- Amateur chemistry
Amateur chemistry or home chemistry is the pursuit of
chemistryas a private hobby.cite news |last = Silberman |first = Steve |title = Don't Try This at Home |publisher = Wired Magazine|date = 2006-07 |url = http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/chemistry.html |accessdate = 2008-07-18 ] It should not be confused with clandestine chemistry, which involves the illicit production of controlled drugs.Ref_label|a|a|none Notable amateur chemists include Oliver Sacksand Sir Edward Elgar.Cite book |title = Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood |last = Sacks |first = Oliver |publisher = Vintage Books|isbn = 0-375-40448-1] cite journal |url=http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/annual_of_bernard_shaw_studies/v022/22.1weintraub.pdf |title=Shaws’s Musician: Edward Elgar |last=Weintraub |first=Stanley |journal=Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies (Requires subscription) |accessdate=2008-07-21]
Amateur chemistry shares its early history with that of chemistry in general. Pioneers of modern chemistry such as
Robert Boyleand Antoine Lavoisierwere gentleman scientists who pursued their research independently from their source of income.cite book |title=Four Centuries of Clinical Chemistry |last=Rosenfeld |first=Louis |year = 1999| publisher= Taylor and Francis|isbn=9056996452] Citation |title=University of Wisconsin - General Chemistry - The Law of Conservation of Mass |url=http://genchem.chem.wisc.edu/sstutorial/Text1/Tx14/tx14.html |accessdate=2008-07-19] Only with the coming of the industrial era, and the rise of universities as research institutions, did any significant distinction between amateurs and professionals emerge.Nevertheless, amateur progress lasted well into the 19th century. For example, in 1886, Charles Martin Hallco-invented the Hall-Héroult processfor extracting aluminiumfrom its oxide whilst working in a woodshed behind his family home.cite book |last=Emsley |first=John |title=Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements |year=2001 |id=ISBN 0-19-850341-5 |pages=pp. 451 – 53 |publisher= Oxford University Press]
Chemistry as a hobby
Throughout much of the 20th century, amateur chemistry was an unexceptional hobby, with high-quality chemistry sets readily available, and laboratory suppliers freely selling to hobbyists. For example,
Linus Paulinghad no difficulty in procuring potassium cyanideat the age of eleven. However, due to increasing concerns about terrorism, drugs and safety, suppliers became increasingly reluctant to sell to amateurs, and chemistry sets were steadily toned down.Citation |last = Fuscaldo |first = Donna |title = The Grinch Who Stole the Chemistry Set |publisher = FOX Business|date = 2007-12-11 |url = http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/lifestyle-money/article/grinch-stole-chemistry-set_397395_20.html |accessdate = 2008-07-19] This trend has gradually continued, leaving hobbyists in many parts of the world without access to most reagents.
Notable amateur chemists
Internetpioneer Vint Cerf, Intelco-founder Gordon Moore, and Hewlett Packardco-founder David Packardall used to practice amateur chemistry.
Neurologist Oliver Sackswas a keen amateur chemist in his youth, as described in his memoir .
Nobel Prizewinning chemist Linus Paulingpractised amateur chemistry in his youth. cite book |last=Goertzel |year=1995 |title=Linus Pauling: A Life in Science and Politics |publisher= Basic Books|isbn=0465006728]
Wolfram Researchco-founder Theodore Grayis a keen amateur chemist and element collector.Citation |title=Theodore Gray's website| url=http://www.theodoregray.com/ |accessdate=2008-07-18] His exploits (most notably the construction of a wooden table in the shape of the periodic table, having compartments holding real samples of each element) earned him the 2002 Ig Nobel prizefor chemistry,Citation |url=http://improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html |title=Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize |accessdate=2008-07-18] which he accepted as a great honor.Citation |url=http://www.theodoregray.com/PeriodicTable/IgNobel/index.html |title=Theodore Gray's website: 2002 Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry |accessdate=2008-07-18] He writes a column for Popular Sciencemagazine, featuring his home experiments.Citation |url=http://www.popsci.com/category/tags/theodore-gray |title=Popular Science: Gray Matter column |accessdate=2008-07-18]
* Amateur rocketeer (and later
NASAengineer) Homer Hickham, together with his fellow Rocket Boys, experimented with a range of home-made rocket propellants. These included "Rocket Candy" made from potassium nitrateand sugar, and "Zincoshine" made from zincand sulfurheld together with moonshinealcohol.cite book |title=Rocket Boys: A Memoir |first=Homer |last=Hickam |publisher = Delacorte Press|year=1998 |isbn=0-385-33320-X]
Sir Edward Elgarpractised amateur chemistry from a laboratory erected in his back garden. The original manuscript of the prelude to The Kingdom is stained with chemicals.Citation |title = Sir Edward William Elgar; Amateur Chemist-Composer |url = http://faculty.cua.edu/may/Elgar.pdf |accessdate = 2008-08-10]
Whilst the hobby is probably legal in most jurisdictions,Ref_label|b|b|none the relationship between amateur chemists and law enforcement agencies is often fraught. Hobbyists are often affected by laws intended to fight drugs and
