1012, 2014
  • Shapes of Snowflakes

The Shapes of Snowflakes

By |December 10th, 2014|

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In the Northern Hemisphere at least, the idealised vision of Christmas involves snow. Whilst no one snowflake is exactly the same as another, at least on a molecular level, scientists have none-the-less devised a system of classification for the many types of crystals that snow can form. This graphic shows the shapes and names of some of the groups of this classification.


409, 2014
  • Xylitol Gum & Tooth Decay

How Can Xylitol Gum Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

By |September 4th, 2014|

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Tooth decay, also commonly referred to as dental caries, is the result of acidic conditions in the mouth, due to bacterial activity. These conditions lead to the outer layers of the teeth slowly being dissolved, which can eventually lead to holes in the teeth (cavities) in serious cases. To combat this, xylitol gum has been suggested as a potential preventative measure – but is this backed up by scientific research?


1108, 2014
  • Chemical Shark Repellents

Shark Week Special: A Brief History of Chemical Shark Repellents

By |August 11th, 2014|

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The human fear of sharks is an age old one. Even though your odds of being killed by a shark are estimated to be approximately 1 in 3.7 million, versus a 1 in 218 chance of simply dying from a fall, the fear persists, and over the years many chemists have turned their attentions to trying to find an effective chemical shark repellent – with somewhat mixed results.


2707, 2014
  • Lethal Doses Chemicals Chemistry

Lethal Doses of Water, Caffeine and Alcohol

By |July 27th, 2014|

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Today’s graphic is a whimsical look at lethal doses of chemicals we consume on a regular basis. Whilst it may be more common to view chemicals in a black and white framing of ‘toxic’ or ‘non-toxic’, the reality is more of a sliding scale of toxicity. The admission of too much of any chemical into the body can cause toxic effects, and even death – the only variant from chemical to chemical is how much is ‘too much’. For some chemicals, the amount will be very low, whilst for others, it may be almost impossibly high.


2507, 2014
  • The Atmospheric Compositions of the Solar System

The Atmospheres of the Solar System

By |July 25th, 2014|

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We’re heading out of this world for today’s post, to examine the atmospheric compositions of the other planets in the solar system, as well as our own. Practically every other planet in our solar system can be considered to have an atmosphere, apart from perhaps the extremely thin, transient atmosphere of Mercury, with the compositions varying from planet to planet. Different conditions on different planets can also give rise to particular effects.


207, 2014
  • Chemistry of Gunpowder v3

The Chemistry of Gunpowder

By |July 2nd, 2014|

With the Fourth of July and American Independence Day on the horizon, a somehow topical post seemed in order. Having already examined the chemical compounds that give fireworks their colours in a previous graphic, I decided to examine another important firework component here: the first chemical explosive, gunpowder, also commonly referred to as black powder.


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