History Main / ArtisticLicenseChemistry

28th Mar '17 10:49:33 PM Candi
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[[folder: Web Comics]]

* Greg of ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'' once [[http://www.reallifecomics.com/comic.php?comic=title-1102 claimed]] that truck is made of '''[[ShapedLikeItself truck]]''', which he then attempted to insist was an element that appears on the periodic table [[CloudCuckoolander between beer and pretzels]].

[[/folder]]



** It is also depicted as being far less ''flammable'' than it actually is. Uranium and Plutonium metal are both pyrophoric and can burn when exposed to air at room temperatures. This is why depleted Uranium is the substance of choice for anti-tank projectiles as they not only punch through the armour, but [[RuleOfCool also ignite whatever's inside]]. This is also why early nuclear reactors using Uranium metal had a tendency to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire catch fire]]. Many early reactors used graphite blocks for a moderator, compounding the problem, as proved by Chernobyl. This is an issue because of how ''brittle'' uranium is in its metallic form. Pyrophoric means that it ignites very easily (bordering on spontaneously) when very finely divided. Because of how brittle it is, a slug of depleted uranium will likely shatter on impact into thousands, or possibly even ''millions'' of microscopic shards, more than sufficient for its pyrophoric nature to rear its ugly head.
* Alchemy. Until the 17th century or so, current views of science indicated that all matter was made out of a few 'elements' or 'qualities' (fire, air, water, and earth being the most famous). The biggest problem with this view was that although it seemed logical to make statements like "heavy things contain earth" and "liquid things contain water" these assumptions are extremely inaccurate. Quite a few of the fathers of early science, such as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle, were also practicing alchemists. It wasn't until the 18th century that a reasonably accurate understanding of chemistry emerged with the relationships between elements being discovered by experiment rather than intuitive associations.
** Ironically the idea that everything is made of up simple parts combined in many ways turned out to be true, though not in the form of the classical elements. Some experiments in modern particle physics are referred to as "alchemy" because they transform one element into another by adding protons.
* Many people in RealLife like to think of Titanium as some sort of fantastically strong [[{{Unobtainium}} Uber-Metal]] (''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', we're looking right at you) when in reality it's actually no stronger than steel, it's just lighter and rust-proof. But the AWESOME thing about titanium is that no known human is allergic to it, unlike any other metal, so it can be used for dental implants and orthopedic plates, pins, and screws. So from a sci-fi standpoint, it is the one metal you can put in your body permanently and not have to worry about. Adamantium, anyone? Not only that, but for no known reason human bones will graft onto Titanium quickly and easily. THIS is a big reason it's so great for implants, plates, and pins.
** However, because it cannot be melted in air (it will burn before it melts) it cannot be welded in air, and it won't take solder.
** As for Gillette, Schick (and Wilkinson Sword) making razors out of titanium, it's partly because (as has been mentioned) no-one's allergic to the stuff, but mainly because it's more resistant to rust.
** Interestingly, many products such as golf clubs or hammers are often branded with the word "titanium" proudly displayed. However, these products do not necessarily contain any actual titanium, but are marked as such because it's not trademarked and "titanium" is [[RuleOfCool a cool-sounding word]].
* Speaking of diamonds, many people still seem to mistake their hardness for durability. If you ask a random person which breaks if you hit a diamond with a hammer, way too many pick the hammer. In fact, just because diamonds are ''hard'' doesn't mean that they can take any kind of punishment. Window glass is harder than a pillow, but a pillow still survives strikes that destroy the glass. If you hit a diamond with a hammer, you will get lots of little, sharp diamond shards and a hefty bill from the diamond's owner. Just because you can't ''scratch'' a substance doesn't mean you can't break it.
* Greg of ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'' once [[http://www.reallifecomics.com/comic.php?comic=title-1102 claimed]] that truck is made of '''[[ShapedLikeItself truck]]''', which he then attempted to insist was an element that appears on the periodic table [[CloudCuckoolander between beer and pretzels]].
