Thursday, July 1, 2010

Adapting to the Schedule

Today in the lab we performed the synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin. 

The creation of the substance involved the simple combination of two chemicals although the isolation of the aspirin through multiple crystallizations took longer. 

Tomorrow we will characterize the properties of our substance with a variety of tests. 

After the lab was finished I had lunch with a student from China who is taking a course in C. During the second class period we heard a lecture by Professor Scott Snyder who discussed the discoveries of various molecules with far reaching effects such as quinine, penicillin, and progesterone. The lecture also highlighted the relative difficulty in finding molecules which have medical applications given the complicated nature of the human body. 

I finished up the day by having dinner with a few fellow chemistry students. The fact that for the last two days I've been able to get up on time is a good sign that I'm starting to acclimate to Eastern Time.

1 comment:

  1. Michael,

    I recall the same experiment from my high school days. When we ended up with the 'aspirin' powder, someone suggested we give it a try to see if it really had the same properties as aspirin.

    What we had on the filter paper, though, really didn't resemble a ground up aspirin so we all pretty much decided that we didn't have a headache that day. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've wallowed an aspirin since that day and that's been nearly forty years. I've been an ibuprofen man, thank you very much.