The complex chemistry of fire

By

Despite its ubiquity in human life, chemists have still barely unlocked what’s happening amid the flames. Kit Chapman reports

Read story

Supporting the chemistry community

By

The Chemists’ Community Fund – formerly the Benevolent Fund – has been helping people for 100 years. Rachel Brazil looks at how it works, now it may be more needed than ever before

Read story

Plastic recycling heading for the mainstream

By

Nina Notman talks to some of the companies launching chemical recycling technologies for single-use plastics

Read story

An image showing the phrase "The weirdness of water" with a water effect on top

The weirdness of water

By

Can we explain the strange properties of water by thinking of it as two different liquids? Rachel Brazil dives into the ongoing debate

A vintage-style poster showing sustainable labs

Sustainable lab buildings

By

After a decade of grassroots growth, the laboratory sustainability movement is bursting into the mainstream finds James Mitchell Crow

An illustration showing the process of recycling fabrics

Recycling clothing the chemical way

By

Nina Notman explores how chemistry is poised to close the loop in clothing recycling

A photograph of Polly Arnold

Polly Arnold’s diversity of interests

By

Kit Chapman asks the champion of actinide chemistry and diversity in science what comes next as she starts her new role at a US national lab

An image showing hands placing spices into a pan of curry

The chemistry of a curry

2019-12-09T09:16:00+00:00By

Can chemistry help Nina Notman make a better curry?

A photo illustration showing the 2019 Nobel prize winners

The lithium pioneers

2019-10-17T09:31:00+01:00By

Katrina Krämer traces the full story of how lithium-ion batteries won the 2019 Nobel prize

An image showing the letters P, F, A and S, which stand for perfluorinated alkyl substances, sinking into water; a small fish can also be seen

A persistent perfluorinated problem

2019-08-27T09:29:00+01:00By

PFASs were used in household and industrial products for decades before their harmful health effects and biopersistence came to light. Rebecca Trager investigates a messy situation

An illustrated portrait of June Sutor

The forgotten female crystallographer who discovered C–H⋯O bonds

2019-07-08T09:06:00+01:00By

Andy Extance tells the overlooked story of crystallographer June Sutor, whose C–H⋯O bonding hypothesis was unjustly suppressed

A photograph of Primo Levi; the tile of the chapters in his book, The Periodic Table, are written around him

Primo Levi and the other periodic table

2019-06-24T09:51:00+01:00By

Author and chemist Primo Levi was born 100 years ago this July. Philip Ball looks at his chemical and literary legacy – including his books The Periodic Table and If This Is a Man

An image showing a scrunched up piece of paper with the details of element 118 - Ninovium - Written down

Victor Ninov and the element that never was

2019-06-10T09:35:00+01:00By

 20 years on, Kit Chapman investigates how a scientific scandal unfolded

Accessible science education

2019-05-28T09:30:00+01:00By

Nina Notman hears from some of the leading lights in the quest to make chemistry education accessible to all

Read story

An image showing droplets on a rose petal; the fine surface structure of one of the droplets can be seen

Superhydrophobic materials from nature

By

Chemists who want to make materials that repel water but do not contain fluorocarbons are taking their inspiration from nature, Rachel Brazil finds

An artistic representation of the periodic table based on the shape of a shell

The art of the periodic table

By

The venerable chart of elements has inspired and entertained in its first 150 years. Hayley Bennett looks at some of its weird, wacky – and wise – incarnations

An image showing perovskite crystal structures

Perovskites beyond solar cells

By

From solar cells and LEDs to catalysts and quantum computing, James Mitchell Crow asks if there is anything perovskites can’t do

A picture showing factors that might make a person look younger or older

Can we live forever?

By

We are now living longer than ever before, but not always in perfect health. Anthony King talks to the researchers working to extend our healthspan

Hero illustration showing question marks with different forms of chemical elements as dots

What is an element?

By

Our understanding of what an element is has evolved over the years, but it’s still a tricky concept to nail down. Philip Ball investigates

A picture of Mendeleev with his 1869 periodic table

The father of the periodic table

By

Mike Sutton looks at how Mendeleev’s patience revealed periodicity in the elements