Today marks the date of birth of Stephanie Kwolek, the US chemist who discovered the widely used polymer Kevlar. She also developed the nylon rope trick, in which nylon can be produced in a beaker at room temperature – a demonstration which is still used in classrooms today. In addition to this she is the […]
Rosalind Franklin was born on this day in 1920. Her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were key; she took photos of DNA’s structure using X-ray crystallography, and it was these photos which informed the work of Watson and Crick’s model of DNA’s structure. Sadly her contributions were not fully recognised until […]
March 8 is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, here’s a graphic which takes a quick look at a selection of pioneering female chemists! Click the above image to enlarge and learn more about each of the chemists featured, or download the PDF poster below.
Today, February 28, marks the birthday of Linus Pauling. For chemists Pauling likely needs no introduction; he’s famed for his work on the nature of chemical bonds and also on the structures of biological molecules. Here we take a brief look at one aspect of his work to which he lent his name: the Pauling electronegativity […]
All matter is made up of atoms. This is something we now take as a given, and one of the things you learn right back at the beginning of high school or secondary school chemistry classes. Despite this, our ideas about what an atom is are surprisingly recent: as little as one hundred years ago, scientists […]
Two hundred and fifty years ago today, John Dalton was born in the small town of Eaglesfield, Cumbria, in England. Though his background was entirely unassuming, he would go on to take pioneering steps in developing our ideas about elements and atoms, as well as making the first attempt at devising a symbol-based nomenclature for […]