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Special Category: Definitions and terms

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From: Xkarlk#NoSpam.POBoxes.comX (Karl)

Disclaimer:  I didn't write this, I'm just reposting it.

                             THE LAST WORD
                   The Ultimate Scientific Dictionary

Activation Energy: The useful quantity of energy available in one cup of

Atomic Theory: A mythological explanation of the nature of matter, first
proposed by the ancient Greeks, and now thoroughly discredited by modern
computer simulation. Attempts to verify the theory by modern computer
simulation have failed.  Instead, it has been demonstrated repeatedly
that computer outputs depend upon the color of the programmer's eyes, or
occasionally upon the month of his or her birth.  This apparent
astrological connection, at last, vindicates the alchemist's view of
astrology as the mother of all science.

Bacon, Roger: An English friar who dabbled in science and made
experimentation fashionable.  Bacon was the first science popularizer to
make it big on the banquet and talk-show circuit, and his books even
outsold the fad diets of the period.

Biological Science: A contradiction in terms.

Bunsen Burner: A device invented by Robert Bunsen (1811-1899) for
brewing coffee in the laboratory, thereby enabling the chemist to be
poisoned without having to go all the way to the company cafeteria.

Butyl: An unpleasant-sounding word denoting an unpleasant-smelling

CAI: Acronym for "Computer-Aided Instruction".  The modern system of
training professional scientists without ever exposing them to the
hazards and expense of laboratory work.  Graduates of CAI-based programs
are very good at simulated research.

Cavendish: A variety of pipe tobacco that is reputed to produce
remarkably clear thought processes, and thereby leads to major
scientific discoveries; hence, the name of a British research laboratory
where the tobacco is smoked in abundance.

Chemical: A substance that:
 1) An organic chemist turns into a foul odor;
 2) an analytical chemist turns into a procedure;
 3) a physical chemist turns into a straight line;
 4) a biochemist turns into a helix;
 5) a chemical engineer turns into a profit.

Chemical Engineering: The practice of doing for a profit what an organic
chemist only does for fun.

Chromatography: (From Gr. chromo [color] + graphos [writing]) The
practice of submitting manuscripts for publication with the original
figures drawn in non-reproducing blue ink.

Clinical Testing: The use of humans as guinea pigs.  (See also

Compound: To make worse, as in: 1) A fracture; 2) the mutual
adulteration of two or more elements.

Computer Resources: The major item of any budget, allowing for the
acquisition of any capital equipment that is obsolete before the
purchase request is released.

Eigen Function: The use to which an eigen is put.

En: The universal bidentate ligand used by coordination chemists.  For
years, efforts were made to use ethylene-diamine for this purpose, but
chemists were unable to squeeze all the letters between the corners of
the octahedron diagram.  The timely invention of en in 1947
revolutionized the science.

Evaporation Allowance: The volume of alcohol that the graduate students
can drink in a year's time.

Exhaustive Methylation: A marathon event in which the participants
methylate until they drop from exhaustion.

First Order Reaction: The reaction that occurs first, not always the one
desired.  For example, the formation of brown gunk in an organic prep.

Flame Test: Trial by fire.

Genetic Engineering: A recent attempt to formalize what engineers have
been doing informally all along.

Grignard: A fictitious class of compounds often found on organic exams
and never in real life.

Inorganic Chemistry: That which is left over after the organic,
analytical, and physical chemists get through picking over the periodic

Mercury: (From L.  Mercurius, the swift messenger of the gods) Element
No. 80, so named because of the speed of which one of its compounds
(calomel, Hg2Cl2) goes through the human digestive tract.  The element
is perhaps misnamed, because the gods probably would not be pleased by
the physiological message so delivered.

Monomer: One mer.  (Compare POLYMER).

Natural Product: A substance that earns organic chemists fame and glory
when they manage to systhesize it with great difficulty, while Nature
gets no credit for making it with great ease.

Organic Chemistry: The practice of transmuting vile substances into

Partition Function: The function of a partition is to protect the lab
supervisor from shrapnel produced in laboratory explosions.

Pass/Fail: An attempt by professional educators to replace the
traditional academic grading system with a binary one that can be
handled by a large digital computer.

Pharmacology: The use of rabbits and dogs as guinea pigs.  (See also

Physical Chemistry: The pitiful attempt to apply y=mx+b to everything in
the universe.

Pilot Plant: A modest facility used for confirming design errors before
they are built into a costly, full-scale production facility.

Polymer: Many mers.  (Compare MONOMERS).

Prelims: (From L. pre [before] + limbo [oblivion]) An obligatory ritual
practiced by graduate students just before the granting of a Ph.D. (if
the gods are appeased) or an M.S. (if they aren't).

Publish or Perish: The imposed, involuntary choice between fame and
oblivion, neither of which is handled gracefully by most faculty

Purple Passion: A deadly libation prepared by mixing equal volumes of
grape juice and lab alcohol.

Quantum Mechanics: A crew kept on the payroll to repair quantums, which
decay frequently to the ground state.

Rate Equations: (Verb phrase) To give a grade or a ranking to a formula
based on its utility and applicability.  H=E, for example, applies to
everything everywhere, and therefore rates an A.  pV=nRT, on the other
hand, is good only for nonexistent gases and thus receives only a D+,
but this grade can be changed to a B- if enough empirical virial
coefficients are added.

Research: (Irregular noun) That which I do for the benefit of humanity,
you do for the money, he does to hog all the glory.

Sagan: The international unit of humility.

Scientific Method: The widely held philosophy that a theory can never be
proved, only disproved, and that all attempts to explain anything are
therefore futile.

SI: Acronym for "Systeme Infernelle".

Spectrophotometry: A long word used mainly to intimidate freshman

Spectroscope: A disgusting-looking instrument used by medical
specialists to probe and examine the spectrum.

Toxicology: The wholesale slaughter of white rats bred especially for
that purpose.  (See also CLINICAL TESTING, PHARMACOLOGY).

October 9
May 11
X-Ray Diffraction: An occupational disorder common among physicians,
caused by reading X-ray pictures in darkened rooms for prolonged
periods.  The condition is readily cured by a greater reliance on blood
chemistries; the lab results are just as inconclusive as the X-rays, but
are easier to read.

Ytterbium: A rare and inconsequential element, named after the village
of Ytterby, Sweden (not to be confused with Iturbi, the late pianist and
film personality, who was actually Spanish, not Swedish).  Ytterbium is
used mainly to fill block 70 in the periodic table. Iturbi was used
mainly to play Jane Powell's father.

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From: "Earl L. Smith" <esmith#NoSpam.utep.edu>
S.I. Prefixes for molecules

10-3			m			millimole
10-6			\mu			micromole
10-9			n			nanomole
10-12			p			picomole
10-15			f			femtomole
10-18			a			attomole
10-21			z			zeptomole

10-24			g			guacamole

Note:  1 gmole represents 0.6 molecules.  :-)

Daniel Boismenu, CNE News 27 Jan. 1997, p. 72

From: Erik von Stedingk <erik.s#NoSpam.ciab.se>
Just wanted to add that I had read about the grouchomole, harpomole and
chicomole to the same effect but extending the scale beyond the 1 molecule
limit a bit more (10-24, 10-27 and 10-30, resp.). To be used in homeopathy.

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Special Category: Definitions and terms
From: "Jon" <Jon-D#NoSpam.43-arun.freeserve.co.uk>
Pharmacist : A growth on an agricultural worker.

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