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Chemical sciences posts

Origin of diamonds News

by Pat, 22 March 2013 | 0 comments

A rock containing a diamond.

Diamonds hold a special place in our imagination: they’re valuable, extremely hard, and sometimes just really pretty. Chemically speaking, diamonds are simple – they’re carbon. Carbon is an important element. All living things are made of compounds that contain carbon. One property of carbon is its ability to form allotropes. Allotropes contain the same element,…

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Chemical secrets of feathers News

by Pat, 15 March 2013 | 0 comments

X-ray fluorescent images of feathers.

Birds are an important part of many ecosystems. New Australian research shows that bird feathers could be used to measure just how healthy some ecosystems are.

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Mirrored molecules Activity

by Pat, 23 February 2013 | 0 comments

Symmetry can be tricky, especially when you’re a chemist. Grab some plasticine and discover why a mirror doesn’t always make a perfect copy.

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Termites’ golden moments News

by Pat, 4 January 2013 | 0 comments

Termite mound in the bush.

How would you find out where to strike gold? Turns out termites might have the answer.

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Mopping up with food scraps News

by Pat, 14 December 2012 | 0 comments

Do you have left over fruit and vegetable scraps? One day you might be able to use them to clean up the environment!

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Marbled thumbnail Activity

by David, 12 December 2012 | 0 comments

Child looking at their nail polish-covered thumb.

Have fun decorating your thumbnail while learning more about chemistry! Safety: This activity uses nail polish remover. Ask an adult to help.

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The case of the phantom island News

by Pat, 30 November 2012 | 0 comments

A research team on board Australia’s Marine National Facility research vessel, Southern Surveyor, have made an unusual discovery: an island that isn’t there.

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Something to Bragg about News

by Pat, 23 November 2012 | 1 comments

Two diffractometers: one from the 1970s and another from the present day.

Written by Jarrod Green If Lawrence Bragg was still alive he really could be boastful. This November marks the centenary of crystallography. It’s a powerful technique Bragg helped to develop for studying the structure of chemicals.

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Breaking symmetry News

by Pat, 20 November 2012 | 0 comments

Chemical formulas, such as H2O (water) and CO2 (carbon dioxide), are handy as they identify which atoms are present in a chemical compound. This can in turn help to make predictions about their properties. But only knowing which atoms make up a compound sometimes isn’t enough. It helps to know how the atoms are arranged.

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Bubble prints Activity

by Jasmine, 17 November 2012 | 0 comments

A tray of purple bubbles, with someone breatihng into it with a straw

Follow these instructions and create a work of art out of bubbles, while learning some maths.

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