Update 1: First Week Complete!

As I write, I’m sitting in Swem, finishing my first full-time work week of research. I moved back to Williamsburg last Tuesday, and have been doing the preliminary research for the project ever since. It’s good to be back and to fall into a working routine. A few friends here are doing research as well so I have good company for the long days.

[Read more…]

Week 3: Murder in the Museum

Week three has me helping my supervisor, Trish Balderson, with one of the exciting programs that the museum is running for Summer 2016: a fictional murder mystery! The program involves a fictional murder story in which three of the museum employees are implicated for various reasons and centers on a King George medallion. (Side note: I learned this week that King George III of England was NOT actually suffering from terrible mental illness for decades, but actually had a rare hereditary metabolic condition that caused him to experience such a terrible physical and psychological decline. The arsenic that his doctors treated with him actually helped trigger the metabolic condition and made his outbreaks worse!) Anyway, guests buy tickets to this program and then have the opportunity to solve the “murder” by looking at pieces of crime scene evidence and analyzing the characters/alibis of the suspects. I get to help out setting up, taking down, and during the program on Wednesday nights starting next week. This week has been mostly about specifying parts of the characters’ background stories and writing notes from the suspects to the victim as evidence–just generally creating a crime scene.

[Read more…]

1,5-Benzodiazepine Educational Synthesis – Update #2

Good morning, everybody!

I am very excited (and relieved) to announce that I have made progress with my procedure!  By allowing my reaction to stir for twice as long (60 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes), it finally formed half of the expected imine product!  I say half, because upon examination of the resulting H1-NMR spectrum, it appears to be missing a peak suggesting the completion of the ring structure.  (I managed to retrieve around 0.30 grams of dried product, post-Rotovap and pre-filtration.  Hooray!)

[Read more…]