About Bret Norwood

Bret Norwood is a staff blogger for Learning Laboratory in addition to other roles, including UI design and content development for Study Putty, our free memorization tool for chemistry and many other course topics. He is also a published writer of literary fiction--see BretNorwood.com

Update Coming to Top 200 Drugs List

The Top 200 Drugs memorization games on Study Putty will hopefully be updated with current data before the start of the fall semester for the Pharmacy students out there.

Currently, Study Putty uses Top 200 Drugs data from 2013. This data is presented in memorization games matching trade and generic names, or either name to type of drug.

To see the Top 200 Drugs learning games on Study Putty, click the screen shot below. Continue reading

Watch Metal Crystals Grow — BeautifulChemistry.net

Beautiful Chemistry

Zn + Pb(NO3)2 –> Pb + Zn(NO3)2, etc.

Want to see something metal? What could be more brutally metal than “lead trees”? Yes, trees of actual lead. A forest of them. And they are chillingly majestic. Granted, they’re tiny and in a solution, but I’m going to overlook that fact.

From BeautifulChemistry.net


Study Chemistry with Study PuttyWhere the cool kids go to scrape by on tests.

Atomic Orbital Mnemonic Devices–with Illustrations, and Raditude

Atomic Orbital Mnemonics

How does one remember SPDFGHIK…? Remembering the S through K orbitals is the trick. After K, it goes alphabetical. (But skipping S and P, because they’ve already been done.) My search for atomic orbital mnemonic devices only turned up one that had sufficient character to stick those eight seemingly arbitrary letters in my mind.

The Standard Mnemonic

The one I found was pretty good, though:

Sober Physicists Don’t Find Giraffes Hiding IKitchens.

Continue reading

How to Find Free Images for Educational Use

1000px-Periodic_Table_of_Elements_showing_Electron_Shells_(2011_version).svgby Greg Robson, via Wikimedia. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.

Copyright Law and Images for Educational Use


Click any image in this post to see its source and open license information.

It’s not difficult to find images for your classroom and teaching materials while honoring copyright law. There are a number of ways to find free or open-license images on the Internet. While there is such a thing as the fair use of copyrighted images for educational use, this use is fairly restrictive and requires your time and effort to ensure you’ve complied. Unless a specific image you need is a copyrighted resource, your time may serve you better to search for free or properly licensed images. Here are three safe and easy ways to find an image you can be certain you have license to use. Continue reading

Naming Polyatomic Ions

How to Name Polyatomic Ions

Here are some simple rules for naming polyatomic ions.

Polyatomic ions with more oxygen atoms will end in -ate, and those with fewer oxygen atoms will end in -ite. When there are more than two polyatomic ions composed of the same elements, the prefix hypo- indicates the least number of oxygen atoms, and the prefix per- will indicate the most oxygen per ion.

Less Oxygen More Oxygen
hypo- -ite -ate per-

Look at the paradigm for chlorine oxyanions below. Continue reading