* [=ThinkGeek=] sells [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/a3f6/ salt and pepper shakers]] with the purported chemical formulae used to identify each one. As the main component of edible table salt, "[=NaCl=]" is acceptable to show which one should contain salt. However, "P[[subscript:e]]+(P[[subscript:e]])r" is a stretch, especially so at an online store frequented by geeks and those with more than a passing interest in basic chemistry. Surely "C[[subscript:17]]H[[subscript:19]]NO[[subscript:3]]", the molecular formula for piperine, would be more apt; while piperine is only one of many constituents of black pepper, it is the compound responsible for the pungent flavouring.
** Except it is explicitly stated that they couldn't fit the formulas of all the chemicals onto it, so they instead used P[[subscript:e]]+(P[[subscript:e]])r.
** Also, considering the site, Probably RuleOfFunny and JustForPun come into play. The funny thing about many geeks is they understand that that Pe+(Pe)r is an amusing pun on pepper, not the site being serious. Since, you know, the visitors are not actually morons.
** Maths geeks would of course prefer it to be written P[[subscript:e]](1+r).
* Creator/DanBrown has stated several times that, in his opinion, antimatter is the future of energy supply. He fails to realise that what he's describing is the molecular equivalent of a perpetual-motion machine -- making antimatter requires a lot more energy than it releases (probably ''vastly'' more, as at present where it can only be found briefly in particle accelerators). It might one day be a high density fuel source but only if energy became dirt cheap anyway and we didn't have to worry about our energy supply.
** One thing it ''might'' be useful for, assuming it's possible to find a more efficient way of creating it, is separating production from demand. You put a big reactor (or whatever) in the middle of the Sahara Desert, use the energy to produce antimatter, then ship it to someplace people actually want to live where they convert it back into energy. Also useful for spacecraft, since as far as energy density goes you really can't beat "converts its entire mass into energy twice over (assuming you've got plenty of normal matter available)".
* You know those commercials that are promising financial compensation and legal representation for people affected by certain drugs or medical implants? Well now they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel it seems, because two of the most current advertise financial compensation for heart valve issues caused by the drug Phen-fen (or Phenfluramine, which is already known to cause heart valve issues) and liver dysfunction following the use of acetaminophen (a pain-killer already known to cause liver failure and dysfunction with overuse despite the fact every painkiller containing this drug has to warn about its effects under the Drug Warnings)! So not only do the commercials fail Chemistry forever, they also fail Pharmacology forever!
* A quite common problem with chemistry is: confusing the ways the atoms are bonded together. Especially covalent and ionic bonding.
** Example: ask anyone with some basic chemistry knowledge what would you get when potassium reacts with oxygen. Will it be oxide (K[[subscript:2]]O), peroxide (K[[subscript:2]]O[[subscript:2]]) or superoxide (KO[[subscript:2]])? Most people will point at oxide (4K + O[[subscript:2]] -> 2K[[subscript:2]]O), and will add that superoxide is unlikely to even exist (potassium has one valence electron, but in such case it would require pulling out four electrons, which requires way more than just oxygen). Which would be true - if covalent bonds could only exist in neutral molecules and all ions had to be monatomic. But peroxide (O[[subscript:2]][[superscript:2-]]) and superoxide (O[[subscript:2]][[superscript:-]]) are both [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyatomic_ion polyatomic anions]] composed of oxygens covalently bonded to one another. In such case, a reaction K + O[[subscript:2]] -> KO[[subscript:2]] is the simplest one (it merely requires a single electron to jump from potassium to oxygen), while the seemingly obvious 4K + O[[subscript:2]] -> 2K[[subscript:2]]O is very unlikely (it requires an exchange of four electrons and, more importantly, splitting the O[[subscript:2]] molecule into single atoms - which requires a significant amount of energy). In reality, burning potassium in oxygen results in a mixture of potassium superoxide and peroxide; the oxide does exist, but is acquired in a different way (by reducing peroxide with excess potassium).

