Videos for Thought

I have embedded some videos here for students who need to re-visit concepts that were introduced in my lesson. Go ahead! Watch it, think about it and hopefully it helps clarify any doubt that you may have!

First and foremost, do you think making scent should be a secret? What about the food ingredients and additives that you consume everyday? Should they be secret as well?

I have chosen this video to illustrate the concept of chirality and its importance in nature that you may have come across in class. There are many other suitable videos on youtube. Explore it and learn!

Another useful video is the one produced by the University of Surrey. It relates the importance of understanding the concept of optical isomerism to amino acids and our physiological system. Great watch!

Some of you may be wondering how a polarimeter can be used to distinguish optical isomers. It’s clearly illustrated in this video.

After watching videos on optical isomerism, let’s put on our thinking caps to try the example given in my lesson by clicking on the link below.

What about a compound that contains more than one chiral centre? Will it rotate the direction of plane polarised light? Take a look at this illustration on tartaric acid. Click on the link below to accesthey lesson.

You can also click on the link to Wolfram Demonstrations Project to find out more about optical rotation of tartaric acid.

Chemistry is so much more meaningful if we see it in context to our world today – its role and relevance. We are almost always interested in synthesis, purification, isolation, extraction and identification of compounds around us. Even at “A” Levels, I think it is useful to be aware of extraction and isolation techniques used in the lab.  In the module Isolation technique, I have referred to videos from The Interactive Lab Primer. There are several techniques mentioned in this website – chromatography, recrystallisation, solvent extraction and soxhlet extraction. Go through the simulations and the videos to appreciate what goes on in the chemistry lab!

For those of you who are inspired by the clips from Lorenzo’s Oil, I hope you have started to realise that you are amongst the fortunate few who speak the scientific language. Have you started thinking about your role as science students in communicating science to those who don’t understand your jargon of science? If you want to know more about the Myelin Project and how competitive inhibition can be illustrated, watch this flash file entitled ALD and Lorenzo’s Oil. For some of you, it’s good to understand the concept of competitive inhibition for H3 Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Science is never learnt and appreciated in isolation. It’s so much more meaningful to understand its history, language, progress and future. It’s even more meaningful to be able to communicate it to others!


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