terrorism. Furthermore, many chemical supply houses refuse to sell to amateurs, with such policies sometimes being stated openly.Citation |url=http://www.timstar.co.uk/Ordering.aspx |title=Timstar Laboratory Suppliers Ltd: Ordering information |accessdate=2008-07-18] Citation |url=http://www.stratlab.co.uk/stratlab/value/items.asp?Cc=CHEM |title=Stratlab Web Shop - Laboratory Supplies - Chemicals and reagents |accessdate=2008-08-10]
Canada, a wide range of basic laboratory reagents such as nitric acidand hydrogen peroxideare restricted as "explosives precursors".Citation |title = Natural Resources Canada: New Regulations Tighten Controls on Restricted Chemicals |url = http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Natural-Resources-Canada-834666.html |publisher = Marketwire|date = 2008-05-19 |accessdate = 2008-08-08]
German amateur chemists have been raided by the police, despite not being in the possession of illegal chemicals.Citation |last=Winsemann |first=Bettina |url=http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/28/28448/1.html |title=Von Chemikalien, Aquarianern, Sprengstoffen und Drogen |language = German |publisher=
Telepolis|date=2008-08-02 |accessdate=2008-08-08] Citation |last=Winsemann |first=Bettina |url=http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/21/21622/1.html |title=Terrorfahndung in Kinderzimmern] |publisher= Telepolis|language = German |date=2008-12-21 |accessdate=2008-08-08]
United States, some regions have stringent regulations concerning the ownership of chemicals and equipment. For example Texasrequires the registration of even the most basic laboratory glassware.Citation |title = Texas Administrative Code: Title 37, Public Safety And Corrections; Part 1, Texas Department Of Public Safety; Chapter 13, Controlled Substances; Subchapter E, Precursors And Apparatus |url = http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=37&pt=1&ch=13&sch=E&rl=Y |accessdate = 2008-07-19]
United Nuclear, an amateur science supplier based in
New Mexicowas raided on behest of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and subsequently fined $7,500 for "Selling Illegal Fireworks Components".cite press release |title = New Mexico Company Fined, Ordered To Stop Selling Illegal Fireworks Components |publisher = Consumer Product Safety Commission|date = 2007-07-20 |url = http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/ocl/cases/Cases/UnitedNuclear/CPSC%20press%20release%202007.pdf |accessdate = 2006-07-18]
*a. Note_label|a|a|none The terms "amateur chemistry" and "clandestine chemistry" are not rigidly defined, and may depend upon context. For clarity, this article defines "amateur chemistry" to be the practice of chemistry as a hobby, and not as the means to an illegal end.
*b. Note_label|b|b|none The legal status of amateur chemistry "per se" is somewhat ambiguous. Whilst there appears to be no legislation explicitly banning the activity, there is also little evidence to confirm its legality.
List of commonly available chemicals
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Chemistry set — For other uses, see Chemistry set (disambiguation). A 1940s Gilbert chemistry set A chemistry set is an educational toy allowing the user (typically a teenager) to perform simple chemistry experiments. The best known such sets were produced by… … Wikipedia
List of hobbies — This is a list of hobbies.Amateur Science related* Amateur astronomy * Amateur chemistry * Amateur microscopy * Amateur telescope making * Electronics * Fireworks * Genealogy * Lasers * Mass Observation * Physics demos or experiments * Robots(See … Wikipedia
Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany — (25 March 1541 ndash; 17 October 1587) was the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, ruling from 1574 to 1587. BiographyBorn in Florence, he was the son of Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleonora di Toledo, and served as regent for his… … Wikipedia
Theodore Gray — and is currently Wolfram s Director of User Interface Technology.He created a wooden periodic table [ [http://www.theodoregray.com/PeriodicTable/index.html Wooden periodic table] ] with compartments for each of the elements. This table won him an … Wikipedia
Utah Phillips — Infobox Musical artist Name = Utah Phillips Img capt = Phillips speaking at Waldheim Cemetery, Forest Park (outside Chicago) in May 1986 during ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Haymarket affair. Img size = 160 px Landscape =… … Wikipedia
Contributors — ▪ 2000 Adams, Andy. Editor and Publisher, Sumo World. Author of Sumo; Sumo World Record Book. • sports and games: Judo; Wrestling: Sumo Ahn, Ki suk. Assistant Editor, Shindonga of Donga Ilbo. • biographies (in part) Alder,… … Universalium
Microscopy — is the technical field of using microscopes to view samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye (objects that are not within the resolution range of the normal eye). There are three well known branches of microscopy, optical,… … Wikipedia
Mathematics and Physical Sciences — ▪ 2003 Introduction Mathematics Mathematics in 2002 was marked by two discoveries in number theory. The first may have practical implications; the second satisfied a 150 year old curiosity. Computer scientist Manindra Agrawal of the… … Universalium
photography, technology of — Introduction equipment, techniques, and processes used in the production of photographs. The most widely used photographic process is the black and white negative–positive system (Figure 1 >). In the camera the lens projects an image of… … Universalium
Astronomy — (from the Greek words astron (ἄστρον), star , and nomos (νόμος), law ) is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth s atmosphere (such as the cosmic… … Wikipedia