Chemistry in its Element: Compounds

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  • Test launch of Bumper 8: a two-stage rocket that topped a V-2 missile base with a WAC Corporal rocket
    Podcast

    Tetranitromethane

    16 November 2017

    Brian Clegg introduces a failed rocket fuel oxidiser with a very tricky structure

  • A pigeon in flight
    Podcast

    Polybutene

    9 November 2017

    Kit Chapman discovers the compound that blighted Nixon’s second presidential inauguration by littering the route with dead pigeons

  • Mouldy peanuts
    Podcast

    Aflatoxins

    2 November 2017

    Kat Arney investigates the cancer-causing chemicals that could be lurking in that bag of peanuts

  • A photograph of orange peel and a bottle of essential oil
    Podcast

    Citral

    26 October 2017

    A compound known for its citrusy zing, and which also helps honey bees find their way home

  • A photograph of a surfer riding a wave
    Podcast

    Neoprene

    20 October 2017

    The wear-resistant polymer that helps keep you warm in the winter surf

  • Young woman suffering from seasickness
    Podcast

    Cinnarizine (stugeron)

    12 October 2017

    Neil Withers relives a choppy (and messy) sea voyage to bring us the science of anti-seasickness drug cinnarizine

  • Preparing a solution from the salt of sodium dichromate
    Podcast

    Sodium dichromate

    6 October 2017

    Discover the compound at the heart of a multi-million dollar legal case and an Oscar–winning role for Julia Roberts

  • PC-3 human prostate cancer cells in air bubble, stained with Coomassie blue, under differencial interference contrast microscope.
    Podcast

    Coomassie blue

    29 September 2017

    How an attractive blue dye became the basis of a fundamental lab technique

  • News stories about 'Ginger Jake', the spirit that caused paralysis known as 'Jake walk' during prohibition
    Podcast

    Phosphorus chlorides

    22 September 2017

    A hugely useful group of compounds that have a distinct dual personality

  • Glove box for working in an inert atmosphere
    Podcast

    tert-Butyl lithium or t-BuLi

    13 September 2017

    A pyrophoric reagent that remains one of chemistry’s staples and the liquid salts that can tame its wild reactivity