Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemistry/Archive 11

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Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12

Silicon Carbide / Diamond Simulant

I seem to be in a bit of a dispute on silicon carbide and diamond simulant. Before again reverting and getting into the dispute, I think I ask for some second opinions. The person seems to know about the subject, but does not argue, and, I think, misreads some of the things.

On silicon carbide there is a reference to a patent (US5762896) that claims 'A method of producing a finished gemstone having a Mohs hardness of approximately 8.5-9.25, a density (SG) of ..'. The article contains a note relating to that, explaining why the patent uses these numbers (indeed, Mohs hardness scale does NOT support 9.25, but we are not citing the truth, but we are citing what is verifyable). The editor in question thinks 9.25 is confusing, and keeps reverting this (I have done a great deal of work earlier on that document in an attempt to clarify that point, but still).

On diamond simulant the discussion is similar (it does contain the same disputed 9.25), and has a second component where I indeed don't exactly know where to go. The problem there seems to be the definition of the words synthesised and simulated. I first reverted because of the 9.25 -> 9.0 change (I describe such changes often as vandalism with 'unexplained and unsourced numerical change (by anon)'), later he changed all forms of 'synthetic moissanite' into 'simulated moissanite (synthetic silicon carbide)'. There I get confused. Synthetic moissanite would IMHO be a material that is very close to, or exactly the same as moissanite (has the same constitutents etc.) and has actually been made. A simulated material (a simulated diamond) looks like the material, but it is not the same, or it is not actually being made (in a way a synthetic diamond could be a moissanite simulant). (I synthesise free carbenes, I do not simulate free carbenes).

I have left the discussion after a WP:3RR dispute, but I would like to hear some more input on this matter. I guess the best thing would be to overhaul both articles and to rewrite the disputed parts of it, but I am not the person to do that. Thanks. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:39, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

A Mohs of 9¼ seems reasonable to me (9.25 implies too great an accuracy). Physchim62 (talk) 15:31, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
If I am correct, the reference states 8.5-9.25, not 8½-9¼. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:34, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Also, the Mohs scale does not recognise quarters, only whole and half numbers (though the wikilinked article here does not state that). --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:36, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
If the Mohs scale only recognises halves, then these should be written as, e.g. 9½, NOT 9.5, and so whatever the original source says. I will try to research the Mohs scale to give another opinion on the exact problem. Physchim62 (talk) 16:17, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, here I disagree. Per WP:A, "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a publisher of original thought. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is whether material is attributable to a reliable published source, not whether it is true." And I guess there is the whole problem of the dispute; do we say a patent is a reliable source or not (I know, everybody can get a patent). Hence my suggestion, maybe overhaul both articles, and rewrite the disputed parts of it. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:33, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Dirk, you are correct on the criterion for inclusion in Wikipedia, but would you deliberately include material you knew to be misleading? I think not... Physchim62 (talk) 14:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I know, and my original attempt was to explain that part (but that is apparently still disputed; and it is either misleading in the article, or misleading with respect to the reference). The other option is, remove/rewrite the whole disputed part. It is why I ask for comments here and stay away from the dispute; removal will probably be followed by readdition since we remove a (verifyable) POV; keeping the explanation is disputed. I just hope someone with a fresh view can resolve these articles. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:49, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Another option is to remove it entirely..."zero information preferred over misleading information". --HappyCamper 17:01, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
The link is a bit off-topic (there is a reference), but removal may indeed be an option. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:37, 3 March 2007 (UTC) about simply saying that the hardness of X is between that of corundum and diamond? --HappyCamper 17:47, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I disagree with HappyCamper and Jimbo (I guess): if there is a misconception about a certain concept it should not be ignored in Wiki but identified and explained why this misconception exists and why it is wrong, otherwise no articles on homeopathy or the Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. I prefer synthetic over simulated (I can simulate the stuff on a computer) and if the source states 9.25 then it is 9.25 in the article with a note or reference stating that the official scale does not support 9.25. V8rik 21:36, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
    This sounds like the best alternative of them all. Can we implement V8rik's idea then? --HappyCamper 22:49, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Category:Chemistry articles with comments

