What Went Wrong? Preparing an Alkyl Halide

Chemistry, Entertainment
[caption id="attachment_18523" align="alignright" width="440"] Reflux and distillation apparatus.[/caption] Preparing an alkyl halide was one of the earliest of my home lab experiences. First, allow me to give you a little background. In the 8th grade, we were instructed by our English teacher, Mrs. Best, to write a career report about our intended future employment. My guess is most of us had not thought about that. At least I hadn't. So I chose astronomy. I mentioned this to Mom. "No," she said, "you will not become an astronomer. Astronomers don't make any money." I tried to talk her out of it, but eventually I gave up. "Chemistry," I said. Mom agreed that was acceptable. One of her friends had a chemistry background. So in the '70s I obtained my BS in…
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