Ever wonder how chemistry is related to the news you read or hear around you? Here, we provide a sample of recent news topics and how they are connected to high school chemistry.
A New Way of Detecting Landmines
Scientists have developed a new way of detecting landmines that could replace either dogs or metal detectors and that promises to be less costly and as reliable as current techniques.
A New Pigment Comes out of the Blue
Scientists have patented a blue pigment that is environmentally friendly and non-toxic. This is good news, because many blue pigments are toxic or cause cancer.
Cars may soon be equipped with the world’s first “green” tires made from plant byproducts rather than petroleum or rubber trees—the traditional raw materials used to make tires. This new type of tire would be produced by microbes that convert sugar into rubber.
Dawn, a spacecraft that will explore two large asteroids, is powered by an innovative ion propulsion engine. This type of engine is so efficient that it can thrust off and on for five years, gradually adding velocity.
Ten atomic elements are undergoing a change that will be listed on new periodic tables. Their atomic weights will be posted as intervals instead of a single value, a change that will be critical to calculations in scientific research and for industrial applications.
Credit: Peggy Greb, U.S. Department of
Inside your cell phone, laptop, and iPod is a small bit of what chemists call “rare earth metals.” They are not particularly rare, but the places where they occur have many people worried about a continual supply to keep our electronics running.
What if you tried a chemical experiment and it failed? Would you do it over? What if it failed 1,200 times? Most of us would give up way before that! But Tobias Ritter, a chemistry professor and researcher at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., kept experimenting.
The periodic table is expanding! Two elements, first discovered in 1998 and 2000, have been recognized by an international committee of chemists. The discovery of elements 114 and 116 is now official!
Do you wish your laptop would start faster? That you could switch it on and, one second later, it would be ready? Or that you could record and watch entire movies on your mobile phone? These scenarios may be possible in the near future thanks to a new type of memory chip called phase-change memory.