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It may seem strange, but the modern form of the internet is under twenty years old. There is a lot of information available on the web, but one thing you must remember: No one checks to assure that the content of every web site is truthful. So it is wise to be cautious and take things with a grain of salt, especially if the information is from a source you've never heard of before. There is a lot of very good information on the web, much of it available from extremely reputable sources, but anyone can put up their own web site and declare that they are an "expert."

There are quite a few different Internet Search Engines available. The number of search engines varies at least monthly, and competition between them is fierce. Many of these are free, or give free limited number of hits to acquaint people with their services. Each one of these services claims to be the most comprehensive on the net. However, if you try a search on a particular subject, one service may list 30 hits, another two, another none. It's hard to tell what they mean by comprehensive. A list of some of those supplying free services are given below:

The list above is by no means a comprehensive list, just a list of the most popular search engines current today (3/11/08). There are many other search engines, often based on a single subject area.

Another useful online service is WhoWhere? ( is a directory of e-mail and homepage addresses. However, it is far from complete since it does not index the net, it is a voluntary sign up of people who wish their e-mail and home page addresses published. The URL is

Prior to using any search engine, read the syntax required for your search. Different search engines have different syntaxes.

One of the most efficient ways to search the internet is to use what is called a meta-search engine. A meta-search engine searches its own database as well as the databases of other search engines. A very good meta-search engine is Dogpile ( which can search the data bases of Alta Vista, Direct Hit, Dogpile Open Directory, Dogpile Web Catalog, Google, GoTo, Infoseek, Looksmart, Lycos, Real Names, and Yahoo (the search engines used vary over time, as voted on by the users of Dogpile). Note that not all search engines are covered (however, there are portions as to which should be included). The users of Dogpile vote as to which search engines should be included at various periods.

One other useful piece of information is that if you need a dictionary quickly, one is available at Merriam Webster also provides an online dictionary and thesaurus at which is very useful.


  1. For at least 5 different search engines list the number of hits for "chromocene".

  2. Return internet addresses (http://.....) for any hits you can get for "poly(methylaluminoxane), and tell what search engine they were obtained from.

  3. Find and return a copy of the MSDS for N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine (also known as N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-1,2-diaminoethane or N,N,N',N'-tetramethyl-1,2-ethanediamine).

  4. Find articles/info on the net about "copper phthalocyanine" and return the internet addresses. Make sure the articles/info really are about copper phthalocyanine!! What is the most common use for copper phthalocyanine?

  5. Using the internet, for "copper (I) chloride" find an MSDS (print it out & return it) and at least one industrial use for copper (I) chloride (provide at least the use and the internet address).