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Steps in a minefield

Some kinetic aspects of thermal analysis

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Author: M. Brown

Abstract  

This paper is a review of some of the controversial kinetic aspects of thermal analysis, starting from the ‘šesták questions’ posed in 1979 and looking at developments in some areas since that time. Aspects considered include: temperature programmes and variations, models and mechanisms, kinetic parameters, distinguishability and extent of fit of kinetic models, complementary evidence for kinetic models, the Arrhenius equation and the compensation effect. The value of the ideas of non-isothermal kinetics in chemical education is emphasized.

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Abstract  

Some applications of thermal analysis (TA) and temperature profile analysis (TPA) to the study of a variety of binary pyrotechnic systems are described. Factors that effect the combustion of such fuel/oxidant mixtures are discussed. Trends in burning behaviour and the experimental limitations of the techniques available are identified.

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Abstract  

Professor Vladimir V. Boldyrev has made numerous important contributions to a wide range of chemical topics, not only limited to studies of the decompositions of solids. Of particular value has been his emphasis on exploring, in detail, the chemical steps participating in the thermal reactions of solids by carefully designed experiments that rely on more observational evidence than the run-of-the-mill collection of overall kinetic data. Some of these major contributions to both the theory and the uses of solid-state reactions are identified here and discussed in relation to his illuminating and fundamental mechanistic studies of the thermal decompositions of silver oxalate, ammonium perchlorate, potassium permanganate and the dehydration of copper sulfate pentahydrate.

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In light of new historical evidence regarding ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson’s correspondence with art historian Erwin Panofsky, this article provides an in-depth analysis of the presence of entheogenic mushroom images in Christian art within the context of the controversy between Wasson and philologist John Marco Allegro over the identification of a Garden of Eden fresco in the 12th century Chapel of Plaincourault in France. It reveals a compelling financial motive for Wasson’s refusal to acknowledge that this fresco represents Amanita muscaria, as well as for Wasson’s reluctance to pursue his hypothesis regarding the entheogenic origins of religion into Christian art and artifacts. While Wasson’s view – that the presence of psychoactive mushrooms in the Near and Middle East ended around 1000 BCE – prevailed and stymied research on entheogens in Christianity for decades, a new generation of 21st century researchers has documented growing evidence of A. muscaria and psilocybin-containing mushrooms in Christian art, consistent with ethnobotanist Giorgio Samorini’s typology of mushroom trees. This article presents original photographs, taken during fieldwork at churches and cathedrals throughout Europe and the Middle East, that confirm the presence of entheogenic mushrooms in Christian art: in frescoes, illuminated manuscripts, mosaics, sculptures, and stained glass windows. Based on this iconic evidence, the article proposes a psychedelic gospels theory and addresses critiques of this theory by art historians, ardent advocates, medieval historians, and conservative Catholics. It calls for the establishment of an Interdisciplinary Committee on the Psychedelic Gospels to independently evaluate the growing body of evidence of entheogenic mushrooms in Christian art in order to resolve a controversial question regarding the possible role of entheogens in the history and origins of Christianity.

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Abstract  

Thermal analysis is routinely used to characterize pyrotechnic fuels, oxidants and fuel/oxidant mixtures [1]. Thermomagnetometry (TM) can provide additional information if the magnetic properties of the materials change during reaction. TG, TM and DTA results for the iron/potassium permanganate, iron/barium peroxide, and iron/strontium peroxide systems as loose powders or pressed pellets indicate predominantly solid-gas mechanisms for reactions in these systems.

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Abstract  

The thermal behaviour of benzoic and salicylic acids is compared with the behaviour of 1:1 molar ratio physical and kneaded mixtures of these acids with each of three different cyclodextrins (b-, hydroxypropyl-b-, and g-cyclodextrin). Differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry coupled with evolved gas analysis by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used for the thermal studies and X-ray powder diffraction and infrared spectroscopy provided complementary information. Thermal studies of benzoic acid with the cyclodextrins showed significant interactions in both physical and kneaded mixtures of benzoic acid/b-cyclodextrin and benzoic acid/hydroxypropyl-b-cyclodextrin. Interactions in the kneaded benzoic acid/g-cyclodextrin mixtures were the most extensive as might be expected for the cyclodextrin with the largest molecular cavity. The results for the salicylic acid/b-cyclodextrin and salicylic acid/hydroxypropyl-b-cyclodextrin mixtures were similar to those for benzoic acid/b-cyclodextrin and benzoic acid/hydroxypropyl-b-cyclodextrin. Again, the kneaded salicylic acid/g-cyclodextrin mixture showed the most interaction.

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