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  1. #1 Chemistry Jobs 
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    What do you people do exactly for work? What does your job entail? How does it contribute in the big scheme of things?


    I'm seriously thinking about majoring in chemistry, but I want to be clear on what kind of jobs there are for a chemist.

    The sort of jobs I'm interested in are as follows:

    1) I'd like to be involved in the recycling of batteries into new ones.

    2) I'd like to involved in the manufacturing of metals or fine materials, particularly those used for computer chips and solar panels.


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  3. #2  
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    Most of the folk who do the above work are low-level laborers. They do not even need a high school diploma. They may be immigrant labor.

    They are supervised by someone who may have had a chemistry course in high school. He, in turn, was trained by someone with 5-10 years experience in the business. Maybe he knows chemistry well, maybe not.

    You could major in philosophy and still find your way into the battery recycling business.

    Get a degree in chemistry or (even better) chemical engineering. Work a year as a quality control chemist to get the necessary hands-on experience, then you can write your own ticket. You can even start your own battery recycling business.
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  4. #3 Re: Chemistry Jobs 
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    Quote Originally Posted by remit
    2) I'd like to involved in the manufacturing of metals or fine materials, particularly those used for computer chips and solar panels.
    Well, maybe a career in metallurgy?
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  5. #4 Re: Chemistry Jobs 
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    Quote Originally Posted by remit
    What do you people do exactly for work? What does your job entail? How does it contribute in the big scheme of things?


    I'm seriously thinking about majoring in chemistry, but I want to be clear on what kind of jobs there are for a chemist.

    The sort of jobs I'm interested in are as follows:

    1) I'd like to be involved in the recycling of batteries into new ones.

    2) I'd like to involved in the manufacturing of metals or fine materials, particularly those used for computer chips and solar panels.
    I agree with what SteveF has said, I'll just add my two cents on the big picture real quick here.

    What kinds of jobs are there for chemists?
    You can get involved into nearly every kind of industry. Med schools and even Law schools will like you. Grad schools of course will too. If you want to be a professor/research or if you want to go into industry. You can go into government research labs, and there are all kinds of chemistries out there. You can go into nutrition, pharaceuticals, alternative fuel research as more like on the bio fuel side or the inorganic side of it. Atmospheric chemistry and work with lasers. And plenty more.

    From personal experience I would say:
    Do NOT limit yourself to recycling batteries and manufacturing metals. Explore the other kinds of chemistry. I used to think I'd lean towards organic or biochem. Au contraire. I want to stay away from those.
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  6. #5  
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    So you want to study chemistry? Be a chemist?
    OK remit, here is your first challenge:
    Name the molecule that rjc34 uses as his avatar.



    (Real chemists, who will recognize it immediately, let the amateurs have first crack at it.)
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  7. #6  
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    If you think you have it, just send me a PM.
    We'll let the others keep going.
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  8. #7  
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    mmm...my fave molecule...

    and good thinking of me NOT to put what it was in with the picture. Makes for a better inside joke i guess, chemists only :P
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  9. #8 Re: Chemistry Jobs 
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    Quote Originally Posted by remit
    What do you people do exactly for work?
    Mechanical engineering, but degree is in chem. eng. I'm quite familiar with your molecule.
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  10. #9  
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    I currently work as a research scientist at Merck in Chilworth, until I go back to uni next year to do the last stint of my master's. Merck are a global leader in liquid crystal technology, among other things, and I work in an R&D lab on their Reactive Mesogen (RM) technology.

    Basically it involves making optically active thin films from liquid crystal mixtures that you can polymerise, so I spend my days making up these mixtures (which can have several different components) tailored to a specific purpose, to achieve a particular type of liquid crystal geometry, etc... and characterise them in many different ways. There's close ties with the customers, the work is fast paced and usually under some pressure as you'd expect from industry, but it's interesting and varied, and just last month I went to Switzerland on business - lot of opportunities for travel in this business.

    The idea that the technology you help develop will be in the homes/hands of millions of users in not a particularly long time is really motivating as well, Materials Chemistry certainly is the way forward for me
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  11. #10  
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    I haven't a job.

    I'm a lazy bum, aka student.

    I also recognize that molecule an although i had to go make sure my first answer was right, (it wasn't) my second choice seems right. I wouldn't say one of my favourite molecules, but surely one encountered by me on a daily basis.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    So you want to study chemistry? Be a chemist?
    OK remit, here is your first challenge:
    Name the molecule that rjc34 uses as his avatar.



    (Real chemists, who will recognize it immediately, let the amateurs have first crack at it.)
    I can't name the molecule simply because I don't have enough information.

    I can see that the molecule is comprised of Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen and Oxygen. But I don't really see how I could possibly know it's name.

