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Physical Chemistry

Reversible Reactions, Equilibrium, and Le Châtelier’s Principle

When you think of chemical reactions, you might think of them as irreversible, permanently changing one substance into another. While this is true in some cases, some chemical reactions are reversible, and we can take the products of the reaction and turn them back into the reactants. These reversible reactions can, under certain conditions, reach what […]

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Chemunicate Physical Chemistry

The Secrets of the Coke and Mentos Fountain

It’s one of the most popular science demonstrations: Pop a handful of Mentos candies into a bottle of Coke, and a fountain of bubbles rapidly spurts from the open bottle, often over a metre into the air. Originally the explanation for the effect was thought to be quite simple. However, scientists are finding that there’s more […]

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Chemistry History Physical Chemistry

Today in Chemistry History – Ernest Rutherford’s Birthday

Today, 30 August, marks the birthday of Ernest Rutherford. Rutherford is primarily considered a physicist, but his contribution to our understanding of the atom is also important to chemistry. He was also a chemistry Nobel Prize winner, for his work on radioactivity. This graphic looks in detail at one of his most famous experiments, the […]

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Physical Chemistry

30 Years Since Chernobyl – How Nuclear Reactors Work

Early in the morning on 26 April 1986, a safety system test at the Chernobyl power plant in Pripyat, now part of Northern Ukraine, ended in a nuclear disaster with catastrophic consequences for both those working at the plant and those living in the surrounding area. The narrative seems to be a classic cautionary tale […]

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Physical Chemistry

What Temperature Does Water Boil At? Boiling Point & Elevation

Water always boils at 100˚C, right? Wrong! Though it’s one of the basic facts you probably learnt pretty early on back in school science lessons, your elevation relative to sea level can affect the temperature at which water boils, due to differences in air pressure. Here, we take a look at the boiling points of […]

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Physical Chemistry

Making Reactions Faster: Factors Affecting Rates of Reaction

How different factors can affect how quickly a reaction happens is a common topic in the chemistry curriculum. This graphic serves as a convenient summary for teachers and students alike of what these different factors are, and how and why they affect the rate of a reaction. However, it’s not only of interest to those […]