Guy turns jar of warm liquid into ice just by putting his hand inside

This is like a scene from X-Men: A man puts his hand into a jar seemingly full of water. Instantly, ice starts growing around it despite the fact that the liquid is warm, expanding until all the content is solid, with the texture of ice cream. What is this sorcery? It's something called hot ice. » 7/09/14 1:34am 7/09/14 1:34am

Cadmium Arsenide: A 3D Alternative to Graphene That's Way More Useful

There's no denying that graphene is a wonderful material—strong, flexible, and highly conductive—but it's taking a long time to become a commercial reality. Now, scientists working with a material called cadmium arsenide believe it offers many of the same benefits—but could actually be far easier to use in the real… » 6/04/14 5:07am 6/04/14 5:07am

How One Man’s Love of Urine Led to the Discovery of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential element for life. Forms of it are found in DNA, RNA, and all living cell membranes. It is the sixth most abundant element in any living organism. Phosphorus can also be highly poisonous and combustible (white phosphorus is used in many destructive weapons, such as napalm). It was also the… » 5/28/14 6:52am 5/28/14 6:52am

How to Keep Milk from Spoiling Without Refrigeration

For centuries, before refrigeration, an old Russian practice was to drop a frog into a bucket of milk to keep the milk from spoiling. In modern times, many believed that this was nothing more than an old wives' tale. But researchers at Moscow State University, led by organic chemist Dr. Albert Lebedev, have shown that… » 4/24/14 6:40am 4/24/14 6:40am

A Powerful Chemistry Tool Inspired by Music Boxes Only Costs $5

Stanford University's Manu Prakash, Ph.D., loves coming up with cheap, rugged scientific equipment, like his 50-cent microscope made of folded cardboard. Now he's followed that up with another ingenious chemistry tool: A $5 device that uses the guts from a music box to control chemical reactions with super precision. » 4/08/14 12:40pm 4/08/14 12:40pm

13 Unexpected Sources of Energy that Could Save the World

If humans are going to keep living in the style to which we're accustomed, we need to find alternatives for fossil fuels. Partly that's because we need to reduce pollution — and partly because those fossil fuels are going to run out. But alternative forms of energy may look a lot weirder than you think. » 3/31/14 6:11pm 3/31/14 6:11pm

Why Toothpaste Makes Things Taste So Awful

You may think it might be the common mint flavor of toothpaste clashing with other flavors, but in the case of orange juice and many other things, this isn't actually what's going on. The culprit here is thought to be two compounds almost universally added to toothpastes -sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl ether… » 3/11/14 6:00am 3/11/14 6:00am