Chemistry

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Physicists Joe Hamilton, who discovered tennessine, and his colleague A. V. Ramayya autograph a period table on June 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Four new elements named – here’s how the periodic table evolved

Some 18 elements have had placeholder names derived from the Latin to stop scientists fighting over what their discoveries should be called.
A butterfly’s wing viewed through an optical microscope (left) and the scanning helium microscope (right). University of Newcastle

New helium microscope reveals startling details without frying the sample

A new scanning helium microscope offers the potential for capturing images with finer resolution than optical microscopes, but without damaging samples as with electron microscopes.
Salt seems common enough, but it has some astounding properties. Shutterstock

Kitchen Science: A salt on the senses

That salt on your table can do amazing things chemically, and to the flavour of your favourite food. But don't eat too much!
Nano-architects design materials that can work together at very tiny scales, like these interlocking gears made of carbon tubes and benzene molecules. NASA

Molecular architects: how scientists design new materials

One of the great technological challenges of this century is to design novel items and then make them – and have the results match the intent.

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