very exciting time to be an aspiring book author, with one’s hands on (what matters), the content. Ways of expressing that content are currently undergoing an explosion of new metaphors, and we might even expect some of them to succeed! But content is king, as they say.


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