You may be familiar with the project for questions with tons of views, but no answers. This is a bit different. Here, we are celebrating the unsung heroes: questions that have garnered some love on-site with plenty of upvotes but have not been answered.

There are the types of questions that might pique your interest in an area of chemistry you're not terribly familiar with or perhaps are just cool. They're likely all worth checking out.

Some of these questions may have answers, but these answers have negative votes. Only questions with upvotes will be removed from the list. Please take a look at the list and answer where you can, polish the question, upvote that which is worthy, and push some of these questions on their path to obtaining some great answers.

How you can help:

  1. Answer some of these questions!
  2. Edit questions to make them more polished.
  3. Start a bounty on some of the more interesting questions.
  4. Support askers and answerers with upvotes where deserved. If you take a look at the edits made to this question, you can find questions that have been answered by the lovely members of the community.

I modified a query to fit Chem.SE to give us unanswered questions (that are open) and have a high number of upvotes.

Below are the Top* 20 most-loved yet unanswered questions. Why twenty? I feel that more variety in the questions shown here increases the chance they'll get answers.

Hit the 'ole star button on this meta post to get notified of updates.

Our unsung heroes:

  1. Why does the reaction of sodium nitrate, aluminium, and sodium hydroxide yield ammonia?
  2. Why is the +3 oxidation state of Cerium more stable than +4?
  3. How to determine the iron content in spinach from a titration with permanganate solution?
  4. At what temperature does charcoal burn?
  5. In rovibrational spectra, when exactly is the Q branch forbidden?
  6. How is NaBH4 able to reduce tertiary alkyl halides to alkane but LiAlH4 create an alkene?
  7. Is there a difference between hydrated oxides and hydroxides?
  8. Which is the correct mechanism for the ozonolysis of an alkyne?
  9. Inter electronic repulsion in s and d orbitals
  10. Why is o-fluorophenol a stronger acid than p-fluorophenol?
  11. Is hydronium an electrophile, nucleophile, both or neither?
  12. Warning during geometry optimization via Gaussian
  13. What are the limitations of the Born-Lande' equation?
  14. How to dissolve slime jelly?
  15. How to compare the oxidizing power of perhalate ions
  16. How to calculate transition dipole moment from two known wavefunctions
  17. Why is the N-N bond length greater in dinitrogen trioxide than in dinitrogen tetroxide?
  18. Do Cyclohexane-1,3-diones Give Positive Haloform Reactions?
  19. Does heating potato starch destroy its resistant starch?
  20. SN1 reactivity order for chloromethyl methyl ether and trityl chloride

I will update the above list periodically.

Please comment with any objections to the posted questions and I'll find another to replace them.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Esp. Question 15 is a very good question! What an unsung hero 8-) $\endgroup$ May 16, 2019 at 8:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Question #7 seems to merit removal from the list. This was (is) a great idea btw. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Oct 18, 2022 at 6:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn Consider it done. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2022 at 19:36


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