Thursday, March 31, 2005
This is the current version of the quiz, and the answers are not out yet for this one. Feel free to send in your answers.

1. Which American chemist, winner of the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1932, invented the gas filled incandescent lamp, as well as the hydrogen welding technique? He even has a famous journal named after him in recognition of his contributions to its field.

2. Which group of chemicals (known chemically as alkyl- or aryl- magnesium halides) owe their name to the 1912 Nobel prize winner in Chemistry, who discovered them? As one of my class XII profs used to say, when all other options in organic synthesis fail, think of him!

3. IUPAC is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of chemistry. It is the recognized authority in developing standards for the naming of chemical compounds. What is the complete expanded form of IUPAC?

4. In addition to radium, which other element was discovered by Marie Curie? She named it after her country of birth.

5. What is the name of the machine, invented by Ernest Lawrence in 1929, and designed to accelerate charged particles (such as electrons and ions) to very high energies using a combination of electric and magnetic fields [a type of particle accelerator]?

6. Which ancient practice had the search for the ‘philosopher’s stone’ as one of its key goals, for converting any metal to gold, as well as for curing all diseases?

7. Chemical Companies
a. Which well known chemical company has the copyrighted slogan ‘The Miracles of Science’?
b. Which chemical company is credited with the development of such diverse chemicals as aspirin, heroin, mustard gas and the common antibiotic Ciprofloxacin?
c. Which company became the largest pharma company in the world in 2002 following a series of mergers with Warner-Lambert, Pharmacia and Searle (which had been previously acquired by Pharmacia)?
d. Which company first started making polystyrene foam under the tradename ‘Styrofoam’?

8. Which highly reactive metal was the first to be discovered by spectroscopic analysis? [It derives its name for the Latin for ‘sky blue’, because of the bright blue lines in its spectrum. This element was discovered by Gustav Kirchoff (of the ‘Kirchoff’s current law’ fame) and Robert Bunsen (of the Bunsen burner fame)]. If these were not enough clues, this element finds application in atomic clocks and devices based on the photoelectric effect.

9. Which organic compound, owes the deduction of its chemical structure to the French chemist Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz? It was originally discovered by Michael Faraday, who named it bicarburet of hydrogen.

10. Which compound was responsible for more than 2000 deaths in the Bhopal gas tragedy?

11. Nobel Prizes
a. For what pioneering contribution did Fritz Haber receive the 1918 Nobel Prize for chemistry?

b. Which American chemist won the 1954 prize ‘for his research into the nature of the chemical bond’? he was one of the key contributors in elucidating the structure of the DNA molecules, and also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 for his campaign against above-ground nuclear testing

c. English biochemist Frederick Sanger has been a very key contributor to the genomic revolution by developing the ‘Sanger method’ for DNA sequencing. What is his unique qualification when it comes to Nobel prizes?

d. Who won the 1903 (the third year of the Nobel Prize) award ‘for his electrolytic theory of dissociation’? One of the pioneers of physical chemistry, his Nobel prize winning work was actually his doctoral thesis. It failed to impress his professors, and he received the minimum passing grade for it. In addition to this work, he proposed the concept of ‘activation energy’ – the energy barrier to be overcome before two molecules will react. He also formulated a quantitive relationship between activation energy and the rate of reaction.

12. Which elements comprise the alloy ‘brass’?


1. Irvine Langmuir
2. Grignard reagents
3. International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
4. Polonium (after Poland)
5. Cyclotron
6. Alchemy
7a. Du Pont
7b. Bayer
7c. Pfizer
7d. Dow Chemicals
8. Cesium
9. Benzene
10. Methyl isocyanate
11a. Synthesis of ammonia
11b. Linus Pauling
11c. To date, Frederick Sanger is the only two time winner of the Chemistry Nobel Prize.
11d. Svant Arrhenius
12. Copper + Zinc

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