Articles on Atoms

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Mole Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists on Oct. 23, between 6:02 a.m. and 6:02 p.m. The time and date are derived from Avogadro’s number. Ekaterina_Minaeva/Shutterstock.com

A day to celebrate chemistry’s favorite unit — the mole. But what’s a mole?

Chemists sure know how to party. And here is the proof. On October 23rd they celebrate their hallowed unit: the mole. Find out what that's all about.
Westy48/Flickr.

Curious Kids: what is fire?

Put simply, it's the outcome of a chemical reaction, which humans learned how to make some 400,000 years ago.
The Chalk River Laboratories in 2012. Canada’s role as a world leader in neutron-scattering is at risk because of a failure to invest in infrastructure renewal at the facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Why Canada must not be shut out of the neutron technology it invented

Canada is a world leader in the field of neutron scattering, winning a Nobel Prize in 1994 for its invention. But the looming shutdown of facilities at Chalk River puts us on the sidelines.
General anesthetics affect cellular proteins to knock us out. Some do so better than others, especially the noble gas Xenon. (Shutterstock)

Science lesson: How anesthetics work, and why xenon’s perfect

How do anesthetics work, and what makes for an ideal anesthetic? It's not as mysterious as once believed, and there's a gas that ticks all the boxes for a perfect anesthetic: xenon.
Element 117 is unofficially named ununseptium which is Latin for 117. Flickr/Larry

Something new and superheavy at the periodic table

The hunt for long-lived superheavy elements has taken another leap forward now we’ve confirmed the existence of Element 117, also known as ununseptium. It was first seen briefly by a team of US and Russian…

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