Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

Your weekend problem…

A question struck me yesterday afternoon (editorial discretion prevents me revealing exactly why): what weight could you hang from a chemical bond before it broke? How many atoms?

I asked the rest of the team if they had any ideas, but got no answers I would be comfortable publishing! Still intrigued, I thought about it more while it was my turn on the tea rota.

It’s relatively easy to work out, with a little digging, but might surprise you. I’ll let you all stew on the question over the weekend – and suggest your own answers below – and return with my Fermi-style calculation on Monday!


Neil Withers (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)


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    Paul Bracher said:

    ~350 pN or ~400 nanograms or so?

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    holly jordan said:

    Is there a specific equation that should be used to solve this or is it one that you have to think outside the box on a bit? I am still very new to anything in chem more advanced then first year general chemistry in college and I am VERY interested in the world of chemistry.