Internet resources: Chemistry - Miscellaneous

The resources below are loosely grouped by category. However, this grouping is inevitably rough. Some resources may be listed in more than one place. Others probably should be. Look around!
Data (chemistry and physics)
Data (biochemistry)
History (French)
Lab tools (French, German, Spanish)
Organic (Afrikaans, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish)
Safety, MSDS
Textbooks online (Spanish)
Writing, drawing and viewing chemical formulas (Separate page)

Miscellaneous and general (Esperanto, German)
   Other chemistry links are on pages intended for specific courses:
   Introductory Chemistry Internet Resources
   Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry Internet Resources
      (There is some overlap among the various chemistry pages.)
Bottom of page; return links, contact information

If a language is listed above, in red, it means that one or more items in that language is listed. (Some of these items may be multilingual. These sites usually have a button near the top or bottom of the page to let you switch from one language to another.)

I am happy to receive contributions to consider for this page. However, I should emphasize that I want this to be fairly short but diverse. If you send me a long list of sites to list, I will probably just ignore the whole list. I'd rather hear about one site of some special interest -- and I am more likely to check one suggested site than many.

Please let me know if you find an improper link, and I will try to fix it.

Links to external sites will open in a new window.


Online biochemistry textbooks are listed in the biochemistry sub-section of Textbooks online, below.

For more biochemistry, see the page of Organic and Biochemistry Internet resources. There is also considerable overlap of biochemistry with the content of Molecular Biology Internet resources.

BioChemWeb, "The Virtual Library of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology." Simply organized and presented; lots of great links. Topics include Angiogenesis, Apoptosis, Carbohydrates, Cell adhesion & ECM, Cell cycle, Cell senescence, Chemical biology, Cytoskeleton & motility, Development, Enzymes, Genes, Lipids & membranes, Metabolism, Microscopy, Organelles, Proteins, Signaling, Structural biology, Systems biology. Also has special sections for Research groups, Databases & tools, Methods, Software, Vendors, Books, Journals, Career & funding, Organizations & meetings, Calendar -- and more. The Comprehensive Enzyme Information System, from D Schomburg, Technische Universitšt Braunschweig. An extensive and searchable source of detailed technical information on over 3500 enzymes. (At UC you will go right through for full free access. Non-commercial users can register for free access, I think.) Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI). A database of the small molecules of biochemistry, from the European Bioinformatics Institute. "BioCyc is a collection of 3563 Pathway/Genome Databases. Each database in the BioCyc collection describes the genome and metabolic pathways of a single organism." (September 2014; the number of databases increases over time.) From SRI International.

The following article is a useful introduction to BioCyc... P D Karp et al, BioCyc: Microbial Genomes and Cellular Networks. Microbe 6:176, 4/11. Freely available at:

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We are used to finding that energy is given off in chemical reactions. Most commonly, we observe that energy in the form of heat. But in some reactions, energy is given off in the form of light. Fireflies and phosphorescent bacteria are examples of bioluminescence. Light sticks, emitting "cold" light, are an example of a consumer product using chemiluminescence.

For more, including movies simply showing chemiluminescence, see This site is from Tom Chasteen, Sam Houston State Univ.

Bioluminescence Web. Bioluminescence is a sub-class of chemiluminescence, with organisms producing light by controlled chemical reactions. Fireflies and the bacteria of flashlight fish are examples. Enzymes from bioluminescent systems, such as firefly luciferase, have become useful lab tools. For a major resource on bioluminescence: From S Haddock & J F Case, UC Santa Barbara and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

The Bioluminescence Advantage, an essay by K V Wood, Promega Corporation, May 2007. A useful overview of the merits of bioluminescence assays, including comparison with florescence assays. (Yes, the article is intended, in part, to promote company products. Still, a good article.)

Posts in my Musings newsletter on chemiluminescence...
* Xystocheir bistipita is really a Motyxia: significance for understanding bioluminescence (May 9, 2015).
* Lux aeterna: Mushrooms; Mozart (December 7, 2009). Note a follow-up post listed there.

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Data (chemistry and physics)

Sources of data on chemicals may be listed under Data (chemistry and physics) [this section], Data (biochemistry), or Safety, MSDS.

Common Chemistry. Contains "approximately 7,900 chemicals of widespread general public interest". It can be accessed by CAS Registry Number or common names, and connects to Wikipedia information for many chemicals.. From CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service).

