Matter features

  • A photograph of the International Space Station

    Science in microgravity

    17 December 2018

    How does gravity affect chemistry and biology? More than you might think – and you don’t have to visit space to find out, as Rachel Brazil discovers

  • Wine sample preparation for testing

    A taste of wine chemistry

    27 November 2018

    Nina Notman talks to the wine detectives uncovering the flavour molecules in our favourite tipples

  • Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn in their Dahlem laboratory, Germany, in 1913

    Hahn, Meitner and the discovery of nuclear fission

    5 November 2018

    80 years ago, Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner made a discovery that led to nuclear weapons – yet Meitner was never given the recognition she deserved

  • Nuclear medicine hero

    The nuclear option

    24 September 2018

    Using radioisotopes to image inside patients’ bodies – nuclear medicine – is under threat from ageing reactors. James Mitchell Crow discovers the new science trying to fix the problem

  • Close-up of the nanospray apparatus used in electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)

    Medical mass spec

    10 September 2018

    Mass spectrometry can be used for more than just small molecules, meaning it is a vital tool in drug discovery and hospitals, as Clare Sansom discovers

  • 3 to 2 ratio pic of Derek Barton

    Derek Barton and shape-shifting molecules

    6 August 2018

    It’s 100 years since Derek Barton was born. Mike Sutton looks at his work developing conformational analysis

  • 150 years of helium index gif

    150 years of helium

    23 July 2018

    Humanity took a long time to notice the second most common chemical element in the universe, James Mitchell Crow notes. Today we would struggle to do without it

  • mechanochemical purple index

    Introducing mechanochemistry

    16 July 2018

    Mechanochemical synthesis offers a different way to make compounds. Nina Notman asks whether we should all get grinding

  • Glass blower Stan Sheldon at University of California, Riverside in 2013

    Glass: the chemist’s best friend

    6 July 2018

    Where would we be without our glassware? Tabitha Watson looks through the history and current state of chemistry’s favourite amorphous solid

  • Rusted metal sheet

    The nanocoatings holding back corrosion

    29 June 2018

    Corrosion is an age-old problem, but some of the latest solutions are distinctly 21st century. Rachel Brazil reports