Posts Tagged ‘similar energy’

The roles of water in the hydrolysis of an acetal.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

In the previous post, I pondered how a substituent (X below) might act to slow down the hydrolysis of an acetal. Here I extend that by probing the role of water molecules in the mechanism of acetal hydrolysis.


How many water molecules does it take to ionise HCl?

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

According to Guggemos, Slavicek and Kresin, about 5-6![1]. This is one of those simple ideas, which is probably quite tough to do experimentally. It involved blasting water vapour through a pinhole, adding HCl and measuring the dipole-moment induced deflection by an electric field. They found “evidence for a noticeable rise in the dipole moment occurring at n56“.



  1. N. Guggemos, P. Slavíček, and V.V. Kresin, "Electric Dipole Moments of Nanosolvated Acid Molecules in Water Clusters", Physical Review Letters, vol. 114, 2015.

Dial a molecule: Can new reactions be designed by computer?

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

One future vision for chemistry over the next 20 years or so is the concept of having machines into which one dials a molecule, and as if by magic, the required specimen is ejected some time later. This is in some ways an extrapolation of the existing peptide and nucleotide synthesizer technologies and sciences. A pretty significant extrapolation, suitable no doubt for a grand future challenge in chemistry (although the concept of tumbling a defined collection of atoms in a computer model and seeing what interesting molecules emerge, dubbed with some sense of humour as mindless chemistry, is already being done; see DOI: 10.1021/jp057107z).