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has lots of data! Their home page is
Choose "Databases", and explore. (See "Products and Services", at the right side; "Databases" is listed there.)

Here are direct links to some of their databases that may be of particular interest:
* The Chemistry Webbook, full of thermodynamic data.
* "The Elemental Data Index provides access to the holdings of NIST Physics Laboratory online data organized by element. It is intended to simplify the process of retrieving online scientific data for a specific element."
* A major table of Fundamental Physical Constants.

International Critical Tables (ICT) of numerical data -- for physics, chemistry and technology. Now online at Cornell:

Chemistry's web of data expands, a Nature News story that also was published in the Nature journal (483:524, March 29, 2012). It is an overview of chemical databases, free and commercial. Some of the information is relevant to biochemical uses. The one page story is freely available online:

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Data (biochemistry)

Sources of data on chemicals may be listed under Data (chemistry and physics), Data (biochemistry) [this section], or Safety, MSDS.

Pathway Commons. "Pathway Commons is a convenient point of access to biological pathway information collected from public pathway databases, which you can browse or search." From Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Toronto.

ChemMine. "ChemMine Web Tools is an online service for analyzing and clustering small molecules by structural similarities, physicochemical properties or custom data types." For background and overview, see the article T Girke et al, ChemMine. A Compound Mining Database for Chemical Genomics. Plant Physiology, 138:573-577, 6/05. Online at

Human Metabolome Database. "The Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) is a freely available electronic database containing detailed information about small molecule metabolites found in the human body. It is intended to be used for applications in metabolomics, clinical chemistry, biomarker discovery and general education." From David Wishart, University of Alberta.

Pherobase, "Database of insect pheromones and semiochemicals". Lists over 3000 insect signaling molecules, with both chemical and biological information. From Ashraf El-Sayed, at Hort Research in New Zealand. (What are semiochemicals? They are molecules that carry a message. Pheromones, which affect mating behavior, are a subclass of semiochemicals.)

PubChem, a database of small organic chemicals, with information on their bioassays and biological activities. From NIH, and linked to other NCBI and Entrez/PubMed databases.

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Some of these sites are also listed on my Classic papers page.

Also see Medicine: history and Science: History.

The Classic Chemistry site, from Carmen Giunta at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY. Many classic papers -- and a Glossary of Archaic Chemical Terms.

The ChemTeam site includes a section of "Classic papers", dating back to 50 BC.

National Historic Chemical Landmarks. From the American Chemical Society.

The Robert Boyle Project. Lots of information, including copies of many volumes of lab work from one of the earliest modern scientists. From M Hunter, Birkbeck College, Univ London.

Lavoisier. From Jean Pierre Poirier author of "Lavoisier, Chemist, Biologist, Economist" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996). Also available in French. I have also listed one section of this site, on the Physiology of Respiration, under Internet Resources for Intro Chemistry: Reactions and Internet Resources for Organic and Biochemistry: Metabolism.

Lavoisier. "Panopticon Lavoisier aims at creating a virtual museum of the collections of the French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794) scattered throughout the world. A detailed chronology of Lavoisier's life and works, the catalogue of Lavoisier's manuscripts (ca. 6000 items), laboratory apparatus (ca. 500 items), library (ca. 3000 items) and minerals (ca. 4000 items), the digital edition of Lavoisier's collected works, the bibliography on and of the French chemist (ca. 2000 bibliographic records) as well as his complete iconography are integrated in one relational database, Pinakes, and made available to remote users." Also available in French.

Faraday. Google books is making available old books. Among them: Chemical Manipulation: being instructions to students in chemistry, on the methods of performing experiments of demonstration or of research, with accuracy and success, by Michael Faraday (1827).

Other books by Faraday are also at Google books; just search on his name. They include the famous Candle Lectures, which is listed on my page of Book suggestions: Faraday Candle Lectures. That Faraday book is also noted in a Musings post: A candle for Christmas (December 20, 2010).

OUTLINE: History of Chemistry. Starts with "Ancient Knowledge and Thought (up to 1500) eventually leading to chemistry". From Robert B Gayhart (Department of Chemistry, Bradley University, Peoria, IL).

Edgar Fahs Smith Collection. More history, mainly in pictures. The site contains pictures of over 200 scientists (mainly chemists) from the last four centuries, pictures of much lab equipment from that time, and some text materials, including part of a book published in 1651 on distillation.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is an organization focusing on the history of chemistry.