I just noticed a Category:Chemistry articles with comments on some chemistry-related article discussion pages. A handful of items in the category, but no description of what the category actually is and/or how articles get included in it. It looks automatic based on some banner? What is a "comment" in this context? DMacks 01:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I believe they have a /Comments page in their Talk: Talk:Histidine/Comments. I think this was meant for rating and other outstanding items but it appears to have been hijacked for other purposes in some cases. --Rifleman 82 01:21, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
That's the first I've noticed or heard mention of the Talk:*/Comments namespace. Got a ref to where it's discussed for its original putpose? DMacks 01:28, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
It's used by the 1.0 bot, which can transclude comments from these pages into the assessment tables. The original discussion is here. It's a useful feature, but one we've never got around to using here much. Walkerma 02:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Admin help required

Recently, I came across the article 2-methyl,2-nitrosopropane. Realising the unconventional spelling of the article name, I suggested it be moved to 2-methyl-2-nitrosopropane on the talk page. User:Pproctor kindly obliged, but rather than performing a page move per se, he/she created a new article with identical content at 2-methyl-2-nitrosopropane, leaving the incorrectly-named 2-methyl,2-nitrosopropane untouched.

Any takers?

Ben 14:45, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I've deleted 2-methyl-2-nitrosopropane and then moved the wrongly named article together with its history to 2-methyl-2-nitrosopropane. JoJan 15:46, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Take a look at other work by PProctor editor and you will come to appreciate the depth of problem.--Smokefoot 16:31, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Picture requests

I have added the autocategorisation to the {{protein}}, and after seeing the huge increase in category-contents I decided to recat the automatic image requests. There is now a master-category Category:Chemistry pages needing pictures, which contains the subcategories for the three different infoboxes with this functionality: {{chembox new}}, {{drugbox}} and {{protein}}. Hope this helps, and ... happy drawing! --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:31, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Merge discussion for sonication and ultrasonic cleaning

As above, discussion at talk:Ultrasonic cleaning. --Rifleman 82 15:20, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Conversion templates

Hello! This is to announce that several templates for automatic convertion between metric and imperial units and for displaying consistently formatted output have been created: {{km to mi}}, {{mi to km}}, {{m to ft}}, {{ft to m}}, {{km2 to mi2}}, {{mi2 to km2}}, {{m2 to ft2}}, and {{ft2 to m2}}. Hopefully, they will be useful to the participants of this WikiProject. The templates are all documented, provide parameters to fine-tune the output, and can be substituted if necessary.

Any suggestions, requests for improvement/features/additional templates, or bug reports are welcome.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:16, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

For cleanup: Glycerol

Article in bad shape, with lists running out of control and poorly explained synthetic route/industrial production. Also can take a look at Nitration. --Rifleman 82 14:55, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Nitration and forminc an ester of nitric acid are two total differnt things. You end up either with C-NO2 or C-O-NO2 (C-NO3). With nitration you end up with nitromethane with esterification with nitric acid you end up at methylnitrate. Soemthing has to happen.--Stone 18:52, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Filtration / Filter (chemistry)

I've attempted to improve filtration. Perhaps you guys can drop by and check my contributions, and add some of your own? I'm also thinking of merging the latter article to the former. Filtration is a physical process not quite limited to chemistry, and unless we want to talk about laboratory techniques, there is little point in a separate article. What do you guys think? --Rifleman 82 17:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi everyone - I was browsing around and discovered Wikipedia:Featured topics today! I'm wondering whether there is a good set of chemistry topics we could work on as a group? Just an idea. --HappyCamper 21:52, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Chemistry is a featured article candidate

See discussion at Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Chemistry. --Itub 11:57, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Chemical plant, processes, design, etc.

