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Materials Chemistry

The Composition of the Rio Olympics Medals

If you’ve been watching the Olympics, you might have assumed that the medals given out are, as advertised, made of gold, silver, and bronze. Due to metal values, however, the reality is slightly more complicated. Giving out pure gold medals would be financially crippling for the International Olympic Committee, so unsurprisingly some compromises are involved. […]

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C&EN Materials Chemistry

The Compositions of U.S. Coins – in C&EN

In this month’s Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News magazine, we’re looking at the compositions of U.S. coins, as well as some of their quirky history. Click through to the C&EN site to view the full graphic. For our UK followers, there’s also an older graphic on UK coin compositions here!

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Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of a Football Shirt – Euro 2016 Edition

With Euro 2016 in full swing, it seemed a good time to update this look at the chemicals that make up your average football shirt. Even if the tournament isn’t the kind of event to fill you with excitement, it’s still intriguing from a chemistry perspective to examine the different chemical materials used and the properties that […]

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Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of the Euro 2016 Football

This year’s European Championships are now well under way in France, and there’s already been some great football on show. It might surprise you to learn that some chemistry has also been taking centre-stage! The Euro 2016 ball is a triumph of materials science, and in this post we take a look at some of the […]

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C&EN Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of Sunglasses – in C&EN

Summer’s fast approaching in the northern hemisphere, and after the surprising early arrival of summer-like weather in the UK this past weekend, it seems an appropriate time to be taking a look at the chemistry of sunglasses. What are they made of, how do they protect your eyes, and how do photochromic sunglasses work? Click through […]

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C&EN Materials Chemistry

Repelling April Showers: The Chemistry of Water Repellents – in C&EN

This month’s instalment of Periodic Graphics in the American Chemical Society’s C&EN magazine takes a look at how chemistry can help repel water from surfaces as April showers approach. You can see the full graphic on the C&EN site.