Chemistry

Category archives for Chemistry

Horse latitudes, doldrums, calms of Cancer and Capricorn: These are all synonymous names for the forsaken regions of the oceans that sailors of previous eras cursed because the winds that once pushed their sails die out there for weeks at a time. (One suggested explanation for the name “horse latitudes” is that some had to…

Capturing the High End

Perovskite (say it: pə-ˈräv-ˌskīt, -ˈräf-). It may never become a household word, and the chemical formulas (eg., CH3NH3PbI3−xClx ) are as long as the name. But if you find yourself, in the not-so-distant future, adding new-and-improved solar panels to your roof, they may well contain a perovskite layer. If they do, it will be these…

“Billions of dollars are being spent on weapons of mass destruction. A small fraction of that could go so far to engage more Israeli and Arab scientists in collaborative projects in order to create a critical mass that will bring about peace.” The speaker is Dr. Zafra Lerman, President of the Malta Conferences Foundation, which…

Here is a photo of one of the Golem computers on which Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt — this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry winners, along with Martin Karplus — did much of their original work.   My dad was a computer programmer at that time, so I have some idea of what their work…

Last month we reported on the first people who, around twelve thousand years ago, were lining their loved ones’ graves with flowers. This month, we have a piece on the “extinct” frog that was “resurrected” and then discovered to be a living fossil. Both of these studies were led by Israeli researchers from other institutions.…

Right above the tree tops — where most people might think there is just air — Prof. Dan Yakir sees a distinctive atmospheric layer in which all sorts of complex exchanges are taking place. CO2, of course, is one of the important ones, and we still don’t understand all of the ins and outs of…

Today’s post is about some cool chemistry – very cool. About 0.01°Kelvin, as a matter of fact (that is, one hundredth of a degree above absolute zero). Physics experiments conducted at such temperatures are already old hat, but chemistry is another story, altogether. Scientists have been attempting to produce chemical reactions at ultra-low temperatures for…

You’ve heard of the carbon cycle, maybe even the nitrogen cycle. But have you given much thought lately to the sulfur cycle? New research in last week’s Science suggests that we should be paying a bit more attention to the way this element moves through the atmosphere, biosphere, oceans and land. Over the last 500…

Quasicrystals on Tap

If you followed this year’s chemistry Nobel, you know about the quasicrystal design on the ties made for Prof. Dan Schechtman’s 70th birthday. Even the prime minister was seen sporting one last week. But did you know there is also a quasicrystal scarf? While Prof. Schechtman was getting his white tie and tails ready for…

Uncrossing the Wires

A recent study by Prof. Ernesto Joselevich and his team, published in Science, features perfectly aligned horizontal arrays of thin, millimeter-long nanowires. We spoke with Joselevich recently to find out why he and others in the field are excited by this advance: WSW: Your lab has produced a fair amount of innovative research in recent…