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Chemistry Jokes and the Periodic Table

The Periodic Table

A chemistry teacher was berating the students for not learning the Periodic Table of the Elements. She said, "Why when I was your age I knew both their names and weights." One kid popped up, "Yeah, but teach, there were so few of them back then.

Learn More about the Periodic Table

Let’s Speak Chemistry!

  • "I think your website is beryllium!" (read as brilliant)

  • "That's a pro-phosphorous idea!" (read as preposterous)

  • "I can't be arsenic-ed!" (read as arsed)

  • "This is so boron!" (read as boring)

  • "Pick it up off the fluor-ine!" (read as floor)

  • "Lith-ium alone!" (read as leave him)

  • "This is a-bismuth!" (read as abysmal)

  • "I've got a bad gold" (read as cold)

  • "Is she Indium?" (read as Indian)

  • "Did he have a car-bon?" (read as car bomb)

  • "Pass the lattice" (read as lettuce)

  • "Would you like a polo-nium t?" (read as polo mint)

  • "Can you iron my shirt please?" (read as iron)

  • "I can't bar-ium" (read as bare him)

  • "Can they cur-ium?" (read as cure him)

  • "Caes-ium!" (read as caese him)

  • "That was so-dium good" (read as so damn)

  • “How many have we done sul-phur?” (read as so far)

  • "Keep your i-on the ball" (read as eye on)

  • "A friend of mine pierced his tung-sten" (read as tongue)

  • "A-cid that one" (read as I said)

  • "A-mine the other one" (read as I mean)

  • "You're too easily lead" (read as lead)

  • Julian: "My trousers keep falling down!"

  • Nick: "This man-ga-nese a belt!" (read as man needs)

  • Nick: "We need to get so many things for our cat"

  • Julian: "I don't think we'll be able to remember them all"

  • Nick: "Well then we will have to make the cat-a-lyst!"

  • ”I zinc we are done because all the other jokes ar-gon

  • Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds; biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that wriggle.

    A Chemical is a Substance that:

    An organic chemist turns into a foul odor.
    An analytical chemist turns into a procedure.
    A physical chemist turns into a straight line.
    A biochemist turns into a helix.
    A chemical engineer turns into a profit.

    Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds; biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that wriggle.

    Democritus (460-370 BCE)

    An ancient Greek philosopher. His theory of the nature of the physical world was the most advanced up to his time. He held that all things were composed of atoms; these he asserted to be tiny particles, imperceptible to the senses, composed of exactly the same matter but different in size, shape, and weight. They were underived, indivisible, and indestructible.

    Rules of the Lab

    If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

    When you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly.

    Experiments must be reproducible, they should fail the same way each time.

    First draw your curves, then plot your data.

    Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined.

    Always keep a record of your data. It indicates that you have been working.

    To do a lab really well, have your report done well in advance.

    If you can't get the answer in the usual manner, start at the answer and derive the question.

    In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

    Do not believe in miracles - rely on them.

    Teamwork is essential, it allows you to blame someone else.

    All unmarked beakers contain fast-acting, extremely toxic poisons.

    No experiment is a complete failure. At least it can serve as a negative example.

    Any delicate and expensive piece of glassware will break before any use can be made of it.

    A chemist walks into a pharmacy and asks the pharmacist, "Do you have any acetylsalicylic acid?"
    "You mean aspirin?" asked the pharmacist. "That's it, I can never remember that word."

    A physical chemist is a student who goes to university thinking he might want to be a physicist, but gets intimated by the math.

    Roger Bacon (1220-1292)

    For hundreds of years alchemists tried to change metals such as lead into gold. Many were cheats but some like Roger Bacon, though didn't "make" gold, made many worthwhile scientific discoveries like gunpowder and optic devices and had many interesting ideas about flying machines. He is regarded by many as the harbinger of experimental science. To learn more about alchemy, click here.

    A mosquito cried out in pain:
    "A chemist has poisoned my brain!"
    The cause of his sorrow
    was para-dichloro-

    (paraDichloroDiphenylTrichloroethane is the the full name for DDT)

    David Smillie:
    Little Willie was a chemist.
    Little Willie is no more.
    For what he thought was H2O,
    Was H2SO4.

    Little Willie from the mirror
    Licked the mercury off.
    Thinking in his childish error
    It would cure his whooping cough.

    At the funeral, Willie's mother
    Smartly said to Mrs. Brown
    "T'was a chilly day for Willie
    When the mercury went down."

    – Anon

    Dalton's Atom Model

    John Dalton (1766-1844) is the father of the chemical atomic theory. He proposed an "atomic theory" with spherical solid atoms based upon measurable properties of mass. The main principles of his theory: chemical elements are made of atoms; atoms of different elements have different masses; atoms of the same element have the same properties, such as weight.

    It is disconcerting to reflect on the number of students we have flunked in chemistry for not knowing what we later found to be untrue.

    – Quoted in Robert L. Weber, Science With a Smile (1992)

    Stephen Wright, referring to a glass of water:

    "I mixed this myself. Two parts H, one part O. I don't trust anybody!"

