Pegging for chemistry

Hey guy, I recently had a chemistry test (inorganic to be specific),where I had to memorise lots of equations, names and formulas of many chemical compounds,it was when I found it to be difficult to create compounds into imagery since two elements have similar symbols, like I always had confusion btw Cu,C,Ca,Co etc.

Flashcards were effective but now I want to try the memory palace.

So I am thinking about creating a peg list for all different elements, groups like NO3,SO4 etc. What do you guys think about it?please let me know.

Also has anyone ever tried something like this before?

1 Like

I have done this before and had very unique images for different compounds and functional groups.
N2 for me was green SO4 was yellow and brittle, NH2 was brown green NH3 more brown and less green. H2SO4 was very light brown and bubbly. COOH Was lava alike. Aromatic compounds were a black small medicine ball for me with red highlights on the double bonds+ any extra.

Visualizing the interactions even got the conversions to get to this. It was very good for remembering things but on the other hand I learned these associations before I actually learned more of the chemistry. Seeing the actual compounds which are very different to the visualizations may be a bit odd.

Oxygen was white for me so I mixed it up in the 3d models where oxygen is red and hydrogen is white for example. It would likely be good to make some considerations to keep the properties of the actual elements and compounds as you make the images.

Besides this, your memory of interactions and compounds is definitely better after doing this. I could remember more complicated structural formula after looking at them once whereas others would spend their time making flash cards on parts of the structural formula and learn them over the entire day.

2 Likes

Here’s a link to visual mnemonics for individual elements. Hover over an element to see the mnemonic:

https://rsc.li/2kkB3nh

Maybe it would be possible to use mnemonics for each individual letter of an element’s symbol. An old blog by @Josh has mnemonics for letters of the alphabet here:

There’s a phonetic system here:

https://www.academictips.org/memory/alphabet.html

2 Likes

You could use braille for that and use your existing 00-99 images:

3 Likes

Sounds interesting,

So how did you used these methods to study chemical reactions and equations?, since one reaction includes interaction between 2 reactants with catalyst and the created products and byproducts. To activate method of loci One has to first create images out of these.

Example:- To memorise that the formula of siderite is FeCo3, I imagine a tray of meal having French fries and cola as side dishes.

further I expand it thinking a pirate came and picked up the French fries thinking it as gold but found it useless and threw it to the sea, Which gave Iron pyrite that is FeS.

The only thing is that there are so many such facts and further mor complicated reactions, so I am thinking of pegging for it or creating a PAO list. Let me know others think about this.

1 Like

Surprisingly the chemical reactions actually added up. That is my images which were very much different gave the product image which was very much different. Equations would have a few of those images then, so would chemical reactions and I made more pegs as I went along. Combining this with a memory palace meant that increasing quantity wasn’t more difficult to deal with.

Reading your example I did make more of a peg list, simply because I can reuse it. Rather than describing every equation/formula as you would with abstract words. A lot of chemicals are common; I may also have pegs for metals and otherwise to help me keep track of general things. So I think this is a good idea.

1 Like

Have you ever tried any such thing for organic chemistry?
Because remembering the base reactions and catalysts are quite difficult since there are lots and lots of them.

2 Likes

I have, but overall this just decreases the load rather than serving as making it entirely non-existent. I have met so much reuse and rapid encoding that the quantity wasn’t much of an issue. I am also rather used to learning a large volume so my opinion of what is a lot may be a bit harsh.

2 Likes

Alright I will try it then. I will upload my peg list or PAO after its complete.

3 Likes