Categories
Materials Chemistry

Sticky Science – The Chemistry of Superglue

Superglue is an incredibly useful invention, allowing us to repair all manner of objects. However, it nearly wasn’t invented at all! Here’s a quick look at the story of superglue, and, more importantly, the chemistry that allows it to do its job.

Categories
Organic Chemistry

A Basic Guide to Decoding Organic Compound Names

If you’ve ever looked on the back of a bottle of shampoo, or at that of a household cleaner, you’ve probably come across a list of organic compound names. To chemists, these are precise descriptions of the compounds, but to non-chemists, they can sometimes just look like some kind of indecipherable code. The aim of […]

Categories
Colourful Chemistry

The Chemistry of Permanent Hair Dyes

Today, hair dyes are widely used, either to cover up grey hairs, or simply by those wanting to change their natural hair colour. The chemistry behind how they change the colour of hair can actually get pretty complicated, but this graphic tries to boil it down to the key classes of chemicals involved, and an […]

Categories
Analytical Chemistry

Mass Spectrometry and Interpreting Mass Spectra

For the fourth in the analytical chemistry series, we turn to mass spectrometry. So far, we’ve looked at how chemists can determine the presence of particular bonds present in molecules with infrared spectroscopy, and how they can gain information about the structure of molecules using hydrogen and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance. Mass spectrometry allows us […]

Categories
Materials Chemistry

A Guide to Common Household Plastics

Plastic is everywhere in our day to day lives – but, of course, ‘plastic’ is just a catch-all term for a range of different chemical substances. This graphic takes a look at some of the more common plastics we encounter on a regular basis, and examines their chemical structures. Below, we’ll also talk a little about […]

Categories
Aroma Chemistry Biochemistry

The Chemical Compounds Behind the Smell of Flowers

With Valentine’s Day upcoming, part of your Valentine’s plan may well involve sending flowers. These come in an array of different colours, and also have a range of different scents. What are the chemical compounds behind these scents? That’s the question that this graphic tries to answer, with a more detailed discussion of each below.