to:

** It is They are also depicted as being far less ''flammable'' than it actually is. Uranium and Plutonium metal are both pyrophoric and can burn when exposed to air at room temperatures. This is why depleted Uranium is the substance of choice for anti-tank projectiles as they not only punch through the armour, but [[RuleOfCool also ignite whatever's inside]]. This is also why early nuclear reactors using Uranium metal had a tendency to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire catch fire]]. Many early reactors used graphite blocks for a moderator, compounding the problem, as proved by Chernobyl. This is an issue because of how ''brittle'' uranium is in its metallic form. Pyrophoric means that it ignites very easily (bordering on spontaneously) when very finely divided. Because of how brittle it is, a slug of depleted uranium will likely shatter on impact into thousands, or possibly even ''millions'' of microscopic shards, more than sufficient for its pyrophoric nature to rear its ugly head.
* Alchemy. Until the 17th century or so, current views of science indicated that all matter was made out of a few 'elements' or 'qualities' (fire, air, water, and earth being the most famous). The biggest problem with this view was that although it seemed logical to make statements like "heavy things contain earth" and "liquid things contain water" these assumptions are extremely inaccurate. Quite a few of the fathers of early science, such as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle, were also practicing alchemists. It wasn't until the 18th century that a reasonably accurate understanding of chemistry emerged with the relationships between elements being discovered by experiment rather than intuitive associations.
** Ironically
associations; ironically, the idea that everything is made of up simple parts combined in many ways turned out to be true, though not in the form of the classical elements. Some experiments in modern particle physics are referred to as "alchemy" because they transform one element into another by adding protons.
* Many people in RealLife like to think of Titanium Fictional titanium is presented as some sort of a fantastically strong [[{{Unobtainium}} Uber-Metal]] (''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', we're looking right at you) when in reality it's actually no stronger than steel, it's just lighter and rust-proof. But the AWESOME ''awesome'' thing about titanium is that no known human is allergic to it, unlike any other metal, so it can be used for dental implants and orthopedic plates, pins, and screws. So from a sci-fi standpoint, it is the one metal you can put in your body permanently and not have to worry about. Adamantium, anyone? Not only that, but for no known reason human bones will graft onto Titanium quickly and easily. THIS ''This'' is a big reason it's so great for implants, plates, and pins.
** However, because it cannot be melted in air (it will burn before it melts) it cannot be welded in air, and it won't take solder.
** As for Gillette, Schick (and Wilkinson Sword) making razors out of titanium, it's partly because (as has been mentioned) no-one's allergic to the stuff, but mainly because it's more resistant to rust.
** Interestingly, many products such as golf clubs or hammers are often branded with the word "titanium" proudly displayed. However, these products do not necessarily contain any actual titanium, but are marked as such because it's not trademarked and "titanium" is [[RuleOfCool a cool-sounding word]].
* Speaking of diamonds, many Manny people still seem to mistake their diamonds' hardness for durability. If you ask a random person which breaks if you hit a diamond with a hammer, way too many pick the hammer. In fact, just Just because diamonds are ''hard'' doesn't mean that they can take any kind of punishment. Window glass is harder than a pillow, but a pillow still survives strikes that destroy the glass. If you hit a diamond with a hammer, the diamond's crystalline structure insures you will get lots of little, sharp diamond shards and a hefty bill from the diamond's owner. Just because you can't ''scratch'' a substance doesn't mean you can't break it.
* Greg of ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'' once [[http://www.reallifecomics.com/comic.php?comic=title-1102 claimed]] that truck is made of '''[[ShapedLikeItself truck]]''', which he then attempted to insist was an element that appears on the periodic table [[CloudCuckoolander between beer and pretzels]].
* [=ThinkGeek=] sells [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/a3f6/ salt and pepper shakers]] with the purported chemical formulae used to identify each one. As the main component of edible table salt, "[=NaCl=]" is acceptable to show which one should contain salt. However, "P[[subscript:e]]+(P[[subscript:e]])r" is a stretch, especially so at an online store frequented by geeks and those with more than a passing interest in basic chemistry. Surely "C[[subscript:17]]H[[subscript:19]]NO[[subscript:3]]", the molecular formula for piperine, would be more apt; while piperine is only one of many constituents of black pepper, it is the compound responsible for the pungent flavouring.
