Livermorium - the smelliest element

The element Livermorium (element 116, named after Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) was created in 2000. It's in the same column of the periodic table as sulfur and it is speculated that it might be the smelliest of all elements, but since it has a half life of "tens of milliseconds," no one has been able to make the hydrogen compound of it and given it a proper sniff. Also, it's radioactive. Read the rest

Drinking heavy water

Deuterium is a hydrogen atom with a neutron in it. Heavy water is made from molecules of two deuterium atoms and one oxygen atom. Because of the extra neutrons, it weighs about 10% more than regular water. In this video, Cody of Cody's Lab taste tests heavy water. Interestingly, it's sweet. Read the rest

Chemical reactions with macro photography

The trippy and magical world of chemistry is beautifully brought to life in Chemical Poetry, a macrophotographic contemplation of chemistry in extreme closeup. Read the rest

Atomic Chemistry Set - cool Kickstarter project

The Atomic Chemistry Set is a "modern chemistry set - 47 chemicals, glassware, lab apparatus, and insane chemical reactions." It looks great! Read the rest

Watch the bang as man skips sodium across river

A favorite demonstration in high school science classes of yesteryear, dropping sodium into water is spectacularly explosive. In this video, a fellow attempts to skip a pound of sodium across a river.

Read the rest

Lest we forget the corrosive strength of sulfuric acid

Ancient alchemists referred to H2SO4 as "oil of vitriol."

Read the rest

Chemistry labels for your crayons

Queinteresante's chemistry-themed crayon labels come in sets of 24 for $3, or $8 for 64, or go big with 120 for $15! Read the rest

Victoria's Secret's "floral, fruity" perfume almost matches DEET as a mosquito repellent

Floral/fruity scents have long been characterized as attractive to mosquitoes, so it's natural that New Mexico State’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab researcher Stacy Rodriguez tested a floral/fruity perfume against DEET in a lab trial. Read the rest

How pee brought us the modern world

Urine is golden so it must have some link to gold, thought medieval alchemists seeking to devise methods to transmute base metal into gold.

Not quite, but they did discover that pee is rich with the miraculous bearer of light, aka phosphorus. (American Chemical Society)

Read the rest

Chunk of gallium melts in your hand

A cool addition to my growing cabinet of curiosities.

Nitrogen triiodide: "So volatile that a mosquito landing on it will make it explode"

The Royal Institution posted this demonstration of an explosively unstable substance called nitrogen triiodide. I love the purple smoke it makes.

Nitrogen triiodide is so unstable that even something like a mosquito landing on it can set it off. Three iodine atoms cluster around one side of a nitrogen atom. Being crowded around one end causes something called bond strain as the atoms repel each other in a small space. The result is that the molecule is prone to falling apart, explosively.

[via] Read the rest

Cold-brew chocolate: advanced topics

Ever since I blew my mind by cold-brewing ground cacao nibs, I've been experimenting with the process, and have discovered some amazing variations on the formula. Read the rest

What happens when you dip a light bulb in hydrofluoric acid?

"Hydrofluoric acid is probably the most feared chemical compound that there is," says Sir Martyn Poliakoff, a chemistry professor at the University if Nottingham. "The reason it's so feared is that it is very corrosive. It will burn through human skin, even quite a small exposure on your skin can cause a heart attack."

Hydrofluoric acid will also burn through glass. Naturally, the first thing you should do once you obtain some is immerse a lit incandescent bulb into a beaker of it. Read the rest

WATCH: Sugar in liquid nitrogen glows when exposed to UV light

Mikhail Svarichevsky demonstrates an interesting phenomenon: supercooled sugarcubes briefly glow green when exposed to UV light. Don't tell Insane Clown Posse about this baffling miracle. Read the rest

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything

In 2009, Theodore Gray blew minds with his gorgeously photographed book, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, which sold over a million copies. Five years later, Gray has created this book, which describes what happens when elements are snapped together to make molecules, and the result is a masterpiece (thanks in no small part to Nick Mann’s drool-inducing photographs). Gray organizes the book by categories of molecules — inorganic, organic, acids, bases, soaps, solvents, oils, sweeteners, and other common substances — highlighting their similarities and differences. Suddenly, the physical world makes a lot more sense.

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything by Theodore Gray (Author), Nick Mann (Photographer) 2014, 240 pages, 10.25 x 9.5 x 1 inches, Hardcover

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

article {max-width:1000px} Read the rest

DIY alchemy

Written by three science instructors, The Chemistry of Alchemy: From Dragon's Blood to Donkey Dung, How Chemistry Was Forged" is a combination weird science history and DIY projects book. Read the rest

Explosive reaction of sodium in a pond

These young folks have a lot of fun throwing a big hunk of sodium into a pond. If you're impatient, forward to the boom at :53. Read the rest

More posts