Fireworks can be characterised as self-contained explosive devices which contain a mixture of many components such as oxidising agents, fuels and metal salts. We often associate fireworks with celebration, but the first fireworks were used to warn off evil spirits. Simple firecrackers are thought to have been developed around 1000 years ago by Chinese monk … Continue reading How do Fireworks Work?
It is well known that cleaning your dirty dishes with water alone is just not sufficient and so, we employ soaps like fairy liquid and use dishwasher tablets to help us get rid of the dirt, but why do we need these? Soap is a generic term for fatty acid salts, with the general formula … Continue reading Why we Need Soap to Clean Dirty Dishes
Even though the sun is almost 150 million kilometres away from us, its UV rays are still able to cause significant damage to humans here on Earth. Whilst UV radiation is able to mutate your DNA and promote the formation and growth of tumours, it is also beneficial to us as it facilitates the natural … Continue reading How Does Sunscreen Protect our Skin
Most of us have childhood memories of running through patches of tall grass and suddenly feeling a sharp pain as we scrape past a patch of nettles. The next few minutes would be spent frantically searching for a dock leaf to stop the pain, and for many of us this would still be our first … Continue reading Nettle Stings and the Dock Leaf Remedy
My name is Lauren and I am a chemist. I am currently in my second year studying towards my PhD in inorganic chemistry. The idea behind my research is to design and synthesise cages of different shapes and sizes on a molecular scale. These cages usually have some internal void space which can then be … Continue reading Meet Lauren
The speed of light is as frustrating as it is fascinating. The speed of light in a vacuum is the fastest thing we can measure at 300,000km per second, although in a vast and ever expanding universe, it is painfully slow. The universe currently measures 45 billion light years in all directions of observation. So … Continue reading The Speed of Light – So Agonisingly Slow.
Last week I wrote about the WOW! Signal. The most likely candidate for a formal effort of contact from extra-terrestrials due to its irregular and almost artificial qualities. This does pose a thought, are radio waves the best way to establish contact? Although radio signals are received by radio telescopes every day, some are extremely … Continue reading Using Radio Waves and Other Means To Make Contact.