On this day in 1897, Sir Joseph John (J. J.) Thomson along with John S. Townsend and Harold A. Wilson announced the discovery of the electron!
While several scientists before them has suggested that atoms were built up from more fundamental units, J.J. Thomson and colleagues were the first to suggest these units were actually 1000 times smaller than the smallest atom. In exploring the properties of cathode rays, or electron beams, Thomson noted that the beams could travel much further than could be expected from atom-sized particles. In addition, the cathode ray could be deflected in an electric field produced by two metal plates in very low pressure gas. The cathode ray moved away from the negatively charged plate and towards the positively charged plate indicating that the particles that compose cathode rays much be negatively charge. Thomson initially called these particles “corpuscles”, but today we know them as electrons. Thomson proposed what we now know as the “plum pudding” model where the electrons and protons were mixed together as shown above. Several years later, Ernest Rutherford came along and performed the Geiger-Marsden experiment disproving the plum pudding model, and instead finding that electrons actually exist in orbitals surrounding a positively charged nucleus. And if that’s not confusing enough, plum pudding isn’t even pudding nor does it contain plums.
Balance and complete the equation!
With all the excitement of yesterday’s Boston Marathon, I forgot about the chemical reaction of the week. Also, I learned how to put the molecules on a black background, so that’s exciting.
Today, reactions with alcohol!
My research group just hired a new postdoc. She also happens to be a BodyPump™ instructor, so she’s been taking me to the gym to help me rehab my back. Today I’m…sore.
Reduction of alkyl halides
What is result when 2-Bromo-3-methylpentane reacts with H+? Hint, H+ must react with a negative compound.
Find the Answer
About six months ago, on a nice day in October, I woke up with shooting pain down my left leg. Not being a stranger to the aches and pains that come with endurance runner, I identified this quickly as sciatica (pain caused by injury or compression of the sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back all the way down to your foot). But this was not your average sciatica. This was excruciating pain that brought me tears during my five minute drive to work.
This image is pretty accurate as I was lucky enough to feel pain all the way down to my toes.
After a few doctors appointments, a few races, the flu, and a whole lot of pain, I finally saw a chiropractor who suggested I get an MRI. The MRI showed I had a sacralization (where my lumbar region fused to my sacrum) and two disk extrusions (one in the lumbar region and one in my thoracic region). How my 32 year old back became so screwed up, I have no idea.
So she nixed running in my near future as well as biking and yoga as to avoid a hunched over position and further compression of my disks.
In my 17 years of running, I’ve never really had a major injury before, and this one is scaring the crap out of me. Six months ago, I never expected to still be sidelined with pain in April. My fear is that this is a running career ending injury. That even when the pain subsides, it will return as soon as I start running again. My chiropractor seems to feel otherwise, so I’m trying to trust her, but my patience is waning. In the meantime, I’ve been relegated to strengthening “my core” and the elliptical. Hopefully my running escapades will become more interesting in the near future.
Hydrogenation of alkenes
What do you get when you react H2 with cis-2-butene? Find the Answer