** Except it
flavouring. (It is explicitly stated that they couldn't fit the formulas of all the chemicals onto it, so they instead used P[[subscript:e]]+(P[[subscript:e]])r.
** Also, considering the site, Probably RuleOfFunny and JustForPun come into play. The funny thing about many geeks is they understand that that Pe+(Pe)r is an amusing pun on pepper, not the site being serious. Since, you know, the visitors are not actually morons.
** Maths geeks would of course prefer it to be written P[[subscript:e]](1+r).
P[[subscript:e]]+(P[[subscript:e]])r.)
* Creator/DanBrown has stated several times that, in his opinion, In fiction, antimatter is often represented as the future of energy supply. He fails to realise that what he's describing is Currently, it's the molecular equivalent of a perpetual-motion machine -- making antimatter requires a lot more energy than it releases (probably ''vastly'' more, as at present where it can only be found briefly in particle accelerators). It might one day be a high density fuel source but only if energy became dirt cheap anyway and we didn't have to worry about our energy supply.
** One thing it ''might'' be useful for, assuming it's possible to find a more efficient way of creating it, is separating production from demand. You put a big reactor (or whatever) in the middle of the Sahara Desert, use the energy to produce antimatter, then ship it to someplace people actually want to live where they convert it back into energy. Also useful for spacecraft, since as far as energy density goes you really can't beat "converts its entire mass into energy twice over (assuming you've got plenty of normal matter available)".
* You know those commercials that are promising financial compensation and legal representation for people affected by certain drugs or medical implants? Well now they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel it seems, because two of the most current advertise financial compensation for heart valve issues caused by the drug Phen-fen (or Phenfluramine, which is already known to cause heart valve issues) and liver dysfunction following the use of acetaminophen (a pain-killer already known to cause liver failure and dysfunction with overuse despite the fact every painkiller containing this drug has to warn about its effects under the Drug Warnings)! So not only do the commercials fail Chemistry forever, they also fail Pharmacology forever!
* A quite common problem with chemistry is: confusing the ways the atoms are bonded together. Especially covalent and ionic bonding.
** Example: ask anyone with some basic chemistry knowledge what would you get when potassium reacts with oxygen. Will it be oxide (K[[subscript:2]]O), peroxide (K[[subscript:2]]O[[subscript:2]]) or superoxide (KO[[subscript:2]])? Most people will point at oxide (4K + O[[subscript:2]] -> 2K[[subscript:2]]O), and will add that superoxide is unlikely to even exist (potassium has one valence electron, but in such case it would require pulling out four electrons, which requires way more than just oxygen). Which would be true - if covalent bonds could only exist in neutral molecules and all ions had to be monatomic. But peroxide (O[[subscript:2]][[superscript:2-]]) and superoxide (O[[subscript:2]][[superscript:-]]) are both [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyatomic_ion polyatomic anions]] composed of oxygens covalently bonded to one another. In such case, a reaction K + O[[subscript:2]] -> KO[[subscript:2]] is the simplest one (it merely requires a single electron to jump from potassium to oxygen), while the seemingly obvious 4K + O[[subscript:2]] -> 2K[[subscript:2]]O is very unlikely (it requires an exchange of four electrons and, more importantly, splitting the O[[subscript:2]] molecule into single atoms - which requires a significant amount of energy). In reality, burning potassium in oxygen results in a mixture of potassium superoxide and peroxide; the oxide does exist, but is acquired in a different way (by reducing peroxide with excess potassium).
accelerators).
9th Mar '17 9:06:46 AM Cuddles
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Added DiffLines:

** It's actually predicted that there are islands of stability in places in the periodic tables, with some heavier elements predicted to have half-lives anywhere from days to millions of years. The first island is expected to be around atomic number 110, but only for isotopes with more neutrons than any we've made so far. A second island is predicted around element 164 and masses around 500. 246 is a bit further than scientists are willing to speculate about so far, but it's not unreasonable to assume other islands could exist.


