It’s not purple, it’s mauve…

My wife has been tending to these orchids for a number of years.  When we were in Chicago, they looked kind of sad.  They seem to like the Brockport air (which has much less traffic pollution, so I don’t blame them).

Click on the picture to get a bigger image.  The purple orchid seems to be very pleased by finally having a non-south-facing window to sit in.  Speaking of purple, today is Henry Perkin’s 180th birthday (thank you for honoring a Chemist, Google).  Perkin is known for discovering a way to produce purple dye.  His story, which is detailed in a very readable book by Simon Garfield, is worth picking up if you have a few hours to spare.

The chemistry behind the flint water problem

Andy Brunning over at Compound Interest has created a great infographic to help explain some of the chemistry behind the Flint water crisis. The graphic is below, but I strongly encourage you to take a look at his full article

Andy’s post introduces a lot of concepts that could be incorporated into a Chemistry lecture, making it a potentially valuable resource for connecting what students may find as esoteric concepts to real-life situations.  Check out the full article while I jot down some ideas for exam questions….

Spectrometer published

One of my DIY spectrometer designs was published in The MagPi.  You can view issue 24 here or you can check out this github link which contains the word document.

As one of my ‘loyal readers’ has pointed out (thanks Nick), the schematic in the MagPi has the LED in the wrong way.  Be sure to connect the negative side of the LED to Ground and the positive side to GPIO25.

Wolfspec 2.0

Wolfspec 2.0 – Spectrometry with the Raspicam

This post is a reprint of an article I wrote on my earlier website.  I’ve tried to update the links and images, but may have missed a few.

I recently purchased the camera that attaches to a Raspberry Pi and thought about how one might be able to make a spectrophotometer using the camera as a ccd-like detector. This work is still in progress, but with relatively few steps, I was able to get an instrument up and running (and even calibrated – sort of).

Continue reading Wolfspec 2.0