Provisional Chemistry

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    Fred Van Ackeren


    I have a chemistry project and related questions concerning spacing and italics.

    1. In the following the spacing after the first symbol and subscript varies in print. Normally I just follow print.

    (K<sub>a</sub>(HCN) = 4.9×10<sub>–10</sub>)        (K<sub>a</sub>  (HF) = 6.8×10<sub>–4</sub>)       (K<sub>a</sub>  (HF) = 6.8×10<sub>–4</sub>)        (K<sub>b</sub>(NH3) = 1.8×10–5)

    2. First, I'm not a chemist; the Code seems to be written for those familiar with Chemistry and its processes. I hope when the Code is re-written (if that ever happens) then perhaps some added information or more fuller explanations with examples will be added. Next question, italics.

    Why so many uses of italics in the code? Do they indicate some process or strength of solution? Confusion continues when the code says to indicate some and ignore others. The final confusion is when the author (or editor of the book) decides to use a typeface indiscriminately of any rules of chemistry.

    If the following examples (from my project) preserve italics, then how is that shown in braille? The code shows an italic symbol dots (46) and a "letter" sign. The gr. 1 ind. (letter sign) differentiates the letter from Greek; BUT, what if the following substript is NOT italicized.

    H<sub>fus</sub> = 6.01 kJ/mol       H<sub>vap</sub> = 40.7 kJ/mol      Initial [Cl<sub>2</sub>] (M)

    In the code, the italics on H following Delta is ignored  and would retain italics. What about the following with K and k, with subscripts.

    (K<sub>b</sub>(NH3) = 1.8×10–5)

    forward rate constant k<sub>1</sub>, reverse rate constant k<sub>–</sub><sub>1       </sub><sub>k italics, subscr. not</sub>

    constant expressions K<sub>c</sub> and K<sub>p</sub> for the      and K<sub>p3</sub> = 2.6x         K and sub italicized

    So it appears that the (46)(gr.1)(k) would address the "k", does that extend to the subscript as well? Again, if the subscript is not italicized how is that shown?

    3. and one question concerning spacing again with States of Matter. All (g), (aq), etc. in the book are in parentheses and spaced from its related element. All examples in the code (that I see) are unspaced.Would it be correct to omit the spaces or leave as is? When doing lower grade math spaces between numbers and operations are often eliminated and is usually left to my discretion.

    Thank you for you help. I hope this was the right place to post.



    Good day, Fred.

    Thank you for the question. First, can you please confirm that you are transcribing this Chemistry material using only UEB?

    Second, will you please confirm that the attached files represent the print that you are asking about? And/or will you please share a scan of the print page(s) you are working on?

    Thank you!

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    Fred Van Ackeren

    Hi Kyle,

    I've cut several pages and taped parts together to give you the needed info. Areas of concern are highlighted yellow.
    The transcription is UEB / Chemistry (Nemeth) format. I think I've attached all that is referenced to my questions, (or similar).

    Let me know if this is sufficient.
    thanks, Fred

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    Fred Van Ackeren

    Good Morning,

    With a fresh day and different perspective I've concluded I've interpreted part of the Provisional Chemistry code incorrectly. I got confused when reading the part where it says "retain distinctive typeform for chemical abbreviations," but in reading the Chem. Code not all single letters or combination are abbreviations, for example, states of matter and letters representing concentrations of solutions and K for constant . With this in mind I sought to answer my own questions, here is what I've determined from examining the Chem. Code, see if you agree. I've enclosed in parentheses the page number in the Chem. Code that guided me.

    1. spacing of (g), (aq), etc., states of matter. (CC123) spaced only when not in parentheses. So no spaces and no typeform.
    2.  K(sub). Typeform kept only when more than 1 typeface (not case) is shown. (CC111, 125, 127)
    3. Concentrations, N, M, m, F. Retain typeform in text and equations. (CC111, 118)
    4. (Delta)H. No typeforms. (CC110, 113, 126)

    The only remaining item is the spacing between an intial K(sub) and the next compound in equations. In the text I'm transcribing this spacing is not consistent. In 1 or 2 places there is no space. I'm considering to transcribe w/o spaces.

    Thank you for your patience.


    Lindy Walton

    Hi Fred. I found your post in this forum (UEB Technical), but I think you are following Nemeth/Chemistry Code for your project. The Chemistry Code is an adjunct to the Nemeth Code -- therefore, you follow Nemeth Code rules regarding typeform *unless* the Chemistry Code gives further or different directions.You did interpret this correctly in your list of conclusions--the main points being that typeform for states of matter is ignored in the braille transcription, and that typeform for concentrations is significant (has special meaning) and so is retained.

    I wanted to let you know that your frustration deciphering the Chemistry Code is shared by many, and to assure you that an enthusiastic team of experts is currently working hard to produce an updated (UEB) version of the Chemistry Code as well as an updated (UEB) version of the Nemeth Code. This is a long process. In the meantime, a more thorough version of the "Provisional Guidance for Chemistry" is also in the works. Don't hesitate to keep asking questions as your project unfolds. In the future, please post them to the Nemeth section of this forum.


    Lindy Walton

    Fred Van Ackeren

    Thanks Lindy,

    Good to know what's in the work ahead. Sorry for posting in wrong section,


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