Today when I walked past Clark hall (the physics building) in order to get to my lab, the entire building was closed (alarms blaring, doors closed, guards in neon vests preventing people from entering).
Later I heard a rumor that the building was closed because someone blew up a bunch of nitrogen benzoate. Which is clearly false because nitrogen benzoate is not a real compound. Therefore, I immediately texted my AEP friend who works in Clark in order to get the real facts.
What resulted was this text exchange:
Me: What did they blow up in Clark that made them close the bldg? Someone told me nitrogen benzoate, but that’s not a real compound.
Kyle: :P Nitrobenzene. This is totally killing my productivity. All my stuff is in clark x_x
Kyle: Er well they didn’t blow it up. Someone just knocked over a bottle…
Me: Lame. Physicists are n00bs. A chemist would just lick it off the floor/bench. And then get cancer and die.
Kyle: LOL. Next time I spill something, I will call you and you will come over and lick it.
So yeah…. I was joking – clearly – because (according to Wikipedia) nitrobenzene is actually a dangerous compound that I wouldn’t lick (although the standard response probably would have just been to wipe up the spill with a paper towel and keep working). And that’s the difference between chemists and physicists.