can we have a chemistry forum thread?

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Rajit28, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Rajit28

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    is it possible to have a chemical forum related to electronics.

    any comments welcome.

    this would in the column with math and physics.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    If there is sufficient interest from the wider community for such a forum then we can certainly look at it.

    Dave
     
  3. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Thinking about this out loud: looking at the spread of scientific discussion on the forums there may not be sufficient content and hence interest for a dedicated Chemistry forum. That said, there is potential for a General Scientific Interest forum which could cover the spread of science topics outside Electronics and Physics, including Chemistry. We could also constrain all the pseudo-science (i.e. free energy, etc) in that forum too.

    Dave
     
  4. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Dave,

    I don't think you meant to, but please don't mix chemistry with pseudo-science. HHO smells bad.

    I think the concept of a general science forum might be good. The tough question that I see is how to avoid going over the edge with pseudo-science, free-energy debates, and flame wars that seem to gravitate to such areas without using censorship. So far, the moderators have done a pretty good job in that respect, and AAC has relatively few such threads.

    Perhaps, if you add a general science forum, you could also add one for parascience and put all of the unsubstantiated claims there.

    John

    Edit: BTW, if it were a poll, I would recommend not adding the new forum. Let's just continue to use the Off Topic forum.
     
  5. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Apologies John, that certainly wasn't my intention. This what happens when I think out loud!

    Thanks for the feedback, I agree Off-Topic is probably the best place for the "Out/In > 1" crowd. Like when we branched out the electronics forums several years back because the GEC became a "dump-all", the Physics forum takes all the Science chat, of which the vast majority is Physics naturally.

    I guess the question is how much, if at all, do we need to diversify the forum options? Science is something that, besides electronics, the majority of members here at AAC have an interest in; is it appropriately catered for? (Think Chemistry, Alternative Energy, etc, all comes under the general science tag).

    Dave
     
  6. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Surely paranormal phenomena should be debated in VF (medical joke) the Virtual Forum?

    :D please can we have some better smilies?

    As regards to a forum with Chemistry content, Chemistry is important to Electronics and I recommend some homework reading.

    The Open University set book

    Materials in action series

    'Electronic Materials'

    Edited by Braithwaite and Weaver

    and

    Introduction to Molecular Electronics

    by Petty, Bryce and Bloor.
     
  7. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    The problem with a chemistry forum is that I would be pestering everyone with newbie type questions on a regular basis.:rolleyes: If someone were to answer me, who knows what type of damage I might accomplish!:eek:

    A "General Sciences" forum might well be useful. We could simply re-title the Physics Forum.

    Over-unity schemes belong in "Off Topic."
     
  8. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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    I would like a chemistry part of the site. It would draw in more people, so the moderators would have extra work. Secondly, I find that chemistry forums can get pretty out of hand with bomb-making, drug synthesis, and all sorts of dangerous conversation.

    I am not sure if I would be a help with chemistry, I had to take a course and I pretty much repressed it all. A 1000+ page textbook being rammed into my brain :(

    Steve
     
  9. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Are you offering to pay us overtime wages?:cool:
     
  10. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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    Sure, and you can have a raise while we are at it! :p I was actually just pointing out an obvious pitfall.

    Steve
     
  11. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Agreed, I'm a complete Chemistry-Dunce!

    Re-titling the Physics forum is an option, however the specific topic of Physics is particularly pertinent to the people that frequent this forum - if we assume the Physics forum is currently being used as a General Science forum then the vast majority of science discussion is Physics - so maybe it is best to keep Physics and add the lesser (from an interest perspective) General Science section? My initial "thinking out loud" coined the idea of General Science Interest which cover the full science-gamut, which incidentally led to my error of putting Free Energy in there, which will remain in the Off-Topic part of the site. General Science Interest would include Chemistry, Alternative Energy, Environmental Science and Engineering, which are all topics that are of potential interest to the electronic/electrical engineer/technician/hobbyist/student that don't at the moment fit readily into other sections of the site.

    We could always keep the status-quo of course.

    Moderation is always an issue. That said, we do have 5 mods/admin that are daily contributors to the forums, and if the workload increased we would always look out to the wider community to strengthen the ranks.

