J. Robert Oppenheimer is responsible for a fundamental idea in the field of quantum chemistry.
AP Photo/John Rooney
Remember building model molecules with balls and sticks in chemistry class? You have J. Robert Oppenheimer to thank for that, as a quantum chemist explains.
Haikouichthys ercaicunensis based on fossil evidence.
A biologist explains how researchers nail down the age of ancient fossils thanks to a physical process called radioactive decay.
A nanographene molecule imaged by noncontact atomic force microscopy.
Patrik Tschudin/gross3HR/Wikimedia Commons
A physicist explains how atoms arrange themselves into molecules – and how scientists are able to image these tiny bits of matter that make up everything around you.
Protons and neutrons in an atom’s nucleus can be arranged in different configurations, creating nuclear isomers.
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Nuclear isomers are rare versions of elements with properties that mystified physicists when first discovered. Isomers are now used in medicine and astronomy, and researchers are set to discover thousands more of them.
Chien-Shiung Wu’s experiments were instrumental in supporting some of the biggest 20th-century theories in physics.
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Chinese American physicist Wu worked on the Manhattan Project and performed groundbreaking experiments throughout her long career.
Lasers create colorful light shows at concerts, are used by doctors in surgeries – and are used in scientific laboratories.
Physicists can use bright, hot lasers to slow atoms down so much that they measure -459 degrees Fahrenheit.
A universe of chemical equations.
The laws and principles of chemistry seem pretty set in stone. But as a chemist explains, the field is always evolving, including such fundamental principles as what is a chemical bond.
It would be fun to be able to shrink people and objects, but it’s something we can only imagine.
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The movies make it seem like someday we’ll be able to make people and objects grow really big or shrink really small. Whether this will be possible comes down to the smallest of things.
Electricity happens when electrons move from one atom to another.
Entanglement is a “quantum correlation” between the properties of particles.
Entanglement is the mysterious relationship between two connected atoms. This relationship is the basis of quantum physics, but what is it exactly?
Venus feels the sun’s heat – but how?
NASA, SDO, AIA/Flickr.
There are three ways heat can be shared: conduction, convection and radiation. Find out which one lets heat travel through space.
Lise Meitner was left off the publication that eventually led to a Nobel Prize for her colleague.
Left off publications due to Nazi prejudice, this Jewish woman lost her rightful place in the scientific pantheon as the discoverer of nuclear fission.
Researchers have identified 3,000 radioactive isotopes – and predict 4,000 more are out there.
Alongside their famous dangers, radioactive materials have many beneficial uses. With as many more predicted as have already been discovered, nuclear physicists are searching for more isotopes.
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.
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.
Put simply, it’s the outcome of a chemical reaction, which humans learned how to make some 400,000 years ago.
Map of all matter – most of which is invisible dark matter – between Earth and the edge of the observable universe.
Cosmologists are heading back to their chalkboards as the experiments designed to figure out what this unknown 84 percent of our universe actually is come up empty.
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
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.
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.
Magnetism is useful in many ways, and the magnetic memory effect appears even at the atomic level.
Popular Science Monthly
Work to develop a single-atom magnet that works at room temperature has just taken a big leap forward.
Mine’s a Star-opramen.
It’s like one great big distillery up there.