Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Music influencing chemical reactions

The polymer chemistry world was "rocked" a few months back when an Australian research group announced that they had developed a new method for preparing potential cancer fighting medications that were overcoated with a Teflon-like coating generated from a plasma. What was so rocking about this? Well, in order to achieve a uniform coating over the entire particle, they needed a way to keep the particles in a constant tumbling motion. And being Australian, the music of AC/DC came to mind, and "Thunderstruck" in particular. They turned the volume up to 11 and voila, success and a paper that caught the attention of many more scientists (and the popular media) than it otherwise would.

Music, and more broadly speaking, sound is mechanical waves that vary longitudinally (rather than transversely as with most other waves), so the use of it is not without merit. But this is not the first time that music in particular has been used to influence a chemical reaction. A little over 2 years ago, researchers in Kobe Japan used classical music to influence a chemical reaction. I don't know of any other reports of music influencing chemical reactions, but the leap from classical to rock was first suggested in a tweet from Vittorio Saggiomo.

I personally prefer Guns n Roses ("Take me down to Polymer city - where PLA is green and pigments are pretty - oh won't you please take me home...) so next time I'm in the lab and have an appetite for destruction, I may just see if a little GnR can be used for accelerated aging of polymers. I have this hunch that it just might work.

Previous Years

May 11, 2016 - How Cheap are Recycled Plastics Nowadays?

May 11, 2012 - What a Crappy Project

May 11, 2011 - Bouncing Jello at 6,200 Frames/Second

May 11, 2010 - Flow-Induced Phase Separation

May 11, 2010 - "9 Shocking Things Made from Oil" - Not!

May 11, 2010 - 10 Things I Like about Polymer Chemistry

May 11, 2010 - Follow Up on "9 Shocking Things Made From Oil"

May 11, 2007 - A much better QC test