The chemistry department of the University of Edinburgh

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  • THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

    One of the University departments which suffered the greatest con- gestion after the War was that of chemistry, and to relieve this congestion the University resolved to build a new chemical laboratory for students of science, leaving the old laboratory, which was housed in the medical building, entirely for students of medicine.

    The site selectcd is on the southern outskirts of the city and is over a hundred acres in extent. Of this the chemical laboratory with its approaches utilizes about four acres. Operations were begun a t the end of 1919 and the laboratory was built in three sections, the last section being occupied in 1924. The cost of the building and rquipment was approx- imately 81,000,000. , < Ihe laboratory, of which a photo-

    graph of the front elevation and a plan of the ground floor are annexed, is in the main of one story. The front block, however, is two stories in height, the upper floor horsing the library, administrative offices, and special re- search rooms. The chief laboratories, situated between the central and side corridors. are lit from the roof which

    SIR J A M I : ~ WALKER is of saw-tooth form with the lights facing due north. The plan admits

    of indefinite extension by lengthening the building toward the back, and if necessary a second story can be placed on top of the side rooms. There are in the building over 30 research rooms, the smaller rooms accommodating two researchers, and the larger three or four. There are four lecture rooms, all served from the same museum and preparation room.

    A small technical section is equipped with service pipes for gas, steam, water, compressed air, and electricity round the walls, miniature plant being connected to these as required.

    The ventilation of the laboratory is on the extraction system, fresh air entering by a duct under the central corridor, and passing from cham- bers under the laboratories and lecture rooms over heating pipes or radia-

  • \ l ~ ~ . 4, NO. 5 CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT OP UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGS 571

    tors into the apartments themselves. Each main laboratory is provided with a separate fan operating draught-holes on the working benches, there being in addition two large special fans for the draught cupboards of the building. A scavenging fan, set high in the end wall of each lab- oratory, removes any accumulation of fumes.

    The laboratory accommodates about 250 undergraduate students work- ing simultaneously. There is a senior staff of nine, and a junior staff of seven.

    The equipment for post-graduate work is ample, and the following list gives lines of research recently or a t present being followed:

    Action of alkalies on formaldehyde. Condensation of diphenyl-formamidine with phenols. Polarity effects in aromatic halogen compounds. Optical activity and the polarity of substituent groups. Electrosynthesis of long-chain dibasic acids. Anode phenomena in electrolysis and the mechanism of electro-

    synthesis. Reciprocal salt-pairs. Slow oxidation of phosphorus and phosphorus trioxide. Action of phosphorus on metallic salts.

  • 572 JOURNAL or CHBMICAL EDUCATION MAY, 1927

    EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT

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  • Diffusion in solution. Common ion effect on solubility. Thermal decomposition of oxalic acid and oxalacetic esters. Influence of lyophilic c~lloids on the precipitation of insoluble salts. Influence of non-electrolytes on stability of colloids. Ultra-violet emission spectra of the halogens. X-ray crystal analysis of organic acids. Melting-point curves of mixtures of optical enatiomers.

    The courses generally taken by students for the degree of BSc. with Honors in Chemistry are:

    First Year-Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry Second Year-Physics, Chemistry Third Year-Chemistry, Mathematics (or other approved subject) Fourth Year-Chemistry.

    If the student desires to specialize on the biochemical side, he takes phys- iology or bacteriology instead of physics in the second year, and biochem- istry instead of mathematics in the third year.

    The University grants the degree of Ph.D. to graduates of approved universities who are capable of prosecuting scientific research. The period of full-time work required is two academic years, a t the end of which time a thesis may be presented. The degree of D.Sc. is also conferred on a similar residence, with the proviso that a period of five years must have elapsed since the time of originah graduation before a thesis can be presented. The essential difference between the two research degrees is that the standardfor the D.Sc. degree is higher and that the work must be an original contribution to science, not conducted under supervision as may be the case for the Ph.D. degree. The fees for post-graduate workers in chemistry amount to about $90 per annum. Applications for admission as a Ph.D. research student should be addressed to the Registri* of the University, should state the degrees already obtained. and should be accompanied by a statement of the professor of chemistry under whom the candidate has worked that he is capable of undertaking research work in chemistry.

    A considerable number of scholarships and fellowships exist for post- graduate research work in science, but these are, in general, only available for graduates of the University of Edinburgh.

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