Basketane Carrying Capacity and a Closer Look at the Atom Economy

By Dr. Price Fisher: Department of Chemistry, May Dahp College of Mathematics and the Sciences, Intern S. O. Guy Student at the Department of Chemistry, May Dahp: College of Mathematics and the Sciences and Lahb Slaive: Department of Eternal Servitude, May Dahp College of Mathematics and the Sciences.


Every research assistant and lab manager has been faced with buying unreasonably priced chemicals. Questions arise. Will my  researchers appreciate these purchases? What can one even buy in an atom economy like this? How much can I carry in my basketane,  and how much will it cost? Through this research we have concluded nothing. 


A $854.99 Fisher analytic balance was irreversibly modified to operate under vacuum and various small molecules were tested  for their ability to be carried by basketanyl dysfunctional groups attached to the weighing plate. All obtained results are smaller than the  standard error of measurement, and are thus worthless. 


When one can buy lots, one will have to carry lots. When one can carry only little, one must buy little. Use the discrepancy  between these factors to calculate the optimal carrying capacity of basketane in ($/molload)/molb


The atom economy has seen better days. To the chagrin of  laboratory managers worldwide, researchers regularly  undervalue the reagents they’re given. An increased  appreciation for the value of reactants would mean more  money can be spent on esoteric unrecyclable noble metal  catalysts that don’t work, benefitting the field as a whole1

To foster further appreciation for the value of fine chemicals,  we must work on an objective measurement of the atom economical worth of a molecule. To make such a measurment,  we have used the most objectively designed basket: basketane.  This polycyclic hydrocarbon would be ideal to carry your  hardware store chemicals in, if it were life-size. In this study, we  have attempted to measure the value of various elements or  molecules one can carry in it.  

There are two important factors in the monetary carrying  capacity of basketane: (1) the size of the atom or molecule to be-carried, (2) the value of the carried load. This excludes  molecules larger than basketane. This does not exclude exotic  states of matter such as muonic lithium, which was considered  to be a noble gas in this paper (vida infra).  


Firstly, attempts were made using basketanes functionalised  with a trichlorosylyl group at the 1, 2, 3, or 4 position. Four  pristinely smooth glass plates of 25 cm2 were obtained. These  glass plates were heated to 500 K and the various basketanes  were poured on. The 1- and 2-trichlorosylyl funcionalized  basketanes spontaneously caught fire, leaving behind a slightly  etched plate. The 3-trichlorosylyl functionalized basketane  turned black upon pouring which indicates the formation of  tar.2 The 4-functionalized basketane was expertly chemically  attached to the glass, albeit upside-down, as confirmed by  Ramen-spectroscopy (figure 1).3 

To compare different small molecules or atoms, their prices  and their ability to be carried, an unpaid intern was sent to  retrieve the most unsuspecting cheap small molecules, and  helium for comparison. The retrieved compounds were  hydrogen gas, neon gas, methane, and lithium. Since we were  

the lithium act like helium by treating it with one muon per  atom. We presume this will be inert, like the isoelectronic  helium.4 

Figure 1 Schematic representation of the basketanyl group, attached  upside-down. 
Figure 1 Schematic representation of the basketanyl group, attached  upside-down. 


As can be seen in Table 1, all of the applied molecules’ added  weight was within the measurement error of the analytical  scale, and thus not significant. However, a valuable observation  is to be made of the reaction between the functionalized silica  and the monomuonic lithium, which was supposed to be as  inert as helium. Instead of being inert, it violently reacted with  the entire setup, producing extreme amounts of γ-radiation.  The physics department assured us this was “completely  expected”, that this would “absolutely not happen with regular  helium”, and that “we should have seen this coming”. If this  phenomenon can be repeated by using genuine helium it would  have tremendous implications for the field of helium chemistry. 

Weight Increase2 μg10 μg-11 μgN/A
Weight Error248 μg115 μg38 μgN/A
Value Increase~$3.14*10-17~$8.32*10-14~ -$5.68*10-18-$854.99
Value Error$0.04$1.2$0.3$0
Table 1 Results


It is very possible that the orientation of the basketanyl groups  on the silica surface are to blame for the statistical insignificancy  of the results, obviously any cargo would just fall out.  The basketane baskets held so much less than expected that  there is doubt as to whether there were any filled baskets, let  alone baskets with two or more molecules in them. The  monetary carrying capacity depends on how much can fit in the  basket, not just how expensive the one thing that we squeeze  in would be. 

Through the duration of these experiments, it has come to  the attention of this team that “atom economy” has nothing to  do with money, directly, but instead is a measure of efficient  use of starting materials. 


More research needs to be done to find ways of chemically  binding 1- or 2-functionalized basketanyl units to a weighing surface so that experiments can be performed right-side-up, or  conversely, modify a scale that can be used upside-down. The  research community should be advised against using basketane  as a basket. No conclusions about the carrying capacity of  basketane as a function of load value could be made in this  paper. 

About the Authors  

Dr. Price Fisher is a covetous and vengeful man in his late 30s.  He found that breaking ties with his parents over the terrible  name they gave him gave him the resolve to grow past them  and destroy his parents’ legacy. This is all he talks about. 

S.O. Guy is an intern with too many responsibilities and too little  pay. After the accident, he’s sure he also incurred some  radiation poisoning, but has not managed to scrape together  the money or time to ameliorate this problem. Please donate to  his gofundme here.5 

No records can be found about Mr. Slaive, and since he’s not  available for questions it shall be left at that. 

Author Contributions 

Dr. Price Fisher did nothing, absolutely nothing. I did all the  work and I’m not even getting paid for it, but I’m sure he won’t  read any of this shit. I’m sure Mr. Slaive’s hospital fees are going  to be paid by the school, using my tuition money.  

Conflicts of Interest 

Dr. Price Fisher is suspiciously untroubled by the destruction of  the analytical balance. This is probably because of his vendetta  against his parents. Mr. Slaive is still in the hospital undergoing  treatment for radiation poisoning and has thus had no hand in  editing this document. 


We really should have known atom economy didn’t mean what  we thought it meant. 

Notes and references 

  1. E. Goldman, C. Platinumman, J. Mus. Chem. 1999, 14, 4836.
  2. E.F. Tom, Youtube, The Diels-Alder – making cubane E7, 8:46. Link
  3. L. T. T. Bui and D. M. Small, 2009 Food Chem, 114 (4). 1477.
  4. “Exotic atom – Wikipedia.” [Online] 

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Published by B McGraw

B McGraw has lived a long and successful professional life as a software developer and researcher. After completing his BS in spaghetti coding at the department of the dark arts at Cranberry Lemon in 2005 he wasted no time in getting a masters in debugging by print statement in 2008 and obtaining his PhD with research in screwing up repos on Github in 2014. That's when he could finally get paid. In 2018 B McGraw finally made the big step of defaulting on his student loans and began advancing his career by adding his name on other people's research papers after finding one grammatical mistake in the Peer Review process.

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