To any chemical engineers, chemists, and anybody else who might be interested:

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemical and Bio Engineering#Chemical plant, processes, design, etc.. H Padleckas 23:30, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Titration curves

Example of a curve being made

Curious if anyone has input to improve the titration curve examples currently being developed by User:JWSchmidt and I to improve the titration article, and maybe others.

Atropos235 18:58, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

If you can get the data for it, I think a titration curve showing the orthophosphoric acid (H3PO4, commonly called simply phosphoric acid) titrated with an NaOH solution all the way to orthophosphate (PO4-3) would be picturesque. Orthophosphoric is one of the few triprotic acids which shows all three of its endpoints clearly since its pKa values are far enough apart. In the oxalic acid titration curve shown here, the first endpoint does not seem very distinct. H Padleckas 16:09, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
As much as I love phosphoric acid, I have to say that the third equivalence point is not that clear because the pKa is too high. See this page for an example: [1]. The oxalic acid plot looks pretty good. Besides phosphoric acid, you could also consider carbonic acid; these two examples have the advantage of being of great biological interest. But don't worry, oxalic acid is a good didactic example. --Itub 14:41, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Phosphoric acid can't be done by a simple pH titration, as the third pKa is too high to give a good inflection. The third pKa has to be determined by conductimetry. Physchim62 (talk) 15:05, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Why not generate a curve from a fictitious polyprotic acid where all the transitions can be clearly illustrated? --HappyCamper 00:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Maybe some aminoacid will have at least two clear equivalence points. --Itub 08:40, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


This is sort of a follow up to "Hey, let's teach morons how to make explosives!", but is concerned not with explosives but extremely toxic substances.

In the Acrolein (apparently very toxic) article there is suggested a method of synthesis. Are we meant to act as moral police here and delete this content? Personally I say I'd prefer not to have easy ways of making dangerous substances from easily available substances listed on Wikipedia. -- Quantockgoblin 14:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

I tend to keep the position that "Wikipedia is not censored" and its contents should be used at the reader's risk. However, I agree that detailed synthetic procedures typically don't belong in Wikipedia following the principle that "Wikipedia is not an instruction manual". In other words, saying "acrolein is obtained from acid-catalyzed dehydration of glycerol" is not only OK, but essential encyclopedic information IMO; however, saying "In a fume hood, place 10 mL glycerol in a 50 mL round bottom flask set up for distillation with a Liebig condenser; add 2 g sodium bisulfate; stir and heat to 150 deg C for about 1 hour, collecting the product as distillate; dry with sodium sulfate" (note I just made up this example and it is certainly wrong; don't take it as a real procedure!) might be too much. --Itub 14:53, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
In the past, I have tended to go with the idea that "Wikipedia is not a cookbook" to delete such matter: however, as it is up for discussion, I shall wait for other opinions before acting. Physchim62 (talk) 15:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with Itub and Physchim62. General synthetic descriptions are fine, even for toxic/explosive compounds, but detailed synthetic procedures are undesirable even for harmless compounds. Relevant to this discussion, right now there is a detailed synthethis at nitroglycerin which should be removed if the current consensus holds. --Ed (Edgar181) 15:52, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
IMHO, such material can be deleted per WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE: "Instruction manuals. While Wikipedia has descriptions of people, places, and things, Wikipedia articles should not include instructions or advice (legal, medical, or otherwise), suggestions, or contain "how-to"s. This includes tutorials, walk-throughs, instruction manuals, video game guides, and recipes. Note that this does not apply to the Wikipedia: namespace, where "how-to"s relevant to editing Wikipedia itself are appropriate, such as Wikipedia:How to draw a diagram with Dia. If you're interested in a how-to style manual, you may want to look at our sister project Wikibooks.". --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:23, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with Itub and Ed by the way acrolein is covered in organic syntheses Link and has a lot more public access info on explosive and toxic materials. I see no reason for restricting access to these links. On the other hand I have some serious objections to the use of safety information in articles on chemicals. It is not our job to advise on toxicity and first aid measures etc. It borders on medical advice. External links to safety datasheets should suffice V8rik 17:36, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. The last thing we want is to censor important chemical information on Wikipedia because some readers are irresponsible. And no-one wants to see articles full of how-to guides. Should we have a vote and make this an official WP:CHEMS policy?
Ben 21:57, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
We have BEANS which might come in handy. However, if it will save us lots of trouble in the long run to formally codify this, then let's go ahead. I am worried about the details though, but I'll save those concerns for later. In the meantime, a nice approach I've found is to point users to a core set of articles as good examples to follow, and hopefully that reinforces an editorial culture where this sort of policy simply passively polices ourselves. --HappyCamper 00:19, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The Chemistry Star

