To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, January 16, 2006

R was kind enough to go with me this evening to an American Chemical Society meeting. I'm pretty sure we have had this speaker before. He spoke about myths of molecular science, including the myth of ionic bonds. There's no such thing as an ionic bond, folks! Sodium chloride? Covalent!

I asked a professor at one of the local universities about it after the talk. It's been (mumble mumble) years since I was in a classroom, except for the microbiology class I took last year. How mainstream is this, really? He took a dim view. I was glad because I thought perhaps I had told F wrong things.

The talk centered on physical chemistry, which was not my forte anyway. R didn't study any of this really, but he found himself understanding random bits of the talk due to his background in electricity and electronics.

When this speaker was here before (I'm pretty sure it was him) he talked more about different species of water molecules. It's not just H2O, you know. It's H3O, and H4O2, and H5O2, and H6O4, and so forth and so on. He likened water molecules to sticky marshmallows. In fact, he said you can think of water as just one big molecule. Hm.

But it did make me think about rain. Sometimes (like this evening, unfortunately) it rains and the water hits your windshield in small hard dots. Other times it rains and the drops are big and soft, squishy, almost viscous. I've always wondered why that is....

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