Glossary of Coined Names Used in Science. It's full of the origins of chemistry terms. From John Andraos of York Univ (Toronto, Canada) -- with much help from a chemistry student-then-instructor at the University of Karachi (Pakistan).

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Periodic Table of Comic Books. Fun (but slow). From J P Selegue & F J Holler, Chemistry, University of Kentucky. (This is also listed on the Internet Resources page for Intro Chem.)

Molecules with silly or unusual names: From Paul May, Bristol University. (Also check out his "Molecule of the Month" feature, which is also listed on my page Science on the Internet: an introduction.)

Get the latest on the hazards of DHMO, the major ingredient of acid rain.

A sampling of cartoons by Sidney Harris. Choose Chemistry -- or ??

Individual items of chemical humor are scattered among appropriate sections of the course-related pages:    Internet Resources for Introductory Chemistry    Internet Resources for Organic and Biochemistry.

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For IUPAC naming information for organic chemicals, check the following two sites. The first has the basic IUPAC rules. The second is more comprehensive, but probably more confusing.
     Their ChemSketch program, which allows you to draw a structural formula and also to transform it into a 3D model, now will name simple organic molecules. For more, see my ChemSketch page.

The IUPAC "Gold Book", more formally known as the Compendium of Chemical Terminology, is a useful chemical dictionary:

The IUPAC "Red Book", more formally known as Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry -- IUPAC Recommendations 2005, is a formal presentation of IUPAC inorganic nomenclature:

The IUPAC home page, which includes announcements, is at:

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Lab tools

Thanks to M Farooq Wahab (NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan) for stimulating starting this section, Feb 2008. It grew out of a discussion of some details of pipetting; he provided the first two links shown here.

Pipetting: A practical guide, by Karen Guzman (now at Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC). American Biology Teacher 63(2):128, 2/01. A good user-friendly overview of a range of types of pipets you may encounter, with advice on proper technique. Good figures, and a good glossary. (Not all possible types of pipets are listed here, so do not insist that yours exactly matches one she discusses.) Online, at: There is also a pdf copy freely available, from The National Association of Biology Teachers:

Volumetric measurement, from Brand, in Germany. From their introduction: "Volumetric measurement plays a central role in the laboratory. The user has to determine the degree of accuracy required for each measurement. Based on this, he can choose the appropriate volumetric instrument. Reliable measurements require the use of precision instruments and their proper handling. To provide a better understanding of volumetric instruments and their operation, this booklet explains the most important terms for their classification and handling, and illustrates them by using BRAND laboratory equipment as examples. The brochure 'Information on Volumetric Measurement' is designed to give the reader a quick overview of volumetric instruments." Other sections of "tech info" here (see menu bar at the left) include: Quality management; Materials: Glass, Plastic; Cleaning methods; Disinfection/Sterilization; Safety information; Trademarks. The site is also available in German, Spanish; some materials, including this Volumetric measurement brochure, are also in French.

Also see
* Intro Chem Internet Resources - Lab activities; demos; videos.
* Molecular Biology Internet Resources. Several sections include information on methods.

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Online organic chemistry textbooks are listed in the organic sub-section of Textbooks online, below.

"JCE ChemInfo: Organic is a collection of Web pages containing information useful to teachers, researchers, and students in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry. The pages have been selected for ease of use, broad applicability, and quality of coverage. Topics will include structural information, organic reactions, nomenclature, physical properties, and spectroscopic data." Originally from the Journal of Chemical Education.

Organic reactions. The following two sites may be useful to those looking for organic reactions.
* This page lets you explore reactions by the type of bond they form. It is part of a larger organic chemistry site.
* This page lets you draw key reactants and products, and will offer possible reactions.

The Macrogalleria site on polymers, at the University of Southern Mississippi: "A cyberwonderland of polymer fun". It is a major educational resource on polymers, and is very readable over a wide range of topics. "AND... for the young and the young at heart, we have the Kid's Macrogalleria that contains much info and much fun, with activities, demos, and even games that are related to polymers." Also available in Afrikaans, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish. (It is also listed on the Internet resources: Organic/Biochem page, under Alkenes.)

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Safety, MSDS

Sources of data on chemicals may be listed under Data (chemistry and physics), Data (biochemistry), or Safety, MSDS [this section].

