Categories
Atmospheric Chemistry

The science of thunderstorms – thunder, lightning, and chemical reactions

Here in the UK, a completely un-British heatwave finally came to a thundery end last weekend. Having already looked at the chemistry behind the smell of rain, here’s a look at some of the science behind thunderstorms. How does lightning happen, what gives it its blue-violet tinge, and what does it have to do with […]

Categories
Geochemistry

Volcanic eruptions: the chemistry of lava and volcanic gases

Volcanic eruptions can be unpredictable and destructive. In the latest edition of Periodic Graphics in Chemical and Engineering News, we investigate the types of lava produced in volcanoes and the gases ejected during eruptions. Click here to view the full graphic on the C&EN site.

Categories
Chemistry History Women in Chemistry

International Women’s Day: Twelve Women from Chemistry History – pt. 1

March 8 is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, here’s a graphic which takes a quick look at a selection of pioneering female chemists! Click the above image to enlarge and learn more about each of the chemists featured, or download the PDF poster below.

Categories
Inorganic Chemistry Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of Matches

After fielding questions from students about what chemicals are in matches this week, it seemed like a good topic for a post looking at the question in more detail. When using matches on a day-to-day basis, you probably don’t think much of the chemical composition, or the reactions that are being set off; this graphic takes […]