    If you were to present me with a configuration of a specific atom, then I could probably tell you the element, given that I understand the periodic table somewhat. But I don't really see how knowing the periodic table can help me name a molecule.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lacey
    I currently work as a research scientist at Merck in Chilworth, until I go back to uni next year to do the last stint of my master's. Merck are a global leader in liquid crystal technology, among other things, and I work in an R&D lab on their Reactive Mesogen (RM) technology.

    Basically it involves making optically active thin films from liquid crystal mixtures that you can polymerise
    What are these films used for? How are they used? What does it mean to polymerise something?
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    Welcome back remit. I was afraid my challenge might have scared you off for good. A true scientist does not quit that easily!

    This problem is not merely a case of recognize-it-or-not. The mystery molecule can be identified by anyone who has but a rudimentary knowledge of structural diagrams in chemistry. Some folks here have not yet gotten that far so I will tell you what you need to know.



    a. Those polygon structures you see represent carbon rings; that is, a closed chain of carbon atoms each bonded to the next. If you see simply a vertex (corner), there is really a carbon atom there, not drawn.

    b. Sometimes a carbon atom is replaced by another atom -- there are several nitrogen atoms in our example.

    c. Every carbon atom must have four bonds. If you see a carbon atom with fewer than four bonds in the structural diagram, there are also one of more hydrogen atoms bonded to that carbon atom. They are there but not shown.

    Now you have all you need to solve the problem. You must inspect the structural diagram and count the various atoms. You will come up with a molecular formula that looks something like


    CxHyNzOn

    Google the result and up pops the name of our mystery molecule. Try it now.

    A useful trick to know!
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  15. #14  
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    Ahh. I had thought at first glance, incorrectly, that it was a purine. I was surprised that you said that any chemist would recognise it, as my thoughts had been that any geneticist would recognise it. I thought it delightfully odd that a nucleotide was being used as an avatar :-D .

    Having followed your suggestion above, I see now that it is not a nucleotide! And it could not possibly be a nucleotide, as it has too little hydrogen-bonding capability off the hexose (compare to structures at the link), and the methyl group off the pentose is entirely out of place for a nucleotide. Still, the structure is similar enough that I now view the compound's actual identity with an even bigger smile.

    Purine structures: http://www.rhodes.edu/biology/glindq...ges/purine.gif
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  16. #15  
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    Well done, free radical!

    You may have the rest of the weekend off.

    *
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodgod3rd
    I haven't a job.

    I'm a lazy bum, aka student.

    I also recognize that molecule an although i had to go make sure my first answer was right, (it wasn't) my second choice seems right. I wouldn't say one of my favourite molecules, but surely one encountered by me on a daily basis.
    Yep, I'm a student too...

    But I did recognize the molecule immediately :-D No knowledge from organic necessary! Our chem department has a few things with that molecule on it....

    (but I wonder if I can name its IUPAC name....hmm...well it does appear as if it's a purine and then I can add on the ketones and methyl groups...)

    And I, too encounter it on a daily basis....
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  18. #17  
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    3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione
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  19. #18  
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    A useful trick to know!
    ah that is a useful trick!
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    Welcome back remit. I was afraid my challenge might have scared you off for good. A true scientist does not quit that easily!

    This problem is not merely a case of recognize-it-or-not. The mystery molecule can be identified by anyone who has but a rudimentary knowledge of structural diagrams in chemistry. Some folks here have not yet gotten that far so I will tell you what you need to know.



    a. Those polygon structures you see represent carbon rings; that is, a closed chain of carbon atoms each bonded to the next.
    Hmmm. Not sure I get it.

    Does each straight line, such as this: -, or this: _, or this: \, represent an atom?

    For example, would a hexagon equate to 6 atoms? A pentagon 5 atoms?
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  21. #20  
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    the end of each line represents a carbon.

    C______C kinda like that <

    and if the end has nothing else attached, such as this

    ______

    we would assume 3 hyrdrogens on the carbons.... because carbon has to have 4 bonds's,

    the above line would equal CH3CH3 ...

    my explaining is probably very bad.
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  22. #21  
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    The lines in the diagram are bonds. The vertexes are carbon atoms if not specified otherwise. Those are double bonds in the ring with 3 carbon and two nitrogen atom and double bonds to the oxygen.
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    Let me have a go at it.

    Each line represents a [covalent] bond between two atoms; i.e., a shared pair of electrons. A double line represents a double bond; two pairs of shared electrons. The vertex, if there is no letter there, is a carbon atom.

    For example, would a hexagon equate to 6 atoms? A pentagon 5 atoms?
    Correct. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzene#Structure for an example.
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  24. #23  
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    Each straight line is a chemical bond between two atoms. The vertices are the atoms.

