The Let's Play Archive

SpaceChem (2012 Tournament)

by GuavaMoment

Part 8: Week 3 Challenges - Fusion and Fission - and Tutorial Video - Fusion and Fission

Week 3 Challenges - Fusion and Fission

Since some of you haven't seen fusion or fission yet, how about a short tutorial video?

Link to video

Challenge 6 - Deadly Fluorinated Water

Task: Create Sodium Fluoride and water, from water
Tiebreaker is least symbols, then fastest time of solution submission.


Soapbox: There was a post in the thread about chlorine and how bad it was for you, and that it apparently can be used to treat fluorine inhalation before "the fluorine makes an acid that burns your lungs". Now this is something I know a lot about, because my undergrad research project involved using hydrofluoric acid, and I spent a few months going over safety issues. HF is actually a really weak acid, and if you get near HF, acid burns are the least of your worries. That fluorine ion causes absolute havoc inside your body, bonding to things it shouldn't, like your bones. How much fun does bone necrosis sound? And that's in low doses! In high doses the fluorine bonds to calcium in your mitochondria, killing them. I don't know about you guys, but I need the vast majority of my mitochondria alive. That F- ion is really, really dangerous.

And they put it in our water?!

Well, yeah, and the CDC calls it One of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the century. Like on the previous challenge "Deadly Soft Drinks", it's all about the dose. "The difference between poison and medicine is the dose". The amount of carcinogenic benzene in soft drinks is so miniscule you can practically safely ignore it. The wiki page on that mentioned that the worst sample taken from a soft drink (ie the greatest amount of benzene) was equivalent to breathing while filling your gas tank of your car for three minutes. The amount of fluorine in water is so tiny, that all it really gets a chance to do is bond with your teeth before there's so little of it left that it can't do any damage. And that's a good thing! Calcium Fluoride is a lot tougher and stronger than the normal Calcium Phosphate your teeth are made of. So I get a little bothered when stupid cities full of stupid people discontinue water fluoridation programs. (Ok, maybe that's a little bit of local bias coming though, but screw you Calgary, you suck for a lot of reasons.) I always find it frustrating when politics wins over science, thus the "Deadly..." series of challenges, with "deadly" in massive ironic airquotes.

Challenge 7 - LP Fission

Task: Breakdown ammonia into hydrogen atoms.
Tiebreaker is least symbols, then fastest time of solution submission.