chemistry in context

  • Hands holding the world
    Feature

    A healthy, wealthy, sustainable world

    1 September 2011

    ..won't happen without chemists. We need a new generation of young chemists to avoid becoming an undernourished, impoverished, unsustainable world.

  • The sun setting over the earth
    Feature

    Molybdenum and evolution

    1 September 2011

    Recent discoveries indicate that our atmosphere was not always oxygen rich - molybdenum could have been the limiting factor in the evolution of life on earth

  • The Barber Cup - a first century Roman vessel carved from a single piece of fluorspar (fluorite)
    Feature

    The discovery of fluorine

    1 September 2011

    The hazardous nature of hydrogen fluoride brought agony and death to investigators during early attempts to isolate fluorine

  • Biomimetric mimicking patterns
    Feature

    Biomimetics

    1 June 2011

    The next generation of functional materials will need to include aniostropic (directionally dependent) crystals. But how has nature been the source of inspiration for these?

  • Iodine
    Feature

    Discovering iodine

    1 June 2011

    From a chance discovery by a French saltpetre manufacturer, iodine celebrates 200 years of use in industry and medical science in 2011

  • FEATURE-catalyst-300
    Feature

    The evolution of catalytic converters

    1 June 2011

    From early smog problems to modern concerns about air pollution, catalysts pave the way in controlling the emissions from combustion engines

  • The Diamond Light Source site in Didcot, Oxfordshire
    Feature

    Diamond Light Source: illuminating chemistry

    1 May 2011

    Synchrotron light allows chemists to see within structures and individual atoms, without disrupting samples

  • Jascalevich (left) Shipman (middle) and Crippen (right)
    Feature

    Forensic science and the case of Dr Mario Jascalevich

    1 May 2011

    Forensic science is depicted in several television programmes as a near-perfect means of solving major crimes. In real life, forensics may sometimes point to guilt, but in the end be insufficient to prove it. This is the account of one such case

  • The genius of Van Gogh: Starry Night
    Feature

    Vincent van Gogh, chemistry and absinthe

    1 May 2011

    The consumption of absinthe was once banned due to its reputation as a mysterious psychoactive drink. What does it contain? Was it responsible for the death of Van Gogh?

  • William Roentgen, who discovered x-rays
    Feature

    Radium - a key element in early cancer treatment

    1 March 2011

    An early example of how blue skies research by Pierre and Marie Curie led to the treatment of previously incurable cancers