    Two parallel straight lines represents a double bond.

    Thus, a vertex with two straight lines in one direction, and one straight line in another direction, shows an atom with three indicated bonds. If no letter is at the vertex, you assume that carbon is the atom at the vertex. Carbon has a valence of four, and so you assume that in addition to the three indicated bonds, that a fourth bond to hydrogen is also present but not explicitly indicated.

    That explanation probably hurts more than helps.
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  25. #24  
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    For example, would a hexagon equate to 6 atoms? A pentagon 5 atoms?
    wrong, if it was just 6 lines or 5 lines joined, there would also be two hydrogen's at each line end (carbon) not represented by anything, but assumed to be there.

    so there would be ... 6 carbons and 12 hydrogen's:

    or in the stick form:
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by biorat
    3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione
    Where do you get the 3,7-dihydro- ?

    And how does the 1H thing work?
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodgod3rd
    the end of each line represents a carbon.

    C______C kinda like that <
    okay, that's clear.

    and if the end has nothing else attached, such as this

    ______

    we would assume 3 hyrdrogens on the carbons.... because carbon has to have 4 bonds's,

    the above line would equal CH3CH3 ...
    You lost me there. I'm Not sure what you meant. But maybe after I read the other posts and think a bit, it might make sense.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancidchickn
    The lines in the diagram are bonds. The vertexes are carbon atoms if not specified otherwise.
    By vertexes I hope we mean, a corner created by the ends of two lines touching, like this: /\


    Those are double bonds in the ring with 3 carbon and two nitrogen atom and double bonds to the oxygen.
    Ok, I see the double bonds within the ring. And I see the other pair of bonds extending from the other ring.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    Let me have a go at it.

    Each line represents a [covalent] bond between two atoms; i.e., a shared pair of electrons.
    Are you saying that the bonds represent shared electrons?

    A double line represents a double bond; two pairs of shared electrons.
    Ok, I think I'm getting what you're saying. Between two hydrogen there exist a single bond, given that only one pair of electrons are shared.

    Between oxygen, there exists a double bond, given that two pairs of electrons are shared.

    Between nitrogen, there exists a triple bond, given that three pairs of electrons are shared.

    I'm going have to go back and examine the molecule and make sense of it in light of this new knowledge.

    The vertex, if there is no letter there, is a carbon atom.
    Well, the stuff is carbon based after, so 'it just goes without saying'.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Each straight line is a chemical bond between two atoms. The vertices are the atoms.

    Two parallel straight lines represents a double bond.
    A double bond occurs because bonding wouldn't be possible without, right? E.G., between two Oxygen, or two nitrogen, double and triple bonding is a necessity.

    Thus, a vertex with two straight lines in one direction, and one straight line in another direction, shows an atom with three indicated bonds. If no letter is at the vertex, you assume that carbon is the atom at the vertex. Carbon has a valence of four, and so you assume that in addition to the three indicated bonds, that a fourth bond to hydrogen is also present but not explicitly indicated.
    That went over my head a bit. I wasn't able to follow you after you said 'carbon has a valence of four'. the concept of valence is something I think I'm going to cover before I can proceed much further.
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    That went over my head a bit. I wasn't able to follow you after you said 'carbon has a valence of four'. the concept of valence is something I think I'm going to cover before I can proceed much further.
    Carbon has four valence electrons which means it has four electrons in its outer shell. Each carbon atom wants to have 8 valence electrons. In order to achieve an octet it must bond 4 times. The carbons in the ring in that molecule bond to two carbons and two hydrogens to have 8 valence electrons.

    [/img]
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by rancidchickn
    That went over my head a bit. I wasn't able to follow you after you said 'carbon has a valence of four'. the concept of valence is something I think I'm going to cover before I can proceed much further.
    Carbon has four valence electrons which means it has four electrons in its outer shell.
    Ok, that's clear.

    Each carbon atom wants to have 8 valence electrons.
    It wants to gain 4 electrons.

    In order to achieve an octet it must bond 4 times.
    Are you saying that between carbon atoms, exists a Quadruple bond?

    The carbons in the ring in that molecule bond to two carbons and two hydrogens to have 8 valence electrons.

    [/img]
    [/quote]

    I found that last bit very hard to follow. I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say 'that' molecule.

    You posted an image of a molecule, but it doesn't seem as if that molecule has much resemblance to your description.

