All articles by Brian Clegg

  • Labradorite, a type of feldspar
    Podcast

    Feldspar

    2020-06-12T13:45:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces the humble mineral that delights both astronomers and archaeologists

  • Olives and olive oil
    Podcast

    Oleic acid

    2020-05-08T08:35:00Z

    Brian Clegg discovers the link between olive oil, dandruff and stained glass windows.

  • Woman taking a pain killer tablet
    Podcast

    Ibuprofen

    2020-03-20T15:15:00Z

    Brian Clegg on the popular over-the-counter painkiller, developed by a high-street pharmacy chain

  • Barley crop
    Podcast

    Amylase

    2020-02-14T09:14:00Z

    Brian Clegg on the enzymes make life a little sweeter by breaking down starch into sugars, helping to make bread and beer

  • Turpentine bottle
    Podcast

    Terephthalic acid

    2020-01-24T15:30:00Z

    Once thought of as an interesting – but useless – turpentine derivative, this oddly-named acid became the precursor to one of the world’s most widely used plastics

  • Zeolite powder
    Podcast

    Zeolites

    2019-11-22T11:37:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces the class of materials where the holes are more important than the whole – the super-porous zeolites

  • Self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover
    Podcast

    Gallium arsenide

    2019-11-01T09:30:00Z

    Brian Clegg introduces gallium arsenide – the supercar of the semiconductor scene

  • Zircon jewellery on a white background
    Podcast

    Zircon

    2019-07-12T09:00:00Z

    The versatile gemstones that give scientists insights into the chemistry of the early Earth, introduced by Brian Clegg

  • Photographic dark room in red light
    Podcast

    Silver iodide

    2019-06-14T09:30:00Z

    How the compound that ushered in a photographic revolution has taken to the skies to try to control the weather

  • Computer chip
    Podcast

    Beryllium oxide

    2019-05-17T13:27:00Z

    Brian Clegg examines the duality that makes beryllium oxide so valuable to the electronics industry

  • Plume of talcum powder
    Podcast

    Talc: Magnesium silicate

    2019-04-05T10:30:00Z

    Coating your naked body with powdered magnesium silicate may sound strange, but it's an important part of many bathtime rituals

  • Funeral mask of the Pharoah Tutankhamun
    Podcast

    Lazurite

    2019-02-15T12:09:00Z

    A brilliant rich blue rock, prized in antiquity as a gemstone and a prominent pigment, lazurite is the basis of lapis lazuli, the original ultramarine paint and – as Brian Clegg finds – it even adorns Tutankhamun's death mask

  • Tin cans
    Podcast

    Tin chlorides

    2018-11-29T15:19:00Z

    The compounds that put the 'tin' in tin cans and help you to reflect on your appearance

  • Coloured epoxy resin on wood
    Podcast

    Epoxies

    2018-11-16T14:25:00Z

    Epoxies – including hard-wearing resins and strong adhesives – can be found almost everywhere, from your household white goods to the Large Hadron Collider

  • A bowl of almonds
    Podcast

    Benzaldehyde

    2018-08-23T16:59:00Z

    Brian Clegg on the almond flavour compound that gives your taste buds a treat and may help rescue survivors from a disaster

  • NPK fertiliser
    Podcast

    Potassium sulfate

    2018-07-05T16:52:00Z

    Brian Clegg on a compound that keeps us well fed and looking radiant

  • Iron pyrite (fool's gold)
    Podcast

    Iron sulfides

    2018-06-14T16:50:00Z

    One mineral form may look like gold, but Brian Clegg isn't fooled by the value of iron sulfides

  • Early to mid 20th century product tins most visibly one from Folger's Golden Gate Cream Tartar, Edmonds Historical Museum, Edmonds, Washington, USA.
    Podcast

    Potassium bitartrate

    2018-05-24T09:00:00Z

    Brian Clegg with the winemaking byproduct that may be lurking in your larder

  • Periodic table of the elements – 114 – Flerovium
    Podcast

    Flerovium

    2018-02-09T13:45:00Z

    How 'hot fusion' research saw an end to cold war tensions

  • Rolex submariner, dial glowing in the dark
    Podcast

    Strontium aluminate

    2018-02-01T16:25:00Z

    A glow-in-the-dark compound that defies naming conventions