1607, 2016
  • 07-16 – Trinity Nuclear Bomb Test

Today in Chemistry History – The Trinity Nuclear Bomb Test

July 16th, 2016|

Today marks 71 years since the first nuclear weapon detonation. Codenamed ‘Trinity’ it was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the Jornada Del Muerto desert in New Mexico. This graphic takes a brief look at the device itself, and also at trinitite, the pale green glass left behind as a remnant of the test.


2806, 2016
  • 06-28 – Emil Erlenmeyer's Birthday

Today in Chemistry History – Emil Erlenmeyer and the Erlenmeyer Flask

June 28th, 2016|

Whether you know it as an Erlenmeyer flask, conical flask, or by some other name, it’s a piece of glassware most of us, chemists or not, have likely used at some point. The Erlenmeyer flask is the most stereotypical piece of chemistry glassware there is, and today marks its creator’s birthday. Emil Erlenmeyer was born on 28 June in 1825; here we take a look at his eponymous flask, as well as some of his other achievements.


906, 2016
  • The Periodic Table - Element Name Origins

The Periodic Table of Elements: Element Name Origins

June 9th, 2016|

[Click here to view a larger version of this table]

With yesterday’s announcement of the proposed names for the periodic table’s four newest members, the periodic table of elements will soon have a completed seventh period. This graphic, featured in The Conversation, and produced in collaboration with Professor Mark Lorch of the University of Hull, takes a look at the origins of the names of all 118 elements!


205, 2016
  • Buckminsterfullerene

Sir Harry Kroto & Buckminsterfullerene

May 2nd, 2016|

Click to enlarge

Over the weekend, the news of Sir Harry Kroto’s passing filtered slowly through the internet. Perhaps the best summary of his life and achievements was already written by Kroto himself, so here we take a brief look at his most acclaimed discovery: that of the amusingly named form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene.


2704, 2016
  • 04-27 – Wallace Carothers' Birthday Nylon

Chemistry History – Carothers, Condensation Polymerisation, & Nylon

April 27th, 2016|

On this day in 1896, Wallace Carothers was born. Listed by C&EN magazine in their recent list of scientists who should have won a Nobel prize, we have Carothers to thank for nylon, which can be used in clothing, carpets, car parts and more. Here’s a quick look at the chemistry behind the discovery.


3103, 2016
  • 03-31 – Bunsen Burner Day

Chemistry History: Bunsen Burner Day

March 31st, 2016|

Click to enlarge

The Bunsen burner is one of the ubiquitous symbols of chemistry. Though it might be a rarer sight in university laboratories these days, due to some of the highly flammable substances used, they’re still very commonly found in school science classrooms, and for most of us probably bring back memories of school science lessons. As today is Bunsen Burner Day, this graphic takes a quick look at the burner’s anatomy, and we’ll discuss its history in a little more detail below.