Talk:Delaware scientists create shortest ever metal to metal bond

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Can we have more of the non-technical issues with this? Is this ultra short bond something that makes the compound stronger? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC) A bit of overview would be nice, what were they trying to do?

I agree, please dumb-it-down for people like me. Keep the technical information, but at least add a paragraph that explains for the rest of us. Is there an advantage to a "short bond"? I don't know and it doesn't say in the article. I guess it must be, why else would they be trying to do this. --SVTCobra 17:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I've added a short lay summary. I'm not aware of any useful result from this sort of research by itself other than the general hope that studying strange molecules will improve our understanding of chemistry. JoshuaZ 17:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Josh has it right, there are no immediate applications. Thanks for adding the extra summary, too. I tried to aim the first paragraph at the lay reader, and the last paragraph for someone with a chemistry background, with lots of wikilinks to explain the terms. But this is a perennial problem with chemistry, it's pretty hard to "dumb-it-down" at times! The main significance of this work is pushing the boundaries - rather like "largest known planet" or "smallest known organism" - not exactly important by itself, but it helps to define the limits of the phenomenon. And what can I say - chemists get excited about such things! Walkerma 22:40, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Suggested addition to help people with less chemistry background (and correct me if I'm wrong):

"To understand the size of this bond, the largest atoms have a radius of about 3 Å while the smallest have a radius of about .3 Å." Would this help possibly? I'm trying to make there be something more concrete that people can relate to. JoshuaZ 22:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if (regular) people can conceive of the size of an atom. I am fairly well educated, but I quickly learned that I could neither relate to the size of atoms nor the vastness of space. Sure, I am able to think about these as concepts, but as far as making them seem "real" is pretty far off. But I do want thank to you both for responding to the "dumbing down" request and "opening the door" to laymen. (both here and in the article itself) --SVTCobra 04:12, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Examples and comparisons help[edit]

What is the length of the bond in terms of something like percentage of the thickness of a piece of paper, or a strand of human hair? You need some sort of superlative that says "this is a billionth the thickness of a human hair" or somesuch to emphasise how small it is. So far its been improved, and - yes - for the chemists in the audience it will be interesting. However, check the comments page, the average reader is going "?" --Brian McNeil / talk 16:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

A strand of hair should be around 10^6 atoms across. Would that help matters? JoshuaZ 22:32, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think I could put this in meaningful terms - all bond lengths are simply very small, and the numbers only mean something when put next to other bond lengths. Also, the difference between this bond and a "long" bond might seem to be quite modest in comparison. I don't think humans can really conceive of things this small. I'd love to be proved wrong, though! Walkerma 07:27, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
From Joshua's comment you could say there are a million bonds in the thickness of a strand of hair and x million of these bonds would fit in the same space. I know that's not technically accurate, and as it stands the article has been greatly improved. Only real minor niggle is you have to go to Wikipedia for the definition of the unit of measurement. A few words on the unit and its full name might help. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:59, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


Why use "Ar" in the formula? It stands for Argon...—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)