Archive for the ‘Guest article’ Category

German Young Chemists (JCF) on 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Congress 2010

October 18, 2009

Evelyn Wuttke - Board Member Jungchemikerforum Guest article by Evelyn Wuttke for the Board of the JungChemikerForum Germany

Dear Chemists,

From August 29th until September 2nd 2010, the third EuCheMS Chemistry Congress, themed “Chemistry, the Creative Force” is held in Nuremberg. This congress is organized by the GDCh on behalf of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Science (EuCheMS). This event is held in a two year rhythm, having started in 2006 in Budapest. The last EuCheMS in Turin was very well received, and consisting of more than 2000 participants. Therefore, this is one of the biggest events for chemists in the European Region.

In these tense times for economy, a working network is of profound value. The EuCheMS aims for young scientists to present their results and to help them find international contacts and support. A broad framework is planned by the Young Chemists Network (EYCN), focused on young scientists’ interests.

Not only is the EuCheMS Chemistry Congress a memorable occasion, but the town of Nuremberg is itself worth a visit. Joined by the neighbouring towns of Fürth, Erlangen and Schwabach, the Nuremberg region is the cultural and economic centre of Franconia. Historical documentation reaches back to the 11th century. The history is coined by various moments of historical value. Apart from these, based on the important role Nuremberg played during the National Socialism, a major responsibility for human rights has risen. The town of Nuremberg therefore assumes a leading position in maintaining peace and human rights. To support this, the Way of Human Rights, a monumental outdoor sculpture, was built. Another noteworthy sight is the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rallying Grounds. It is a museum within the north wing of the unfinished remains of the Congress Hall of the former Nazi party. Its permanent exhibition “Fascination and Terror” is concerned with the causes, connections, and consequences of Nazi Germany. Apart from historical locations, the pittoresque city of Nuremberg consisting of various little cafés and cozy bars near the castle is worth a visit.

The EuCheMS Chemistry Congress provides an ideal platform, to establish international contacts and to widen ones cultural and historical horizon.  Hence the JungChemiker is specially invited to the EuCheMS Chemistry Congress.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Wuttke for the Board of the JungChemikerForum Germany

Why you should come to Nürnberg 2010

September 24, 2009

nullGuest article by Prof. Dr. Andreas Hirsch

For students and young researchers the very favorable opportunity arises to learn more about the new trends and developments in all fields of modern chemistry. They will get in close contact with world leading scientists. The plenary and invited lectures delivered will provide a powerful stimulus for the independent development of the young chemist’s careers. Also the presence of congress attendees from big chemical companies will be beneficial for students and young scientists, since this allows for establishing first contacts with potential future employers.

The Department of Chemistry of the nearby University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, which currently ranks as one of the top Chemistry Departments in Germany and Europe has nominated the local organizing committee. One of the major activities of this committee is to organize a couple of satellite meetings to be held in the nice surroundings of Erlangen and Nürnberg like the so called Franconian Switzerland. Since the Department of Chemistry in Erlangen is closely integrated in the Cluster of Excellence: Engineering of Advanced Materials the thematic foci of the satellite meetings will range in the field of new materials, catalysis and energy conversion. These highly interdisciplinary topics are of course also on the agenda of the EuCheMS congress itself. In this way international experts in these fields will also have the opportunity to meet with their Erlangen colleagues and their students in scientifically stimulating and relaxing atmosphere provided by the selected satellite meeting venues.

I feel honored and am very proud to take the important role of co-chairing within the organization of the 3rd EuCheMS chemistry congress in Nürnberg representing the European Chemistry Highlight of the year 2010. Me and my Erlangen colleagues from the local organizing committee are looking very much forward to meet with so many chemists all over the world during the EuCheMS congress and at the satellite meetings. They are especially open to be contacted by students and young researchers. The Chemistry Department of Erlangen offers many possibilities to establish scientific collaborations or to host post doctoral fellows.

Little update from Wissenschaftsforum

September 1, 2009

DominikGuest Article by Dominik Margraf

The first day of the scientific program has passed and I do not dare to comment on its content. This should be up to any one attending the conference. All I can say is that I enjoyed the meeting so far. I simply want to point out a great start event hosted by chemistry students of Goethe-University, Frankfurt. It was called “Night of Chemistry” and addressed a rather general audience, but most important children of all ages (this also includes most chemists – at least to my mind). One spectacular demonstration of what I would like to simplify as super absorbers soaked with water was given by Gerd Göbel (Febbex Innovation Ltd. and an honorary member of the Young Chemist Society Frankfurt). He sprayed some of this water/super-absorber mixture on the hood of his car and tried to set his car on fire using a propane torch. As you can already guess his car did not explode. It was protected by a layer of water released from the super-absorber. An absolute high-light for all kids thanks to Gerd and the active students from Frankfurt. Please continue organizing lecture series like this!


Gerd Göbel setting the night on fire.

The high-school chemistry teacher I never had…

August 30, 2009

DominikGuest Article by Dominik Margraf

Even though my high-school years date back more than a decade now, I still remember phrases from my chemistry teachers like: “Buying this kind of equipment is way too expensive. You just have to imagine that experiment!”. Nowadays, I can only suggest to them reading the Journal of Chemical Education (also as a grad student this is great fun during lunch breaks; some articles are absolutely inspiring). Per-Odd Egen (an odd name…) from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology published in an edited column named the cost-effective teacher how to construct “A simple Hydrogen Electrode” (J. Chem. Ed., 86, 352, 2009). Maybe it’s just me, but I believe this to be utterly fascinating. Here we go:

Step 1: To make the hydrogen electrode, insert a Pt wire into the teflon pipet and fill completely with 1.0 M HCl, then block the tip with agar-salt gel. (Figure taken from publication)

Step 2: By connecting the battery for one second, hydrogen gas develops on the surface of the platinum wire (see inset). When the battery is disconnected again, the intended Cu/Cu2+ potential (blue solution) value is measured. (Figure taken from publication)

This idea is as simple as brilliant. Some teachers really do put a lot of thought in educating their students. No wonder Scandinavian countries are the winner of the European PISA study ranking nations by their educational standards! Let’s hope to see many of these kind of teachers at Nuremberg to share their ideas. Where were those teachers when I needed them the most?

Never too Old for Matchbox Cars: Nanotrucks

August 21, 2009

DominikGuest Article by Dominik Margraf

Even though this publication in JACS is a little older (actually from 2006), it is one of my favorite articles of all times. And as we are already discussing rather strange contributions to the nano-world (see Toxicity of Nanomaterials) this fits quite well. Kelly et al. at Rice University made quite an effort in order to synthesize a molecular car. These nanovehicles are composed of three basic components that include spherical fullerene wheels, freely rotating alkynyl axles, and a molecular chassis. The use of spherical wheels based on C60, better known as Buckyballs, and freely rotating axles based on alkynes permits directed nanoscale rolling of the molecular structure on gold surfaces.

NanotruckPicture from article abstract.

Seems like chemistry still is a playground for grown adults and one is never to old for matchbox cars… (I told you, Mum!) EuCheMS 2010 nanoparticle symposia will surely provide an excellent mixture of such science and fun.

Dominik Margraf