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** Promethium is not just flamer fuel, it's used as a catch-all for crude oil and all its liquid byproducts - vehicles and power stations run on it, machines are lubricated by it, and so on. Which actually brings it right back to this trope, since it's often depicted as behaving in ways that oil really doesn't. In particular, it contains far more energy than real oil can, and underground crude reserves are apparently [[MadeOfExplodium highly explosive]].


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*** The only form of Plutonium that can be detected naturally is Pu-239 found in uranium ore. This has a half-life of tens of thousands of years and decays by alpha radiation, meaning it emits virtually no radiation and any it does emit can be blocked by a piece of paper or skin. During the Manhattan project they used lumps of it as paperweights. As long as you don't swallow or inhale it or have a big enough lump to reach criticality (around 11kg), there's really no danger at all.
2nd Mar '17 9:39:06 PM Kooshmeister
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* GratuitousLaboratoryFlasks
10th Jan '17 2:32:00 PM Game_Fan
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* Alchemy. Until the 17th century or so, current views of science indicated that all matter was made out of a few 'elements' or 'qualities' (fire, air, water, and earth, most of the time). It was completely plausible, from their point of view, to change one form of matter into another by finding methods which would speed up the natural process of transmutation. Quite a few of the fathers of early science, such as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle, were also practicing alchemists. The problem with Alchemy was mostly due to scale and the fact that it still had some lingering "magical" notions. Some things were right in front of them the whole time, like with the universal solvent - turns out it's water. Nobody wanted to admit that, they just kept looking for that cool acid that dissolves everything instantaneously. Thus, alchemy isn't a science. Its IdenticalGrandson, chemistry, is.

to:

* Alchemy. Until the 17th century or so, current views of science indicated that all matter was made out of a few 'elements' or 'qualities' (fire, air, water, and earth, earth being the most of the time). It famous). The biggest problem with this view was completely plausible, from their point of view, that although it seemed logical to change one form of matter into another by finding methods which would speed up the natural process of transmutation.make statements like "heavy things contain earth" and "liquid things contain water" these assumptions are extremely inaccurate. Quite a few of the fathers of early science, such as Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle, were also practicing alchemists. The problem with Alchemy was mostly due to scale and It wasn't until the fact 18th century that it still had some lingering "magical" notions. Some things were right in front a reasonably accurate understanding of them the whole time, like chemistry emerged with the universal solvent - turns out it's water. Nobody wanted to admit that, they just kept looking for relationships between elements being discovered by experiment rather than intuitive associations.
** Ironically the idea
that cool acid that dissolves everything instantaneously. Thus, alchemy isn't a science. Its IdenticalGrandson, chemistry, is.is made of up simple parts combined in many ways turned out to be true, though not in the form of the classical elements. Some experiments in modern particle physics are referred to as "alchemy" because they transform one element into another by adding protons.
29th Dec '16 11:26:38 AM nombretomado
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** In the DCAnimatedUniverse (or at least insofar as ''VideoGame/BatmanVengeance'' is concerned), Promethium is a chemical compound used in cryogenics. It also blows up reeeeal good, hence the name (after Prometheus, bringer of fire).

to:

** In the DCAnimatedUniverse Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse (or at least insofar as ''VideoGame/BatmanVengeance'' is concerned), Promethium is a chemical compound used in cryogenics. It also blows up reeeeal good, hence the name (after Prometheus, bringer of fire).



