Chemistry in the News Materials Chemistry

The chemistry of the coronation crowns

As England celebrates the coronation of King Charles III this weekend, the crowns will be the centre of attention. Combined, the three crowns used in the ceremony contain almost 6,000 gemstones — this graphic takes a look at their chemical compositions.

Food Chemistry

National Tea Day: What causes the scum on tea?

Ever wondered why tea’s stimulant effect feels different to that of coffee? Or why sometimes, when you make a brew, thin scum forms on the tea’s surface? On National Tea Day, here’s a graphic to answer those questions and more!


Making molecular sandwiches: The history of ferrocene – in C&EN

This year marks 40 years since the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Geoffrey Wilkinson and Ernst Otto Fischer for their work on the determination of ferrocene’s structure and subsequent research on sandwich compounds. The latest edition of Periodic Graphics in C&EN looks at the history of ferrocene, other types of sandwich compounds, and some of their everyday applications.

Women in Chemistry

International Women’s Day: Twelve women from chemistry history – pt. 5

8 March is International Women’s Day, so here’s another edition in the Women in Chemistry History series. This graphic highlights another twelve women whose achievements in chemistry range from the development of vaccines and the production of antibiotics to the development of techniques for chemical analysis.

Biochemistry C&EN

Liquid assets: How mucus, tears and saliva protect us from infection – in C&EN

Snot, tears, and spit might sound unpleasant, but all three are an important part of our immune systems. In the latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical and Engineering News, we compare them and look at their components’ role in protecting us from infections. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.

Chemistry History

Today in Chemistry History: Ahmed Zewail and femtochemistry

On this day (26 February) in 1946, Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail was born. Zewail pioneered femtochemistry, the use of laser pulses to see the movement of individual atoms during chemical reactions. This graphic gives an overview of the ultrafast laser spectroscopy that makes this possible.