sam | great finds, history, open thread, science community
I want to start collecting the great (humorous) chemistry papers. Below are some that I can think of. Please comment with more!
- One of the best quotes in a chemistry paper is the following: “This work will be continued and I wish to reserve the field for myself.” (Gomberg, M. An Instance of Trivalent Carbon: Triphenylmethyl. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1900, 22(11), 757–771.)
- A good April-fool’s article is Dick Zare’s (Wayne Knox’s) zero-fs pulse. (Knox, Knox, Hoose, Zare. Observation of the 0-fs pulse. Optics and Photonics News, April 1990.) This one also has a great quote at the end: “We are investigating possible violations of thermodynamics. Somebody’s pulses must be getting longer.”
- The Alpher, Bethe, Gamow paper has it’s own Wikipedia entry! (Alpher, Bethe, Gammow. The Origin of Chemical Elements. Physical Review, 1948, 73(7), 803-804.) Gammow, a jokester, added Bethe without his knowledge in order to have the names sound like the first three Greek letters. I guess Alpher—the grad student on the paper—was very reluctant to add Bethe, and has always worried that it took away some of his credit. Bethe did see the paper before it was published.
- This is a new “classic,” but the TOC art really got a lot of internet press. (Toma, et al. Inorg. Chem. 2004, 43, 3521-3527.) Was it intentional? Also funny: the TOC image is missing from ACS right now!
- I really want to find that paper with the man fishing in the glassware. Anyone remember the citation?
Anyway, please let me know if you think any other papers should be included in this humorous group.
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