Posted by: unlikelygrad | April 23, 2010

in the olden days…

I work with an undergraduate senior, and talking with her makes me realize how much an education in chemistry now differs from what I got when I was in school:

She uses the GC-MS. I think we may have had one at my alma mater, but I wouldn’t know…it would only have been available to grad students.

An integral part of organic lab nowadays is running NMR analyses. We had an NMR (just one, mind…it was the departmental pride and joy) but undergrads were not allowed to touch it. When it was time to ID our unknown, we got to run the IR spectrometer; the TA ran our unknown through the NMR and gave us a printout.

Proof of how old I am: Both the NMR and the IR were “printed” on a roll of paper…the “printing mechanism” was a pen which slid up and down an arm.

I am really in awe of how easy it is for undergrad chem majors to get their hands on analytical equipment. They really don’t know how lucky they are.

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