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This page is an archive of Nyxaus' the more you know monthly page.

February 2010

Quantum mechanics


The time independent Schrödinger equation, with wave functions in a single dimension

March 2010

Reducing agents

Organic reagents

Lithium aluminum hydride, LiAlH4 is the strongest known reducing agent with an oxidation potential of 3.04, a valuable source of the hydride ion, H-

April 2010


Organic synthesis

Hydroboration is a famous example of an Anti-Markovnikov reaction, where a nucleophile is added to the higher energy carbocation, as shown in the diagram, the hydroxyl group is added to the primary carbocation instead of the lower energy secondary cation in regular Markovnikov addition.
Mechanism shown is converting 1-hexene to 1-hexanol, first performed in 1957.

May 2010


Aromatic chemistry

May 2010 - Steroids

Steroid numbering.png

A steroid is a type of organic compound that contains a specific arrangement of four rings that are joined to each other. The sterane core of steroids is composed of seventeen carbon atoms bonded together to form four fused rings: three cyclohexane rings (designated as rings A, B, and C in the figure to the right) and one cyclopentane ring (the D ring). The steroids vary by the functional groups attached to these rings and by the oxidation state of the rings. Sterols are special forms of steroids, with a hydroxyl group at position-3 and a skeleton derived from cholestane.

June 2010

Photoelectric effect


June 2010 - Photoelectric effect
Photoelectric effect.svg

The photoelectric effect is a phenomenon in which electrons are emitted from matter (metals and non-metallic solids, liquids or gases) as a consequence of their absorption of energy from electromagnetic radiation of very short wavelength, such as visible or ultraviolet light, or "photoelectrons". As it was first observed by Heinrich Hertz in 1887. Hertz observed and then showed that electrodes illuminated with ultraviolet light create electric sparks more easily.

The study of the photoelectric effect led to important steps in understanding the quantum nature of light and electrons and influenced the formation of the concept of wave–particle duality, which is the concept that all matter exhibits both wave-like and particle-like properties.

July 2010

DNA Replication


July 2010 - DNA Replication
The human body uses 18 enzymes in cellular DNA Replication: