10 Year Old’s Molecule Design Becomes the Topic of a Scientific Paper
Posted on February 3, 2012 Comments (0)
10-Year-Old Helps Professor With Theoretical Chemistry by Marimar White-Espin
Equipped with a molecule-building kit, Lazen experimented with the colored wooden balls by creating existing molecules and some of her own.
Lazen approached Boehr and asked if the molecule she created using the kit was real. Unsure of the answer, Boehr emailed his longtime graduate school friend and chemistry professor at HSU, Robert Zoellner.
“Maybe [the molecule] is real and we’ll find out,” Zoellner responded.
Upon further research, Zoellner discovered the particular molecule, tetrakis(nitratoxycarbon) methane, Lazen had created had never been discussed in literature and possibly had never been thought of before.
The significance of the molecule Lazen created is that it has the potential to store energy. The dense structure allows for stable energy storage meaning the molecule can be used to produce energy or as an explosive.
Lazen was excited to hear her discovery could be used as an explosive. “I thought, ‘Wow, it could go boom!’ I could put [the molecule] in a bomb and it could blow up something,” she said.
Lazen’s mother, Lori Schmidt was excited to hear that not only would her daughter be a co-author to the scientific article, but the discovery would be recognized in a scientific journal. “One only dreams as a parent,”