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Miscellaneous Graphics

The Shapes of Snowflakes

In the Northern Hemisphere at least, the idealised vision of Christmas involves snow. Whilst no one snowflake is exactly the same as another, at least on a molecular level, scientists have none-the-less devised a system of classification for the many types of crystals that snow can form. This graphic shows the shapes and names of […]

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Food Chemistry

The Chemistry of Brussels Sprouts: Bitterness & Genetics

There’s one vegetable at the Christmas dinner table that’s always bound to elicit strong and contrary opinions: brussels sprouts. Much like marmite, they seem to conjure up a ‘love it or hate it’ sentiment; however, if you fall into the latter camp, there may actually be a chemical and genetic reason why you can’t stand […]

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Christmas Chemistry Colourful Chemistry

The Chemistry of Poinsettia Plants

Following on from the start of the Chemistry Advent Calendar yesterday, here’s another festive post, this time looking at the chemistry of the poinsettia plant. The red leaves of the poinsettia plant can be used to make a pH indicator, due to their chemical composition; this is actually something of an upgrade on one of the […]

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Christmas Chemistry

Christmas Cracker Chemistry

Chances are you’ll be making use of christmas crackers over the holiday period. Chances also are that you’ve never really given a lot of thought to the chemical compounds contained therein, or the chemical reaction that makes christmas crackers go bang. Well, allow me to elaborate. Christmas crackers owe their crack to a compound called […]