What about some Wiki-love? I know Barn-stars aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if you dig them, then I propose "The chemistry star" as an award for anyone you feel is doing good work in chemistry related articles:

Chemistrystar.png The Chemistry Star
Message here ... -- Quantockgoblin 01:11, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Anyone else in favour ... otherwise I'll just have to quietly keep handing them out myself ... ? -- Quantockgoblin 01:11, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

  • Very good idea: both using them and quietly handing them out! Go ahead. (p'r'aps using chembox colours?) If you need nominees, feel free to ask by email. Wim van Dorst (Talk) 16:52, 22 March 2007 (UTC).
    • Thanks Wim van Dorst, I note your comment about "nominees", do I need to get this approved somewhere? I don't exactly know how to tweak the colour, also a transparent gif would be better, but as an aside, I did think about putting an "Au" in the middle of the star :-) !! -- Quantockgoblin 16:32, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
      • There's no formal approvement procedure. If we all decide that it is ok, the itis ok . Wim van Dorst (Talk) 22:50, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Another version:

100px The Chemistry Bondstar
Message here ... -- Quantockgoblin 01:11, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
The second version looks completely blank on my screen, but if I pull up the image I can see it. Is this a browser problem on my part? --HappyCamper 16:56, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It's blank on my screen too. The problem is in the scaling of the GIF formatted picture. These are notably bad at scaling. PNG format highly preferred, and the real trendy format is SVG (which is excellent at scaling, but limited on picture quality itself). Wim van Dorst (Talk) 22:50, 30 March 2007 (UTC).

Here's another version:

Chemistrystar.png The Chemistry Bond Star
I award you this wikiproject Chemistry Bond Star for your unrelenting contribution to Chemistry on Wikipedia. Wim van Dorst (Talk) 22:47, 30 March 2007 (UTC).

Perhaps some darker bonds and light (gold's fine) background colour into the PNG formatted picture? Wim van Dorst (Talk) 22:59, 30 March 2007 (UTC).

Yes, it must be the problem with the GIF format - can you make a PNG with a transparent background? Wim van Dorst, I like the chembox colour scheme! It could be taken further (see below :) ) but I don't think others will like it, so I think your version is winning -- Quantockgoblin 00:10, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I like both. There's no reason why we can't have the best of both worlds? --HappyCamper 02:03, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Chemistry Bond Star
Systematic name Pentaspirocyclopentene
Molecular formula C20H20
Molar mass 260.3728 g/mol
Awarded to: (User name)
Awarded from: (User name)
Awarded for: (Message)
The wikiproject Chemistry Bond Star for

unrelenting contribution to Chemistry on Wikipedia.

ACS meeting in Chicago

I'm just wondering if any other wikichemists will be at the Chicago American Chemical Society meeting next week. If you are, please leave a note here or send me an email so we can meet up. My short talk on Sunday is one of many wiki talks the CINF & CHED divisions have sponsored; there is a Tuesday CINF session where Henry Rzepa will be talking about his vision for a wiki-based peer reviewed journal.

