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Old 12-21-2013, 01:02 PM
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Richard Huntrods Richard Huntrods is offline
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Back many years ago, I took organic chemistry as part of one degree.

We were making aspirin in the lab; something very routine for undergrad chem labs and one of those "it's really, really hard to mess this up" reactions designed specifically for said undergrad labs.

I was pretty good in the lab. My aspirin was perfect. Except, it was light purple. The lab tech, the prof, even other profs - could not figure out how that was possible, as it did analyze as essentially pure aspirin.

But after that, every batch of aspirin made in class in that lab was the identical shade of light purple, and at least into the late 80's, no one had an explanation for why the color.

As to why every batch afterward, it was attributed to minute particles simply being in the lab and nucleating every reaction afterward.

In later years I made a purple tye-dyed lab coat which I used to invoke as the reason why any experiment would succeed (or fail - a good nonsense reason works well for anything.)

I used to say organic chemical reactions owed as much to the color of the researcher's tie and the phase of the moon as to any other factor.

With my track record, I could put 5 grams of Cobalt into 40lbs of SP batch and get bright orange.
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