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Chemical and Physical Property Information: Try First

Chemical information resources useful for finding chemical and physical properties, as well as more specific resources dealing with spectral, thermodynamic, crystallographic, safety, and phase diagram information.

Searching for a compound

There are many ways you can describe a compound in order to search for it within a database.  Consider your options and what types of descriptions the particular database will accept.  If you get zero results, try another way before moving on to another resource.

Chemical name/synonyms
Common/trivial name
Molecular formula
Empirical formula
CAS Registry Number

For example, consider ethanol:

ethyl alcohol
ethyl hydroxide
CAS# 64-17-15

Start with these online resources

These resources collect information on the most commonly encountered compounds and their most basic properties. If you are not finding an entry under the first chemical name that you try, try another synonym for that same compound or in the case of some of the sources, draw the structure of the compound you are looking for.  Then try one of the more comprehensive sources (other tabs) or contact Jeremy (contact info on the right) if you are still having trouble finding the data you need.

And what about Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha?

Both Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha can be quick and easy to seach when it come to chemical and physical properties.  But before you use these resources, please consider the following when searching each source.

Subject Guide

Dave Zwicky's picture
Dave Zwicky
WTHR 310
M.G. Mellon Chemistry Library
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