Brian Clegg's articles

  • NPK fertiliser
    Podcast

    Potassium sulfate

    5 July 2018

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

  • Iron pyrite (fool's gold)
    Podcast

    Iron sulfides

    14 June 2018

    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

    24 May 2018

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

  • Periodic table of the elements – 114 – Flerovium
    Podcast

    Flerovium

    9 February 2018

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

  • Rolex submariner, dial glowing in the dark
    Podcast

    Strontium aluminate

    1 February 2018

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

  • Aluminium chloride AlCl3 anhydrous (yellow) with some AlCl3x6H2O (hexahydrate) white.
    Podcast

    Aluminium chloride

    7 December 2017

    Brian Clegg becomes a sleuth to investigate the uses of a deceptively simple Lewis acid

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • Wooden floorboards
    Podcast

    Lignin

    27 July 2017

    Wood has been vital in the development of human civilisation. Brian Clegg looks at the compound at its heart