C&EN Nuclear Power

The science of fusion reactors – in C&EN

2022 was a significant year for nuclear fusion, touted as a future solution to our energy problems. First came the announcement, in February, that a record for power generation that has stood for 24 years had been surpassed. Then, in December, for the first time ever, more energy was output from a fusion reaction than […]

Colourful Chemistry General Chemistry

What links litmus paper and lichens?

Along with universal indicator, litmus paper is one of the most commonly encountered pH indicators in school chemistry lessons. Unlike the range of colours produced by the former, litmus is pink-red in acidic solutions and blue in alkaline solutions. This graphic highlights its complex origins in lichens and the chemical changes that account for its […]

Chemistry History General Chemistry

Today in Chemistry History: Søren Sørensen and the pH scale

On this day (9th January) in 1868, Danish chemist Søren Sørensen was born. He’s best known for developing the pH scale, which we’ve likely all encountered, to measure the acidity or alkalinity of solutions. This graphic gives a brief overview of the pH scale and what it means.

Chemistry in the News Year in Review

The year in chemistry: 2022’s biggest chemistry stories

For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, COVID’s domination of the science news cycle waned in 2022. The focus increasingly shifted to the longer-term crisis we face: that of climate change and taking steps to make components of our modern lives more sustainable. This graphic summarises some of the key chemistry news […]

Materials Chemistry

The chemistry of a football shirt – World Cup 2022 final

With the World Cup final taking place over the coming weekend, here’s an updated graphic on the chemistry of a football shirt, looking at the different polymer materials that are used in their manufacture.

Chemical Reactions General Chemistry

A short guide to different arrows in chemistry

What do the various different arrows used by chemists all mean? That’s the question this short summary graphic aims to answer, by highlighting the most common arrows encountered in chemistry lessons and textbooks and giving a brief explanation of their use with examples.