If people would like, I can post any relevant highlights here during the conference. There is also an ACS Chicago conference wiki, and I plan to post a couple of things there - hopefully WP people can add their edits & comments there too. Walkerma 18:18, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

  • If Chicago weren't only so distant, for the sake of shaking a hand, I'd certainly drop by. Success your and Thomas' presentation. Wim van Dorst (Talk) 16:54, 22 March 2007 (UTC).
I heard Walkerma's presentation at ACS - he provided a concise survey of the wikiworld, esp WE-chem to a highly attentive audience who had lots of questions. Obviously many educators are very interested in this phenomenon.--Smokefoot 02:08, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
  • So where is the videocast at youtube? V8rik 16:44, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry V8rik, the presentation wasn't podcast or anything like that! I can send you my outline by email...! I learnt about lots of interesting developments such as this and I met lots of interesting people. Do you want me to write a quick summary of the talks? I did record a pencast of quite a few so I could do this. Cheers, Walkerma 04:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Naming for Group (Periodic table), Period (Periodic table)

According to the naming conventions, these should be moved to Group (periodic table), Period (periodic table). However, are there better names for these? Perhaps "Group (chemistry)" or something of that nature? --- RockMFR 03:12, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Group (periodic table) and period (periodic table) are ok, go ahead. Cacycle 03:33, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Useful tool

Maybe others already know about this, but I came across this neat tool that generates templates for use in references. Link For example, you simply enter a PMID for an article and it outputs a filled in {{cite journal}} template that you can just cut and paste into an article. --Ed (Edgar181) 23:07, 24 March 2007 (UTC)


Perhaps this page stating the preferred chembox to use should be updated? --Rifleman 82 05:14, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

  • You'd better ask at WP:CHEMS, the Chemicals wikiproject. And formally the non-transcluded chembox is the preferred chembox, still. Wim van Dorst (Talk) 09:52, 26 March 2007 (UTC).

Chemistry Nuts

I sure that the following comment will be like throwing a juicy steak into a pit full of rabid wolves and shouting "Bunny" ... however, - what do other chemical editors think of the {{nutshell}} tag? Do you think it is even possible to paraphrase a topic like distillation into a meaningful sentense - should we even try? My view is, if we can we should, as I think it set the scene to understand what is being said further on chemistry topics. I'm sure that a nutshell has no place on specific chemical pages e.g. iodobenzene but then again could have a place on a page like iodomethane e.g. "A powerful methylating agent". Your views please! -- Quantockgoblin 07:46, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

  • It looks just like an infobox for articles where no other infobox can be applicable. I prefer {{chembox}} for chemical compounds and similar well defined infoboxes. Wim van Dorst (Talk) 09:55, 26 March 2007 (UTC).
Personally, I think using the {{nutshell}} template is redundant with a having a good introductory sentence and/or paragraph. Distillation currently has a well written intro and it is basically repeated in the nutshell. --Ed (Edgar181)
why not running a text accompanying the main image framed top right. and besides the point, why is there no wiki article on nutshell? V8rik 20:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Chemical compound stubs

Wikipedia has hundreds, if not thousands, of articles on chemical compounds, generally found in the many subcategories of Category:Chemical compounds by element. Unfortunately, many of these are permanent stubs and low on content, such as those listed here. Wikipedia:Chemical compounds has been created to discuss what to do with all this. Deletion is arguably a waste, but perhaps some articles can be combined into lists for greater comprehensiveness. Please join the discussion on Wikipedia talk:Chemical compounds. >Radiant< 16:24, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

List of chemists

There is a proposal to merge this list into Category:Chemists. The discussion is at Talk:List of chemists. Of course this is really a proposal to delete the list after ensuring that all entries are in the appropriate category. Nevertheless I think it worth while to discuss it as a merge and then perhaps move to a delete. What do people think? --Bduke 22:33, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Two chemistry articles nominated at WP:FLC

At WP:FLC, two chemistry lists have been nominated for featured status. If you have the time, please go to WP:FLC and comment on these nominations. Thank you. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:54, 29 March 2007 (UTC)