April 29, 2010 Erin Sutherland

Advanced Techniques: Painting with Light

There is a delicate balance between theory and reality in chemistry, as a formula that works on paper may not behave in predicted ways when applied to actual experiments. For instance, Depakote, commonly known as valproic acid, is synthesized through several chemical processes, some of which are difficult to produce due to variances in temperatures or pressures or in efficiency of the reactions. “This synthesis works in theory, but the trouble is in getting the conditions right so it works in reality,” said Phil Silverman, the lab coordinator for the University of Missouri’s chemistry department.


To me, the image looks too dark for the effect we were going for in the lab. Here’s what I think would look a little better. I’ve moved the white point up so that there’s a bright white in the frame.