    Dave
     
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I think most people here have a healthy interest in general science, including chemistry. I would suggest that if we have a general science area open up the rules state pretty clearly no dangerous experiments are discussed, but then this opens up a can of worms in that someone will want to know about potassium nitrate, which in addition to being useful for gunpowder is neat mixed with sugar in equal proportions. It is also pretty common if you know where to look from any hardware store or plant nursery. Shoot, I might even want to ask some of the questions myself.

    It might be better to limit discussions about any chemicals that can be violent or dangerously toxic, so as not to give bozo's ideas (not that they won't anyhow). Just make it a part of the forum rules and be firm about it, assuming it happens.

    Where I get curious the most is sensors. How does a diabetes testing strip measure sugar, for example (this is a hypothetical question). There are huge numbers of sensors that detect chemicals and ignore others, this would be the kind of stuff being discuss IMO.

    Having said that, is there a chemist in the house willing to give up their life for online idiots like me? :)
     
  13. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    There are doubtless many sites where formulas for explosives are available. That's a permanently closed topic here. Chemistry and physics overlap quite a bit, but we would need some greater expertise on hand to begin to deal with it intelligently.

    A more general science forum might be good, although the physics forum should catch most of that. One problem with going more general is the inclusion of the biological sciences, which is very far from electronics.

    The over unity people need an asylum, not a forum.
     
  14. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Dangerous questions are indeed a concern. I myself have an interest in learning how to safely fabricate small quantities of picric acid. It is very useful, mixed with alcohol, for etching steel for microscopic examination. But is also explosive when one lets it dry out.:eek:

    Of course, a lot of science and technology are dangerous if one is careless or malicious. But the word "chemistry" does tend to draw mischief. The word "science" draws less mischief. "Science" also reduces the tendency for requests for forums like "neurology," or "botany," or "paleontology." Its all good, but it doesn't all need separate rooms on an electronics site.
     
  15. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  16. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Oh my, and I thought biosensors, pacemakers, artificial limbs, and micro DNA arrays, to name only a few things, were related to electronic technology.

    I kind of favor General Science as being an inclusive label, whether it be biology, chemistry, metallurgy, microbiology, immunology, enzymology, etc. Those arbitrary distinctions between disciplines are rapidly disappearing. And ironically, that brings us full circle to the 19th century before such distinctions became popular. When I lived in central Pennsylvania, I would go to Priestly's home and just enjoy the atmosphere (my children never understood why). Was Priestly a chemist or physicist? Pasteur was another great scientist. Why try to limit his accomplishments to microbiology or chemisry or physics? And so forth.

    Agreed completely. They will ruin a general science forum.

    John
     
  17. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    This is covered by the existing rules, not Rule #2

    Well that is the flip-side of a general science forum; such discussions doesn't readily fit into anywhere else. There are several people on here that I know of whose jobs are based in electronics but the scope of their work extends beyond electronics, maths and physics - for example, those working in the biomedical field.

    It could be like a General Science Chat forum; think about the LHC thread I started a while back - it is physics but the discussion (rightly) digressed on to the general safety of the experiment including the computer systems, etc.

    I certainly don't envisage this going beyond a General Science section - this site is not here to cater for all manor of science-related topics. However the people who frequent this site are likely to have a wide scope of interest in general sciences beyond that which is currently catered for - this discussion is asking to what degree we attempt to cater for this, if at all. I know you are into metallurgy and blacksmithing - this would fall under that category.

    Has this discussion changed your original view yet John?

    "Out/In > 1" will remain in the Off-Topic part of the site.

    Dave
     
  18. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Yes, this discussion has made me lean in favor of adding a General Science category. Keeping the free energy discussions (except for Gibbs :D) in OT would be good.

    John
     
  19. Rajit28

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    :confused: in my tech 62 class there is a lot of chemistry involved.

    related to electronics silicon and semiconductor theory.

    hope that helps in whatever is finally decided.:rolleyes::cool:
     
  20. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    Thank you Rajit for coming back,

    all too often we see a question posted then the originator never comes back to tell us how she got on with our answers.
     
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