The Chemistry Behind the Different Colors of Autumn Leaves

At some point when you were a wee child, your parents or teachers probably gave you a simple—but incomplete—explanation of why leaves change color in the fall: green chlorophyll fades to reveal the yellows and oranges that have been there all along. That's true, but that's not the whole chemical story. » 9/18/14 2:25pm Thursday 2:25pm

A Chemistry Set Spice Rack Puts Science in the Spotlight At Supper Time

Even something as simple as making toast involves a whole lot of complex science that most of us don't even think about. But when dinner preparation involves a chemistry set full of spices, you'll be hard pressed to not wonder about all the chemical reactions going down in your dinner. » 9/17/14 5:00pm Wednesday 5:00pm

Your iPhone Houses All These Chemical Reactions Every Single Day

Other than the times we notice our battery bars inching towards the red or our screens go silent, we usually don't think too about how it is our phones actually function. But as a new video from the Reaction YouTube channel shows, there's a whole host of complex chemical reactions going on both during production and… » 9/15/14 4:48pm Monday 4:48pm

New Nanotech Sensors Could Put Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Out of a Job

TSA lines are the very definition of a "necessary evil." Everyone hates the long waits and the awkward disrobing dances as you rid yourself of all your shoes, smartphones, metal, etc. Yet, we're eternally grateful when crazy people with samurai swords don't fly coach. Now, a new breakthrough in nanotechnology could… » 7/22/14 12:31pm 7/22/14 12:31pm

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