Chemistry is everywhere. Even in divorce.

Nov 06 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

In the @McSweeney's article Let’s Illustrate This Important Chemistry Concept Through a Word Problem About My Failing Marriage, author Mark Rooke asks...

On our wedding day 7.2 years ago, I gave my ex-wife a gold ring that weighed 3.66 grams. If the ring now weighs 3.49 grams, and she spent eight days on average every year of our marriage having tantric sex with her yoga instructor while I was working overtime, coaching our twin daughters’ soccer team, and generally bending over backwards to create a nurturing home for my family, how many atoms of gold were smeared across her yoga mat over the course of our marriage?

As Rooke points out, this calculation is easily done using the information provided (i.e. loss of gold is 3.66 g - 3.49 g = 0.17 g), the  atomic weight of gold (Au), and Avogadro's number.



Rooke ends his post by asking  readers...

 If I’ve consumed 12 liters of 1.5 molar single-malt scotch after the papers were finally filed, how many atoms of alcohol have I consumed over the course of this divorce?


If we assume that Rooke consumed 12 L of a 1.5 M ethanol (drinking alcohol) solution, this calculation is straightforward.  Recall that molar = moles/L.  [Note: Rooke is actually asking us to determine the number of ethanol molecules.]



Let's take this further.  Rooke consumed a single-malt concoction, rather than a straight single-malt.  Let's look at straight single-malt...



Rooke likely diluted his single-malt with water...



To get 12L of his 1.5 M single-malt concoction, Rooke diluted 2.4 L of single-malt with 9.6 L of water.  If 750 mL bottles were purchased, that's over 3 bottles of single-malt.  Dilution isn't a bad idea, especially considering (1) the cost of price of single-malt scotch  (Laphroaig 10 Year is $60 a bottle, their 18 year cask strength is $84, and their 25 year cask strength is $450) and (2) the alcohol content of a single-malt scotch.



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