If you want beautiful fireworks bursting in the sky, you’re going to need to mine the Earth first. Here’s the geology of the minerals that give fireworks their vibrant colours.
An international team of researchers has shown that specially treated drops of oily chemicals can take on bizarre shapes and structures during the freezing process. These insights could allow us to create artificial structures with very life-like properties.
Do you like being able to drive in cars? Do you like the way World War I turned out? Do you not like Nazi collaboration? If your answer to all three questions is “yes,” then Eugene Houdry is your kind of guy.
When NASA hired chemist Barbara Askins to salvage the photos they were getting back from astronauts, they never expected she’d revolutionize how to restore details to underexposed photographs.
A group of scientists wanted to find the most effective mosquito repellents. So they tested 10 different substances, including campout standbys like DEET, as well as a random choice: Victoria’s Secret perfume Bombshell. Turns out the perfume is almost as good as DEET.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that includes a man’s (or woman’s) urine. Scientists have figured out how to transform your pee into tiny semiconducting nano crystals they’ve dubbed “quantum pee-dots.”
Conservators working at the University of Virginia’s Rotunda have inadvertently uncovered a chemical hearth designed by Thomas Jefferson. The discovery is offering fresh insights into how chemistry was taught over 200 years ago.
Get sick? Pop a pill. Feel sad? Pop a pill. Too excited? Pop a pill. Took too many pills? Pop a pill. Pills are the correct answers to most of life’s problems because chemistry is a hell of an art and the human body is easily unbalanced. But the inoffensive pill shape hides some gnarly things, just take a look at this…
This element is one of many first made at UC Berkeley in the 1950s. Unlike most manufactured elements, though, this one is actually useful. This is how it starts up nuclear reactions.
Walk into a high-end health food store these days, and you’re bound to find a shelf of pricey specialty honeys purporting to tickle your tastebuds with distinctive flavors. But isn’t it all just one big marketing ploy? Do they really taste that much different from standard honey? The science says yes.
You probably just flush your urine down the toilet, but some European alchemists used it in their experiments, and in the process made a scientific discovery that helped modernize the world.
Yesterday the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, and Paul Modrich for their work in mapping out how cells repair damaged DNA. Their research improved our understanding of how our own cells work and helped in the development of cancer treatments, but…
The Durian fruit is famous for being a botanical stink-monster. How does it put off such a rich array of offensiveness? We’ll tell you the results of a chemical analysis.
If engineers ever hope to build structures at the nanoscale, they’re going to need very, very tiny fingers. Or at least very tiny tools. By building a wrench that’s just 1.7 nanometers across, researchers from the University of Vermont have taken a critical step in that direction.
Pitchblende is a material that has helped scientists isolate plutonium, radium, and helium. Its major component, however, is uranium. And uranium reacts with acid. Dramatically.
Salt prints are one of the earliest photographic processes. The good news is you can still make them at home with a few chemicals. The bad news is they won’t be around for that long.
Dysprosium was discovered in 1886, through such an elaborate process that even a 19th century chemist thought it was over-the-top. And that technique wasn’t enough. It took another seventy years to get dysprosium on its own.
One of the major complaints among florists is what’s known as “daffodil itch.” Cut down too many daffodils and they will make you pay for it. And they’ll accomplish this by using the major component of kidney stones.