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Why Lithium-Ion Batteries Catch Fire

In this month’s Periodic Graphics in C&EN, we’re looking at the chemistry behind the recent news stories of lithium-ion batteries in some devices catching fire. You can see the full graphic over on the C&EN site. Also, for more lithium battery chemistry, head over to the recent RealTimeChem ... more

A Guide to Acids, Acid Strength, and Concentration

Even if you’re not a chemist, you’ll doubtless remember learning about acids back in school. They’re routinely described as strong or weak, concentrated or dilute. But what’s the difference between a strong acid and a concentrated acid? Explaining that is a little trickier than it sounds; i ... more

Capturing Neon in a Metal-Organic Framework

Here’s the latest graphic from Chemunicate (the Compound Interest side project that works with chemistry researchers and institutions to highlight their research in graphical form). This graphic is a collaboration with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) and looks at their rec ... more

Chemistry History

On this day in 1896, Wallace Carothers was born. Listed by C&EN magazine in their recent list of scientists who should have won a Nobel prize, we have Carothers to thank for nylon, which can be used in clothing, carpets, car parts and more. Here’s a quick look at the chemistry behind the di ... more

The Trinity Nuclear Bomb Test

Today marks 71 years since the first nuclear weapon detonation. Codenamed ‘Trinity’ it was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the Jornada Del Muerto desert in New Mexico. This graphic takes a brief look at the device itself, and also at trinitite, the pale green glass left behind as a remnant o ... more

Ernest Rutherford’s Birthday

Today, 30 August, marks the birthday of Ernest Rutherford. Rutherford is primarily considered a physicist, but his contribution to our understanding of the atom is also important to chemistry. He was also a chemistry Nobel Prize winner, for his work on radioactivity. This graphic looks in d ... more

John Dalton’s Birthday and His Chemical Symbols

Two hundred and fifty years ago today, John Dalton was born in the small town of Eaglesfield, Cumbria, in England. Though his background was entirely unassuming, he would go on to take pioneering steps in developing our ideas about elements and atoms, as well as making the first attempt at ... more

Chemical Reactions Posters

Recently, some of my classes have been revising types of chemical reactions, which inevitably set me thinking about how to represent them visually in an easy to understand way. These are the first few posters I’ve come up with – each has a large icon representative of the reaction type, as ... more

Chemical Reactions Posters II

Here’s the second part of the Chemical Reactions posters, this time featuring condensation, hydrolysis, displacement, oxidation, and reduction reactions. Click the image above to enlarge and read the text. more

Lead Iodide & ‘Golden Rain’

Kicking off an occasional new series of graphics with today’s post, which’ll be looking at common chemical reactions encountered in schools. Today kicks off with one of my favourite reactions, the ‘Golden Rain’ demonstration, which involves the synthesis and recrystallisation of lead (II) i ... more

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