#1
As my chemistry knowledge from high school is a bit rusty, I thought I'll ask my fellow Pit monkeys

I want to detect cigarette smoke using a solid. Does anyone know of a solid that reacts visible (by discoloring) upon contact with the smoke? Like a chemical reaction with the ammonia gas, butane, toluene or carbon monoxide?

Thanks
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#2
Best way to detect cigarette smoke is by using passive-aggressive nonsmokers. It's widely documented that they start coughing pointedly in the presence of cigarette smoke, and can therefore be used as a reliable detector. You can also determine the air-to-smoke ratio of the environment based on the frequency and the level of exaggeration of their coughs.
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#3
Quote by entity0009
Best way to detect cigarette smoke is by using passive-aggressive nonsmokers. It's widely documented that they start coughing pointedly in the presence of cigarette smoke, and can therefore be used as a reliable detector. You can also determine the air-to-smoke ratio of the environment based on the frequency and the level of exaggeration of their coughs.

Quote by slapsymcdougal
You can tell if it's eager, because you put your hand down her pants and it feels like a horse eating oats.

Nicest compliment on my looks:
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Putting the 'sex' in 'convicted sex offender'.
#5
Quote by entity0009
Best way to detect cigarette smoke is by using passive-aggressive nonsmokers. It's widely documented that they start coughing pointedly in the presence of cigarette smoke, and can therefore be used as a reliable detector. You can also determine the air-to-smoke ratio of the environment based on the frequency and the level of exaggeration of their coughs.

heh
A poem.
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#6
this is a hard ****ing question, and it seems like if there was a common solid around that could do that, we would've all known about it by now. One of the problems I expect is that most of the stuff in cigarette smoke is not concentrated enough to have a noticeable reaction with the solid you might choose.

there's a science help thread around here somewhere.

Also, I feel like whatever solid you find will react with the atmosphere before you can get it to react with whatever is in the cigarette smoke. I mean, just getting a solid to react with a gas in the first place would be impressive.
#7
No idea brah, I think most smoke detectors work by measuring the amount of light or radiation absorbed by the smoke as it enters the detector. I remember one of the lab assistants talking about one type that works via some reversible reaction but I couldn't tell you what it is or if it's visible.

Maybe check some Wiki pages on smoke detectors, I personally can't be arsed right now.

Quote by entity0009
Best way to detect cigarette smoke is by using passive-aggressive nonsmokers. It's widely documented that they start coughing pointedly in the presence of cigarette smoke, and can therefore be used as a reliable detector. You can also determine the air-to-smoke ratio of the environment based on the frequency and the level of exaggeration of their coughs.

This is correct.
#8
Quote by icanhasgodmode
As my chemistry knowledge from high school is a bit rusty, I thought I'll ask my fellow Pit monkeys

I want to detect cigarette smoke using a solid. Does anyone know of a solid that reacts visible (by discoloring) upon contact with the smoke? Like a chemical reaction with the ammonia gas, butane, toluene or carbon monoxide?

Thanks

Some carbon monoxide detectors work this way.

Whether or not they'd work with the tiny quantities you'd get from fag smoke is questionable, though.

Why exactly do you want to detect it, anyway?
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#9
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Why exactly do you want to detect it, anyway?

Smoke detector patches.
Quote by slapsymcdougal
You can tell if it's eager, because you put your hand down her pants and it feels like a horse eating oats.

Nicest compliment on my looks:
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Putting the 'sex' in 'convicted sex offender'.
#10
the best thing you could get is something similar to hemoglobin, i imagine. when it has oxygen bound, it's bright red, but it preferentially binds carbon monoxide, turning it into a darker colour.
#11
Modern smoke detectors use light absorption/transmission, rather than actual chemical reactions, to detect smoke. The reason for this is simple: chemical reactions require new chemicals, constantly. All the physical detectors proposed only work based on chemical reactions, and are not practical (or wouldn't work... hemoglobin?).

Detecting cigarette smoke, in contrast to regular smoke, is difficult. Since most smoke detectors use light absorption, cigarette smoke is not all that different from "regular" smoke in that context. Cigarette smoke contains several thousand chemicals, as well, so finding one chemical reaction that will definitively identify cigarette smoke is almost impossible. Carbon monoxide is in lots of smoke, not just cigarette smoke, for example. Furthermore, a lot of those chemicals are in trace concentrations, so I'm not sure if a lot of them could use physical indicators for reliable detection.

I did read about some polymer film-based detector that detected organic compounds found in cig and weed smoke that was different from conventional smoke. Smoke usually contains organic compounds, too, so something of this level requires some pretty complicated chemistry work.

That being said, I have no idea what I'm talking about.
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#13
Have you tried using a functioning human lung?

Quote by Snowman388
Modern smoke detectors use light absorption/transmission, rather than actual chemical reactions, to detect smoke. The reason for this is simple: chemical reactions require new chemicals, constantly. All the physical detectors proposed only work based on chemical reactions, and are not practical (or wouldn't work... hemoglobin?).

I think ionizing/radiation detectors are still fairly common due to the fact that they are better at detecting fires in different stages (clear smoke) than photoelectric ones.
Last edited by ultimate-slash at Jul 8, 2015,
#14
Quote by ultimate-slash
Have you tried using a functioning human lung?


damn, you beat me to it.

#15
You could ask the cigarette smoke to do you a solid by revealing itself
How do you make a signature? Is this a signature? Sig?.... Nature?..... Sigmund Freud?...... Nature Valley?.... Sigmund Fraud?..... Frankie Valli?.... ah, $!*@ it...