• 20 Jun 2014

    A picture is worth a thousand words

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    One of my research students is working on a project in which we are doing halide abstraction from a metal center. In theory, she is generating KCl which will precipitate out of the reaction mixture. Sure enough, she gets a precipitate. The solution was filtered and the remaining solid was dried in vacuo. The solid had some slight color to it as well as a heterogenous appearance. When she adds some water most (but certainly not all) of the solid dissolved.

  • 13 Jun 2014

    Clickers in the Classroom. Who needs 'em?

    Submitted by Sheila Smith, University of Michigan- Dearborn

    One of the things that we like to discuss on VIPEr is Technology Use in the Classroom.  Realizing that not all technology is a boon to education, and that there are many ways to remove the dermal layers of a feline, I do use clickers and find them useful.

    How do I use them? 

    1.  Three minute clicker quiz-  three minutes is the amount of time that studies say students have to work on individual multiple choice questions on exams like MCAT, PCAT etc.

  • 13 Jun 2014

    Using a new toy to teach inorganic chemistry

    Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

    Ever since they’ve come out, I’ve been eyeing 3-D printers. We’re fortunate to have several at JMU; some of my colleagues even teach general education courses where students learn to use these to build whatever they want. Ever since we saw an article about them in C&EN, a colleague of mine and I have been talking about finding a way to use them. We like the idea of designing our own microreactors and other laboratory toys.

  • 6 Jun 2014

    A behind the scenes look at VIPEr

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    It's Friday afternoon. In June. Research students are winding down for the week. They are probably wondering how much more they have to do before they can leave for the weekend. And faculty are probably wondering the exact same thing. While I was 'being productive' (aka surfing the web and thinking about things I could be doing but not really wanting to do them), I noticed we hadn't gotten a BITeS post up this week.

  • 22 May 2014


    Submitted by Nancy Scott Burke Williams, Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College

    OK, so that title was just unfair click-bait. It is an acronym for Anti-Bonding Is More Anti-Bonding Than Bonding Is Bonding. It refers to the way we draw molecular orbital diagrams. We usually draw them with the bonding orbital going down below the atomic orbitals of which it is comprised by, say, 10 cm on the whiteboard, and we make the antibonding orbital go *up* by 10 cm. 

  • 22 May 2014

    TUES 2013 Workshop LOs in Action

    Submitted by Elizabeth Jamieson, Smith College

    I just finished teaching our 2nd semester general chemistry course.  For most Smith students, this is their last course in our introductory sequence; they are taking the class as 2nd semester sophomores (our sequence goes gen chem 1, organic 1, organic 2, and gen chem 2).  Officially this class is called "Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry," but since we've moved coordination compounds to gen chem 1, it's been very light in the inorganic part for the past couple of years.  So, I decided to bring a bit of solid state chemistry into the class this year using materials from our 2

  • 5 May 2014

    Grade or blog?

    Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College

    Grade or blog...grade or blog...grade or blog? Who am I kidding? Of course it will be blog. Like many of you, I greet the end of the academic year with some major mixed emotions.

  • 22 Apr 2014

    An update on X-ray

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    I've previously posted on a wonderful lab that can be found here on VIPEr. The lab describes the synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles which are then characterized by powder XRD. One of the wonderful aspects of VIPEr is the interaction of the community. And for me, to be able to try out this lab, and then get insight and feedback from the author was incredibly useful.

  • 18 Apr 2014

    A Graphical Approach to Ligand Group Orbitals

    Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

    It would be an understatement to say that I fell in love with molecular orbital theory as an undergraduate. My inorganic professor at Oberlin College, Marty Ackermann, introduced us to SALCs and group theory. Two years later, I plowed through all the math in Cotton’s book at MIT and then I got to (yes, GOT to) TA the course two of the following three years (LC member Betsy Jamieson was one of my first students). My approach to MO theory and LGO generation is intuitive and graphical.