    "They say we're 98% water. We're that close to drowning...(picks up his glass of water from the stool)...I like to live on the edge... I bought some powdered water, but I don't know what to add to it."

    "My name is Bond - Covalent Bond."

    Q: What's the most important thing to learn in chemistry?
    A: Never lick the spoon.

    A little more about chemistry

    First law of Laboratorics: Hot glass and cold glass look alike!

    The novelist Hermann Sudermann met once Emil Fischer and started thanking him on his discovery of veronal: "You know, it is so efficient, I don't even have to take it, it's enough that I see it on my nightstand."
    Fischer replied: "What a coincidence, when I have problems falling asleep, I take one of your novels. As a matter-of-fact, it's enough that I see one of your wonderful books on my nightstand and I immediately fall asleep!"

    Here is a funny chemistry story. Somebody wrote a paper about how this chemical, dihydrogenoxide, has killed over 100,000 people world wide, usually through inhalation. The story also went on that even if you wash your food you can never get this chemical off. No matter what you do you will be exposed to this very dangerous chemical every day of your life until you die. The story finished by claiming that there needs to be a government research group founded to find a solution. yada yada yada...anyhow, a local press guy got a hold of this joke, if you haven't figured it out di-hydrogen-oxide is the correct name for H2O or water. The deaths that he was quoting were from drownings. Anyhow, this local guy ran the article in a paper and started a big outcry for a government study before they realized what the story was about.....kinda funny chemistry humor.

    H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water

    Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)

    In 1869, Mendeleev, a Russian chemist, made a list of all the chemical elements that were known at that time, sorted according to increasing atomic mass. There were many gaps in the table, and according to them, Mendeleev was able to forecast that new elements would be found to fill the gaps. Mendeleev's discovery was possible only because of former scientific knowledge, and as a matter of fact, a German chemist called Lothar Meyer made the same discovery as Mendeleev at about the same time. For a brief look at the history of the periodic table click here.

    Who Discovered the Periodic Table?

    Lothar Meyer and Dmitri Mendeleev

    Mendeleyev is regarded as the primary discoverer of the periodic table. However, in 1868, Lothar Meyer, a German chemist, had prepared a table which in many respects resembled the present periodic table. He did not publish this work until after the appearance of Mendeleev's first paper on the subject in 1869. His table was very similar to that of Mendeleev, but it contained some improvements and was, perhaps, influential in causing some of the revisions made by Mendeleev in the second version of his table, published in 1870. In general, Meyer was more impressed by the periodicity of the physical properties of the elements, while Mendeleev saw more clearly the chemical consequences of the periodic law.

    Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.

    Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl.

    Q: Why do chemists like nitrates so much?
    A: They're cheaper than day rates.

    Q: Why are chemists great for solving problems?
    A: They have all the solutions.

    Teacher: What is the formula for water?
    Student: H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O
    Teacher: That's not what I taught you.
    Student: But you said the formula for water was...H to O.

    The periodic table is the most important chemistry reference there is.

    Click it and see by yourself.

    Q: What do chemists use to make guacomole?
    A: Avogadros.

    Q: How many atoms in a guacamole?
    A: Avocado's number.

    Q. What do you do when you find a dead chemist?
    A. Barium.

    Q. What is the purpose of a doctor?
    A. Helium.

    Q: What happens when electrons lose their energy?
    A: They get Bohr'ed.

    Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

    A Danish Physicist. Developed the modern atomic model about atoms built up of successive orbital shells of electrons. He won the 1922 Nobel Prize for physics, chiefly for his work on the structure of atoms.

    Q: What is a cation afraid of?
    A: A dogion.

    Free radicals have revolutionized chemistry!

    Q: Can you guess the name of a first year natural science college student who scored one "C" and 4 "F"s in five courses?

    A: Carbon Tetrafluoride.

    About Justus von Liebig (1803-1873).
    One day he was approached by his assistant who all excited informed him that he had just discovered a universal solvent.
    Liebig asked: "And what is a universal solvent?"
    Assistant: "One that dissolves all substances."
    Liebig: "Where are you going to keep that solvent, then?"

    What kind of ghosts haunt chemistry faculties? Methylated Spirits.

    Old chemists never die, they just fail to react.

    Did you hear about the industrialist who had a huge chloroform spill at his factory? His business went insolvent.

    How about the chemical workers - are they unionized or ionized?

    How do you make a 24-molar solution? Put your artificial teeth in water.

    Why do white bears dissolve in water? Because they're polar.

    Two chemists meet for the first time at a symposium. One is American, one is British. The British chemist asks the American chemist, "So what do you do for research?" The American responds, "Oh, I work with aerosols." The Brit responds, "Yes, sometimes my colleagues get on my nerves also."

    A physicist, biologist and a chemist were going to the ocean for the first time.
    The physicist saw the ocean and was fascinated by the waves. He said he wanted to do some research on the fluid dynamics of the waves and walked into the ocean. Obviously, he was drowned and never returned.
    The biologist said he wanted to do research on the flora and fauna inside the ocean and walked inside the ocean. He too, never returned.
    The chemist waited for a long time and afterwards, wrote the observation, "The physicist and the biologist are soluble in ocean water".

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