Where to find MSDS on the Internet. MSDS = material safety data sheets. These are the inserts of basic information that come when you buy chemicals -- and which you can never find thereafter. Many places now maintain an electronic archive of their MSDS, and some of these are public. The following link, maintained by Dr. Robert Toreki, is a good central source for finding MSDS. Also at that site is the MSDS Glossary, to help you understand the terminology:

Fire Safety and Fire Extinguishers. Good discussion! Also from Rob Toreki (see item above).

Flinn Scientific is a supplier of materials for school chemistry labs. Their catalog, and now their web site, has long been a fine source of good practical safety information, aimed at educators.

ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource). "ACToR is EPA's online warehouse of all publicly available chemical toxicity data and can be used to find all publicly available data about potential chemical risks to human health and the environment. ACToR aggregates data from over 1000 public sources on over 500,000 environmental chemicals searchable by chemical name, other identifiers and by chemical structure." From the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Toxnet (Toxicology Data Network). Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. From the US National Library of Medicine.

The American Chemical Society has safety information, much of it intended for the chemistry classroom. The following page is from their Committee on Chemical Safety:

Household Products Database. Extensive information about the safety of common household chemicals, from the National Library of Medicine.

Chemical safety information from the United Nations and other international organizations.

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Textbooks online

This section may include some web sites associated with standard print books, providing supplemental materials. These sites change regularly, and there are more of them than listed here.

** Collections

Caltech has many old books, including some chem books, freely available online at The collection includes some basic textbooks, such as Dickerson et al, Chemical Principles (3/e, 1979) and Roberts & Caserio, Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry (2/e, 1977). Browse the list, or search on a text string such as "chem".

A general listing of free online textbooks, and similar resources, arranged by subject (see "Books" tab): Textbook Revolution.

** Introductory, General, Inorganic

An Introduction to Chemistry. A web version of a published book, at about the level of my X11 Intro Chem course. From Mark Bishop, Monterey Peninsula College.

Chem 1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook. From Steve Lower, Simon Fraser University.

Some Major Chemistry Video Series. A listing of instructional videos for chemistry. From Steve Lower, Simon Fraser University (see previous listing).

The Bishop and Lower books are also listed for Introductory Chemistry Internet Resources: General.

Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, by John Hutchinson. (General Chemistry)

** Organic (includes Organometallic)

Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry, from Dr W Reusch, Michigan State Univ: Organic Chemistry for free, an online intro organic book, by Richard & Sally Daley. This book is organized somewhat differently from most organic books. The primary organization is by reaction mechanism, rather than by functional group.

The organic books listed above are also listed for Org/Biochem Internet Resources: General. That listing also notes some online organic chem resources that are more introductory. Rob Toreki's Organometallic HyperTextBook.

** Biochemistry

Biochemistry Online: An Approach Based on Chemical Logic, a textbook from Dr Henry Jakubowski, College of St Benedict and St John's Univ, Minnesota.

Biochemistry, the textbook by J M Berg, J L Tymoczko, and L Stryer, 2002. Online as part of the PubMed Bookshelf, at:

Medical Biochemistry textbook, from Michael W King, Indiana University School of Medicine - Terre Haute. Also in Spanish. This is also listed for Org/Biochem Internet Resources: General.

** Physical

Thermodynamics and Chemistry, by Howard DeVoe, University of Maryland Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. 2/e, 2010. The author posts updates from time to time. The second edition - version 5 was posted in May 2014. From the author: "The book is designed primarily as a textbook for a one-semester course in classical chemical thermodynamics at the graduate or undergraduate level. It can also serve as a supplementary text and thermodynamics reference source."

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Miscellaneous and general

A major professional society for chemists is ACS, the American Chemical Society:

Etimologio de la nomoj de kemiaj elementoj. Etymology of the names of the chemical elements -- written in Esperanto, and also available in German. From Dr. Reinhard Foessmeier, a German mathematician at the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj (AIS) in San Marino. This site is also listed under Intro Chem Internet Resources: Names of elements.

Institute of Chemistry, Free University of Berlin. A variety of resources in general, organic, and biochemistry -- in both German and English. (You can go from one to the other using links at the bottom of each page.) The "amino acids" page listed for my org/bio course is part of this.

Resources for Chemistry Educators. "A selective, annotated collection of the best links for Web-based lessons and tutorial materials for Chemistry". From Stephen Lower, Simon Fraser University.

ChemSpy. "A one stop shop for a wide range of search tools for chemistry professionals, students, and educators, looking for chemistry news, resources, databases, acronyms, definitions, and chemical industry information."

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Last update: August 27, 2016