Fun Stuff

(always more coming!)

Question: What Is the Sweetest Compound?

Answer: Here's a comparison of sweetness using a ranking system in which sucrose (table sugar) is defined as having a sweetness of '1'. Values lower than '1' indicate the compound is not as sweet as table sugar, while values greater than '1' mean the compound is sweeter than table sugar:

• D-Glucose (natural sugar produced by plants) - 0.46
• Lactose (natural sugar found in milk) - 0.68
• D-Fructose (a natural fruit sugar) - 0.84
• Sucrose - 1
• Cyclamate (usually sodium or calcium salts of cyclohexanesulfamic acid) - 30
• Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal) - 200
• Saccharin (benzosulfamide) - 300
• Sucralose (Splenda, a sucrose molecule in which three of the -OH groups have been replaced by chlorine atoms) - 650
• Alitame (Aclame, a sweetener formed from the amino acids L-aspartic acid and D-alanine) - 2,000
• Thaumatin (natural protein isolated from the katemfe fruit of western Africa) - 3,00
• Carrelame (guanidine sweetener) - 160,000
• Bernardame (guanidine sweetener) - 200,000
• Sucrononate (guanidine sweetener) - 200,000
• Lugduname (guanidine sweetener) - 220,000
Question: What is the most bitter compound?

Answer: The most bitter chemical compound is commonly believed to be N-[(2-[2,6-Dimethylphenyl)amino]-2-oxoethyl]-N,N-diethylbenzenemethanaminium benzoate [3734-33-6]. Fortunately, no one goes around using that name! It's usually called Bitrex or Denatonium Benzoate. You'll find it added to toxic liquids to deter people and pets from drinking them. For example, it is commonly added to methyl alcohol (methanol), bathroom cleaner, shampoo, soap, rat poison, nail polish remover and antifreeze. It's added to insulation to prevent rodents from chewing on wiring. It's also used in products applied to skin/fingernails to help keep people from biting their nails or sucking their thumbs.

Did You Know?

Twenty percent of Earth's oxygen is produced by the Amazon forest.
The noble gas Xenon lasers can cut through materials that are so tough even diamond tipped blades will not cut.
Gold and Copper are the only two non-white metals.
The burning sensation we get from chilli peppers is because of a chemical called capsaicin.
The lighter was invented before the match (in 1816 by J.W. Dobereiner).
Each time lightning strikes, some ozone gas is produced, thus strengthening the ozone layer in the Earth's atmosphere.
Honey does not spoil.
There's enough gold in the Earth's crust to cover the entire land surface knee-deep.
An average adult body contains around 250g (1/2lb) of salt.
If you slowly pour a handful of salt into a totally full glass of water it will not overflow. In fact, the water level will go down. (Really?)
An ounce of pure gold can be stretched into a wire 50 miles long.
Bee stings are acidic and wasp stings are alkali. To treat a sting by one of these, you should use the opposite types of chemical
The amount of carbon in a typical human body could fill 9,000 "lead" pencils.
The only letter not on the periodic table is "J."
Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
Pearls melt in vinegar.
Mosquitoes like the scent of estrogen, hence, women get bitten by mosquitoes more often than men do.
Hydrofluoric acid will dissolve glass. Hydrochloric, sulfuric and nitric will not.

Question: Can sunscreen be clear?

Answer: Using nano-technology, chemists have made reflective particles small enough to allow visible light to pass through, but not harmful UV. Use of these particles now enables clear sunscreen to be produced.
Question: What is the coldest temperature achieved by scientists in the science lab?

Answer: The lowest temperature achieved was in the year 2000 by researchers of the Low Temperature Laboratory (LTL) in the Helsinki University of Technology. The record-low temperature reached was 100pK (pico Kelvin) or 0.000 000 000 1 degrees above the absolute zero.

Home / Schedule / Academics / Standards / Special / Links