* Kryptonite is {{Unobtanium}} and, to an extent, can behave however the writers want. But it's still a radioactive mineral. In the DCAnimatedUniverse movie ''Superman & Batman: World's Finest'', dissolving kryptonite in acid means it's "disappeared", and Superman is back to full strength. In the real world, dissolving radioactive isotopes in acid leaves you with a radioactive acid.

to:

* Kryptonite is {{Unobtanium}} and, to an extent, can behave however the writers want. But it's still a radioactive mineral. In the DCAnimatedUniverse Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse movie ''Superman & Batman: World's Finest'', dissolving kryptonite in acid means it's "disappeared", and Superman is back to full strength. In the real world, dissolving radioactive isotopes in acid leaves you with a radioactive acid.
23rd Dec '16 9:36:26 PM HiddenWindshield
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* In ''Fanfic/AloneTogether'', [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Kim and Shego]] spend over two decades in a world that's [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted exactly like our own]], except [[UnexpectedlyAbandoned there are no people]]. They are able to drive around in abandoned cars and use diesel generators for power, despite the fact that the fuels would have gone bad after anywhere from a few months to a few years.

to:

* In ''Fanfic/AloneTogether'', [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Kim and Shego]] spend over two decades in a world that's [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted exactly like our own]], except [[UnexpectedlyAbandoned there are no people]]. They are They're able to drive around in abandoned cars and use diesel generators for power, despite the fact that the those fuels would have gone bad after anywhere from a few months to a few years.
23rd Dec '16 9:35:35 PM HiddenWindshield
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder:FanFic]]

* In ''Fanfic/AloneTogether'', [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Kim and Shego]] spend over two decades in a world that's [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted exactly like our own]], except [[UnexpectedlyAbandoned there are no people]]. They are able to drive around in abandoned cars and use diesel generators for power, despite the fact that the fuels would have gone bad after anywhere from a few months to a few years.

[[/folder]]
12th Nov '16 7:14:20 PM nombretomado
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* "Nth Metal", the substance from which Thanagarian weapons are made in the DCU. Stated in ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' to be "transuranic iron", whatever that means.

to:

* "Nth Metal", the substance from which Thanagarian weapons are made in the DCU. Stated in ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' to be "transuranic iron", whatever that means.
4th Aug '16 5:23:45 PM Ripburger
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* ''VideoGame/{{XCOM}}: UFO Defense'' has [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Elerium-115]] being one of the most important items to collect in the game. The 115, in this case, is most likely a reference to [[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Element_115 the conspiracy theories about element 115]], known today as ununpentium, as it is used in much of the same manner. Unfortunately for them, [name]-[number] notation usually denotes an isotope, and the number is its ''atomic mass'', not element number. The subsequent games in the series refer to it only as Elerium.

to:

* ''VideoGame/{{XCOM}}: UFO Defense'' ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'' has [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Elerium-115]] being one of the most important items to collect in the game. The 115, in this case, is most likely a reference to [[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Element_115 the conspiracy theories about element 115]], known today as ununpentium, as it is used in much of the same manner. Unfortunately for them, [name]-[number] notation usually denotes an isotope, and the number is its ''atomic mass'', not element number. The subsequent games in the series refer to it only as Elerium.
30th Jul '16 11:47:06 AM nombretomado
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* DanBrown has stated several times that, in his opinion, antimatter is the future of energy supply. He fails to realise that what he's describing is the molecular equivalent of a perpetual-motion machine -- making antimatter requires a lot more energy than it releases (probably ''vastly'' more, as at present where it can only be found briefly in particle accelerators). It might one day be a high density fuel source but only if energy became dirt cheap anyway and we didn't have to worry about our energy supply.

to:

* DanBrown Creator/DanBrown has stated several times that, in his opinion, antimatter is the future of energy supply. He fails to realise that what he's describing is the molecular equivalent of a perpetual-motion machine -- making antimatter requires a lot more energy than it releases (probably ''vastly'' more, as at present where it can only be found briefly in particle accelerators). It might one day be a high density fuel source but only if energy became dirt cheap anyway and we didn't have to worry about our energy supply.
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