    The molecule you posted has 6 carbon atoms and 12 hydrogen. That's really all I can say about it.
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    I was referring to the image I posted. If you look at the image you will see 4 lines coming from each carbon. Those represent four separate bonds. Like I said, carbon wants to bond four times. In the case of the molecule above all the bonds are single, but 2 could be single and 1 could be double to make 4.
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  34. #33  
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    Man, put a simple molecule as your avatar and a whole big discussion ensues...I think we all need to relax with my next molecule, a cookie and a beer to the first person to answer what it is! (send me a PM)

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  35. #34  
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    mad how a simple post has flared and touched a number of key topics in chemistry, including a guessing game.

    i know that one. Using the trick taught above, i found it quick. but alas, i have seen it before, a molecule i looked up when i was younger just to test the waters
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  36. #35  
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    (Fe)Male wrote:

    Where do you get the 3,7-dihydro- ?

    And how does the 1H thing work?

    I don't know....that's how it was named in the Merck Index.
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by biorat
    (Fe)Male wrote:

    Where do you get the 3,7-dihydro- ?

    And how does the 1H thing work?

    I don't know....that's how it was named in the Merck Index.
    ah I thought you named it yourself...i've also seen the 3,7-dihydro- listed as 3H,7H which makes a little more sense to me as dihydro- seems like a functional group and if they're just talking about an individual hydrogen, then no, it's not a functional group. It's where all the nitrogens are. Perhaps that has something to do with it. But then I don't know why the 3H,7H is in front of the dione and the 1H is in front of the purine. Oh well. I'm not going to worry too much about its nomenclature...especially for its IUPAC name, just to know it's caffeine is sufficient
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  38. #37  
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    This molecule is considered a purine for nomenclature purposes. You can gain a little more insight by examing the numbering system of purine derivatives in this link provided earlier by free radical:

    http://www.rhodes.edu/biology/glindq...ges/purine.gif

    You should also inspect the double bonds in purine to see our molecule has more saturation. That may account for the 1H, y'think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    This molecule is considered a purine for nomenclature purposes. You can gain a little more insight by examing the numbering system of purine derivatives in this link provided earlier by free radical:

    http://www.rhodes.edu/biology/glindq...ges/purine.gif

    You should also inspect the double bonds in purine to see our molecule has more saturation. That may account for the 1H, y'think?
    yeah, the numbering the fact that it's a purine and the functional groups I get.

    I was thinking something along those lines.........

    Aaah! Now I see it! Yeah it would have to be that. Huh, new rule for nomenclature I learned
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    Does anyone here have an opinion about a career in assaying ore's? Sounds interesting enough to me. One gets to use a microscope, conduct lab experiments to test for a sample's properties. Who knows, maybe such a job involves actually going out on the field as well.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by remit
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lacey
    I currently work as a research scientist at Merck in Chilworth, until I go back to uni next year to do the last stint of my master's. Merck are a global leader in liquid crystal technology, among other things, and I work in an R&D lab on their Reactive Mesogen (RM) technology.

    Basically it involves making optically active thin films from liquid crystal mixtures that you can polymerise
    What are these films used for? How are they used? What does it mean to polymerise something?
    Basically... liquid crystals have a property called birefringence - you surely know about light bending in a refractive medium like glass - birefringence is essentially a property where the material has 2 refractive indices perpendicular to each other, so light bends differently in these two directions. An example:



    Polymerising is the joining up of molecules (monomers) into long chains into a large network (e.g. ethene is a gas, a small molecule composed of 2 carbons and 4 hydrogens, but join a load of ethene molecules up and you get poly(ethene), a.k.a. polythene, which is a solid, composed of a tangled mess of these chains). I work with liquid crystalline molecules which can do this, to create polymers which have these birefringent properties. They see use in LCD TVs and such, which basically work on the principle of doing all sorts of crazy things to polarised light.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjc34
    Man, put a simple molecule as your avatar and a whole big discussion ensues...I think we all need to relax with my next molecule, a cookie and a beer to the first person to answer what it is! (send me a PM)
    Not to be picky, but I think your molecule is missing a couple of methyl groups :P
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lacey

    Quote Originally Posted by rjc34
    Man, put a simple molecule as your avatar and a whole big discussion ensues...I think we all need to relax with my next molecule, a cookie and a beer to the first person to answer what it is! (send me a PM)
    Not to be picky, but I think your molecule is missing a couple of methyl groups :P
    I think the methyl groups are consolidated into the C5H11... the original molecule had a really long tail with kinks in it. I think that was the original methyl groups :P

    But thanks anyways :P
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  43. #42  
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    There are so many available jobs on http://www.sciencescrossing.com/
    I think the latest number was above 14000 available job. You will find a large collection of chemistry job openings including openings from many American companies that specialize in different chemical industries. In addition, you will also find many research related jobs in different fields.
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  44. #43  
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    What types of jobs would a person with just a general degree in chemistry be able to obtain? Meaning no specialization - engineering, biochem, organic, etc. Anything "good"?
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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