Strangulation Research

Hello everyone,

This week at the museum has involved a lot of new developments. First, I helped out at the Murder Mystery program that runs on Wednesday afternoons from 4:30-6:30. The program was a ton of fun to participate in! The guests get to learn a little bit of history about King George III’s illness (porphyria) and his restoration while solving a mystery about a fake murder committed by one of the museum employees. Needless to say, some guests are VERY enthusiastic. As a follow-up for this program, I have spent a decent amount of time this afternoon researching how much force it would take for a woman to strangle someone with a lanyard while kneeling…I have also continued working on finding primary sources for a teacher’s guide to our Revolutionary War map exhibit and collating all of that information into one document for my supervisor as well as studying the family guides of other museums to get examples for a new family guide.

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Update: Step 2 of the Multistep Synthesis; The Diels-Alder Reaction

Hello all,

Like the Wittig Reaction, the Diels-Alder Reaction is used extensively in Organic Synthesis to generate carbon-carbon bonds. This particular reaction, first described in 1928 by Nobel laureates Otto Diels and Kurt Alder, involves the [4+2] cycloaddition of a cis conjugated diene, and a dienophile (which can be an alkene or alkyne). The reaction produces cyclohexenes and it is very easy to control the steriochemical properties of the formed product.

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Update #2: Development of a Novel Grignard Experiment

Hi all,

My project has hit some speed bumps along the way but I think we’re getting somewhere. I believe that I’ll have to redesign my lab in order to finish it this semester and prepare it for implementation in the upcoming fall semester. Originally, I planned on having 4 Grignard reagents and 4 ketones. Now, I plan on using 2 Grignard reagents with 5-6 ketones, which will still allow for each group to have a unique product. The main reason for the switch is the reactivity of my reagents. When I tested bromonaphthalene and bromotoluene, they took too long to react fully. The low reactivity with the magnesium makes them unusable for the short Organic II labs. Upon further research into Grignard reagents, the 2 I happened to start with are among the most reactive. Because of this, I’ll work around the 2 very reactive reagents.

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