top-rated free essay

List of unsolved problems in chemistry

By uddhavp99 Oct 08, 2014 724 Words
Unsolved problems in chemistry tend to be questions of the kind "Can we make X chemical compound?", "Can we analyse it?", "Can we purify it?" and are commonly solved rather quickly, but may just as well require considerable efforts to be solved. However, there are also some questions with deeper implications. This article tends to deal with the areas that are the center of new scientific research in chemistry. Problems in chemistry are considered unsolved when an expert in the field considers it unsolved or when several experts in the field disagree about a solution to a problem.[1]

Organic chemistry problems[edit]
Solvolysis of the norbornyl cation: Why is the norbornyl cation so stable? Is it symmetrical? If so, why? This problem has been largely settled for the unsubstituted norbornyl cation, but not for the substituted cation. See Non-classical ion. On water reactions: Why are some organic reactions accelerated at the water-organic interface?[2] What is the origin of the bond rotation barrier in ethane, steric hindrance or hyperconjugation? What is the origin of the alpha effect? Nucleophiles with an electronegative atom and one or more lone pairs adjacent to the nucleophilic center are particularly reactive. What is the nature of strong bonds between organic-sulfur (and higher chalcogen) compounds and gold?[3] Many mechanisms proposed for catalytic processes are poorly understood and often fail to explain all relevant phenomena. Biochemistry problems[edit]

Better-than perfect enzymes: Why do some enzymes exhibit faster-than-diffusion kinetics?[4] See Enzyme kinetics. What is the origin of homochirality in amino acids and sugars?[5] Protein folding problem: Is it possible to predict the secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of a polypeptide sequence based solely on the sequence and environmental information? Inverse protein-folding problem: Is it possible to design a polypeptide sequence which will adopt a given structure under certain environmental conditions?[5][6] RNA folding problem: Is it possible to accurately predict the secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of a polyribonucleic acid sequence based on its sequence and environment? What are the chemical origins of life? How did non-living chemical compounds generate self-replicating, complex life forms? Protein design: Is it possible to design highly active enzymes de novo for any desired reaction?[7] Biosynthesis: Can desired molecules, natural products or otherwise, be produced in high yield through biosynthetic pathway manipulation?[8] Physical chemistry problems[edit]

What is the electronic structure of the high temperature superconductors at various points on the phase diagram? Can the transition temperature be brought up to room temperature? See Superconductivity. How can one make a room-temperature superconductor?

Feynmanium: What are the chemical consequences of having an element, with an atomic number above 137, whose 1s electrons must travel faster than the speed of light? Is "Feynmanium" the last chemical element that can physically exist? The problem may actually occur at approximately Element 173, given the finite extension of nuclear-charge distribution. See the article on Extension of the periodic table beyond the seventh period and section Relativistic effects of Atomic orbital. How can electromagnetic energy (photons) be efficiently converted to chemical energy? (E.g. splitting of water to hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy.)[9][10] What is the structure of water? According to Science Magazine in 2005, one of the 100 outstanding unsolved problems in science revolves around the question of how water forms hydrogen bonds with its neighbors in bulk water.[5] See: water cluster. What process creates the septaria in septarian nodules?

What is the explanation of the Mpemba effect?

“On Water”: Unique Reactivity of Organic Compounds in Aqueous Suspension†

Sridhar Narayan Dr., John Muldoon Dr., M. G. Finn Prof., Valery V. Fokin Prof., Hartmuth C. Kolb Prof. andK. Barry Sharpless Prof. We thank Dr. Vladislav Litosh for carrying out preliminary work. Support from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM 28384), the National Science Foundation (CHE9985553), the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, and the W. M. Keck Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. S.N. thanks the Skaggs Institute for a postdoctoral fellowship. We also thank Dr. Suresh Suri, Edwards Air Force Base, California, for a generous gift of quadricyclane. We urge our fellow chemists to float their problematic reactions on water and to send observations of success or failure to us at onwater@scripps.edu for public dissemination with attribution.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • chemistry

    ...Abstract By adding HCl to 2-methyl-2-butanol, through the Sn1 mechanism, 2-chloro-2-methylbutane is formed. Water, sodium bicarbonate and NaCl(aq) were then added to the 2-chloro-2-methylbutane to remove any of the excess water from the reaction. To confirm, a successful reaction, AgNO3 was added to the 2-chloro-2-methylbutane. A white precipi...

    Read More
  • Chemistry

    ...Name: _____________________________ Submit Worksheets for Credit Stereochemistry Workshop 1. Assign the marked asymmetric centers with R or S designations. 2. Rank each of the following sets of substituents (highest priority substituent = 1; lowest priority substituent = 4). Place the number in the blank below the substituent...

    Read More
  • A Huge Unsolved Problem

    ...A SMALL PLACE: A HUGE UNSOLVED PROBLEM In A Small Place, Jamaica Kincaid brings us into the realm of Antigua- a small country in the British West Indies, having its hard time dealing with reality after being ruled by European for a very long time. From a native's perspective, Kincaid shows us the hatred Antiguans feel for white people since t...

    Read More
  • Chemistry

    ...Chemistry (the etymology of the word has been much disputed)[1] is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes. The science of matter is also addressed by physics, but while physics takes a more general and fundamental approach, chemistry is more specialized, being concerned with the composition, behavior (or reaction), structur...

    Read More
  • Chemistry

    ...Based on your research and observations, why do you think pure (distilled) water does not conduct electricity but tap water usually does? (2 points)jnjfdfnjnfdjkfdnvjfffffffffffffffjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj- jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjBased on your research and observations, why do you think pure (distilled) water d...

    Read More
  • Unit 1 Problem solving Chemistry

    ... Unit I Problem Solving Find the answers to the following problem statements: 1. Mercury, the only metal that exists as a liquid at room temperature, melts at 234.3 K. Convert this melting point to degrees Celsius. 2. 3. Mercury has a boiling point of 356.58°C. Convert this temperature to degrees Fahrenheit. 4. 5. Mercury metal is poured...

    Read More
  • CHEMISTRY

    ...color, magnetism, and biological activity.[1][2] The angles between bonds that an atom forms depend only weakly on the rest of molecule, i.e. they can be understood as approximately local and hence transferable properties. The specific three dimensional arrangement of atoms in molecules is referred to as molecular geometry. We also define molec...

    Read More
  • chemistry research

    ... Highlighting the strands of hair can be acquired naturally or chemically. To change the hair naturally, sunlight can brighten the hair depending on the color. This process takes a couple of weeks to notice a change in the color of the hair. Those with darker hair such as medium brown tend to turn to hydrogen peroxide or a hair lightener cream....

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.