Mercury pouring from a pipette onto a reflective surface

Why Is Mercury Dangerous to Humans?

April 13, 2023

Mercury has been used for so long its discoverers are unknown. It’s been found in Egyptian tombs as old as 1500 BCE and was once believed to have healing properties. Unfortunately, it’s also particularly toxic. […]

Uranium, a chemical element with a U symbol and an atomic mass equal to 238 u, has an atomic number 92

What Is Depleted Uranium?

March 29, 2023

Enriching uranium is a detailed and complex chemical process. Uranium is found naturally in the ground in two different forms, one of which is mostly useless. Where does depleted uranium come from? […]

Atom illustration on dark background

What Makes Nuclear Fusion Work?

December 23, 2022

Nuclear fusion is an astronomically powerful source of energy. If harnessed, it could prove unimaginably useful for humanity’s purposes. How does nuclear fusion make energy? […]

An image of atom surrounded by electrons.

The Birth of the Idea of Atomism

November 9, 2022

John Dalton observed mathematical regularities with respect to the formation of a chemical compound. He concluded that the elements combined in fixed quantities, pointing toward the existence of atoms. […]

An image of the chemical element 109, Meitnerium.

The GSI and the Race to Find New Superheavy Elements

October 11, 2022

The GSI discovered three superheavy elements: Elements 107, 108 and 109. It was, however, element 109 which was a little extra special, as it was the only one to be named after a female scientist, Lise Meitner, who co-discovered nuclear fission. […]

An image of elements in the periodic table.

Element 101 and the Beginnings of the Transfermium Wars

October 8, 2022

When Glenn Seaborg and his colleague Albert Ghiorso discovered element 101, the point was not only to be credited with its discovery but also getting to name it. They chose a Russian name, Mendelevium, for it, using this as an opportunity to extend an olive branch to them. […]

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