Brian Clegg

Brian Clegg

Author of The universe inside you

Brian read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and gained an MA in Operational Research at Lancaster University. From Lancaster, he joined British Airways, originally working in OR and later forming a new department tasked with developing hi-tech solutions for the airline. Brian now concentrates on writing popular science books, with topics ranging from infinity to time machines. He also writes for magazines and newspapers from Nature and The Wall Street Journal to Playboy. He gives regular talks and has contributed to radio and TV programmes. Brian edits the book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

  • An image of a powder with a faint blue glow

    Caesium chloride

    14 June 2017

    A compound found in mineral water that is also used in medical treatments and solar cells

  • A single layer of molybdenum disulfide

    Molybdenum disulfide

    1 March 2017

    Brian Clegg discovers the compound that makes the world’s smallest transistors

  • Laundry drying on a line, surrounded by bubbles

    Quaternary ammonium salts

    21 September 2016

    Brian Clegg introduces a family of molecules that first gave fluffy softness to freshly washed clothes

  • A lab laser with warning label

    Neodymium chloride

    26 October 2016

    From medicine to the military, this compound makes lasers for a range of applications

  • Ball and stick structure of adamantane


    26 January 2017

    Brian Clegg introduces a crystalline hydrocarbon that isn’t as tough as it sounds, but is the basis of a wide range of medicines

  • A bag of freshly donated blood


    8 February 2017

    Brian Clegg examines the colourful compounds that no red-blooded creature can do without: Porphyrins

  • Formula 1 pitstop


    4 November 2015

    There’s more to toluene than TNT, as Brian Clegg reveals

  • Manganese dioxide

    Manganese dioxide

    25 November 2015

    Brian Clegg paints a picture of a compound found in ancient cave paintings and top-of-the-range electronics: Manganese dioxide

  • A violin

    Sodium hypochlorite

    9 March 2016

    What do hygienic work surfaces have in common with 19th century French violins? Brian Clegg finds out.

  • An orange mug filled with fruit

    Uranium dioxide

    6 April 2016

    This week’s compound has had a glowing career in the arts and a runaway success in the energy sector

  • Cadmium tellurideiStock22603935300tb

    Cadmium telluride

    27 April 2016

    It may not be the best material for solar cells but it has some distinct advantages

  • Bowl of sugar


    31 May 2016

    The tastiest food additive there is, or the greatest threat to life in the western world?

  • Statin tablets


    17 August 2016

    Brian Clegg gets to the heart of the matter on the benefits or otherwise of one of the most commonly prescribed drugs

  • Blue Monkshood flowers, one of several Aconitum species


    31 August 2016

    This powerful poison is said to have the power to transform werewolves and heal snake bites. Brian Clegg unpicks fiction from fact

  • stained-glass window

    Selenium dioxide

    5 November 2014

    It smells of ‘rotting horseradish’ but gives glass a magnificent red colour – Brian Clegg shines a light on selenium dioxide

  • Crop spraying


    7 January 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces a weedkiller whose name has entered public consciousness – Paraquat

  • A Ferrari car

    Titanium nitride

    21 January 2015

    Brian Clegg explains how titanium nitride could protect artificial joints and pimp out your ride

  • A sample of PEDOT


    4 February 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces the ‘ogres’ that make up transparent electronics

  • Toothpaste on a toothbrush


    25 March 2015

    Sensible approach to dental rot or sinister communist plot? Brian Clegg examines the much-maligned fluorides

  • Bowl of cornflakes


    8 April 2015

    Brian Clegg discusses the vitamin found in both breakfast cereal and meteorites: Niacin

More by Brian Clegg