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 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.

C&EN Space Chemistry

What fuels help rockets into space? — in C&EN

Rockets require a huge amount of energy to launch into orbit. In the latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical & Engineering News we look at the different types of fuels used to get rockets off the ground and how spacecraft continue to propel themselves in space. Click through to the C&EN site to view […]


The Mohs Hardness Scale: Comparing the hardness of minerals

Diamond is commonly known to be the hardest material, but how do other minerals compare with each other? That’s the question the Mohs hardness scale, introduced by Friedrich Mohs in 1812, aims to answer. This graphic looks at his scale and where different minerals and other substances appear on it.