I have always had a great passion for chemistry, even before I knew much about it. Thankfully my family was somewhat supportive and didn't repress my learning despite many common misconceptions and fears about chemistry. As such, by seventh grade I had already started amassing the beginnings of an authentic chemistry set as well as a few books. However without any prior education in the field I was having difficulty understanding anything they talked about.
In middle school I finally got my first official taste of chemistry. Just a chapter in a general science class but it was enough to get the ball rolling. High school offered much more including the cursory AP chemistry class which I passed with flying colors. By this time my chemistry set at home was growing exponentially and my library was starting to get some bulk to it as well.
I went to college at the University of Michigan and majored in, what else, chemistry. I continued to study on my own at home and in my spare time, and eventually passed all the classes I needed, Quant, Analytical, Physical, etc to obtain my degree in chemistry. With electives in toxicology, pharmacology, and advanced organic synthesis.
After college I made a tough transition from an experimenting chemist to an armchair chemist. This site is part of my coping mechanism for that. My first job after college was in the Hazardous Waste business. Mostly what I utilized was my general knowledge of chemical compatibility for the commingling of waste, honestly it wasn't something I learned on college but something I learned on my own while investigating the more interesting chemical properties of different classes of compounds.
My time at that specific place of employment was somewhat limited, though by my own choice. A more interesting opportunity for employment came up at one of the larger chemical companies in America and I jumped at the opportunity. My work there began as a chemist in charge of scaling up reactions from the lab scale to the industrial scale, which on occasion taxed my chemical abilities but at other times left me aching for a challenge. It was about that time that I created this site. My next line of work at the company was small scale synthesis which is where I find myself at the moment.
As stated on the main page, it is my hope that by committing myself to answering chemistry questions I will maintain my focus and edge in all the areas of chemistry that I would honestly rather neglect. That it will force me to stay on top of these things, and hopefully make a few bucks on the side so I can afford some more chemistry books.
Regarding the name of the site, I am the Lonely Chemist most simply because my wife suggested the name. I tend to cloister myself away and read for hours at a time and occasionally she will worry that I am lonely reading alone so she will join me. But honestly I am not, I've always got the thoughts of chemicals to keep me company,
-The Lonely Chemist
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