Svante Arrhenius was born on this day (19 February) in 1859. He’s famous for his eponymous equation and for suggesting in 1896 that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere might affect the Earth’s climate. He also clarified our understanding of solution chemistry and acids and bases.
Why do snowflakes have six sides? Why does ice float on water? Is every snowflake unique? This month’s edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News looks at the answers to these questions and more! Click here to view the full graphic.
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 we call ‘equilibrium’. Equilibrium can be a tricky concept to understand, but this graphic tries to make it a little clearer.
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 to this spectacular demonstration than meets the eye.
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 gold foil experiment which is often name-dropped in school science lessons!