Tag Archives: chemistry

Finally, A Solar Panel That You Can Actually See Through!

A close up of the solar concentrator (Photo: Yimu Zhao)

Solar power technology has been advancing rapidly in recent years. The rapidly decreasing cost and increasing efficiency of solar power has set off a solar revolution worldwide. Germany, which is currently using solar to produce 50% of its total energy, has led the charge, along with the rest of Europe. Other countries, like India, have made the expansion of solar infrastructure a primary focus. Now, there’s a new advancement which could end up being the tipping point in the solar revolution: a

Why Ultra-Pure Water Is Actually Bad for Your Health (Video)

We tend to imagine that purity is the ultimate indicator of the quality of water. So why is 100%, ultra-pure water not good for us? Well the simple answer is that water (H20) purely comprised of hydrogen and oxygen doesn’t provide our body with the natural electrolytes and salts we need to survive. There is no such thing as truly pure water in the natural world. Even water in the purest springs and lakes contains small amounts of dissolved minerals such as sodium, chloride,

The Revolutionary New Propulsion Engine That Even Scientists Didn’t Believe Was Possible

Roger Shawyer is one of the most persistent and driven individuals in the world. For years, he has been working on a new type of propulsion engine that could theoretically run forever without needing any fuel. He calls his device the EmDrive. The engine works by bouncing around microwave radiation in a small space to produce thrust, rather than burning a propellant fuel. The microwaves are produced by solar power which is generated from panels on the outside of the engine.

The Iodine Clock Reaction Happens So Fast That You Might Not Believe This Video Is Real

If I told you I could make a glass of liquid go from being totally clear to almost completely black in a split second, you would think I was crazy. But science has a way of making crazy things happen. The iodine clock reaction is very real and very awesome. Check it out in the video below: So what’s going on chemically? Well basically, it’s all comes down to the iodine and the sulfur. Mixing ionic compounds into a solution with

A Mysterious Giant Crater Just Opened Up At the “End of the World” (Video)

Yamal is a peninsula in northern Siberia. In the language of the peninsula’s indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, Yamal means “end of the world”. This past week, aerial images of the peninsula posted to YouTube showed a giant, 80m wide crater. Check out the footage below: Authorities from Yamal have organized a team of scientists from Russia’s Center for the Study of the Arctic, the Cryosphere Institute of the Academy of Sciences and Russia’s Emergencies Ministry to investigate. At first glance, it just

Did You Know… There’s A Rare Medical Condition That Gets People Drunk Off Bread and Pasta

Matthew Hogg is pretty much your average 34-year-old British guy. Except for one thing: eating bread or pasta has the same effect on him that pints of lager and ale have on his friends. Hogg suffers from a rare condition known as auto-brewery syndrome. The condition causes the body to build up high levels of yeast in the intestines. As a result, carbohydrates are rapidly fermented into ethanol (pure alcohol) during digestion. The result is that sufferers are constantly feeling varying levels of intoxication throughout

The Story of the Man Who Only Made $10 for Figuring Out How to Make Diamonds

In 1772, French nobleman and chemist Antoine Lavoisier used a lens to concentrate the sun (magnifying-glass style) on a diamond in an atmosphere of oxygen. The diamond released only carbon dioxide (CO2), proving that diamonds were made up only of carbon. Then in 1779, English chemist Smithson Tennant further bolstered the findings by burning both graphite (which is also composed completely of carbon) and diamonds, and showing that the amount of gas produced by the two minerals matched the chemical equivalence he had established for

Superheated Liquid Nitrogen in a Vacuum Does Some Crazy Things… (Video)

Liquid nitrogen has one of the lowest boiling points of any known substance at -321ºF, which is why anything that comes in contact with the substance is usually flash-frozen. A substance’s boiling point varies with air pressure. For example, at sea level, water boils at 100ºC (212ºF). But at the top of Mt. Everest, where the air pressure is only about a third of what it is at sea level, water will boil at 71ºC (160ºF). So as the air is sucked

Why It Has Taken 28 Long Years for the EPA to Start Reviewing Chemical Risks Again

Last wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency published its final risk assessment for the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE). The assessment found that long-term exposure this chemical (which is used as an industrial solvent by artists, car mechanics, and dry cleaners among others) can cause a number of serious health issues, including cancer. It probably doesn’t sound surprising that the EPA would review the health risks of a potentially harmful chemical. After all, the agency was created to protect the health of the citizens and environment of the

A Honeybee Was In the Clutches of A Spider. Then His Comrade Saved the Day (Video)

I saw this video earlier today and was very intrigued. I’ll let you watch it first before I make any observations. So what do you think is going on here? Bumble bees, like other insects that live in queen-controlled colonies, are basically just extensions of the queen- pretty much every action they take is because of directions from the queen. One of the ways these types of insects communicate is with pheromones, chemical substances secreted by the insects which convey specific pieces of

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