Chemistry

The science behind bubbles in champagne is an active field of research. Here, a red spotlight highlights bubbles growing at the bottom of a goblet, where they stick thanks to surface tension.

The Science Behind Champagne Bubbles

As you uncork that bottle and raise your glass, take time to toast the physics and chemistry along with the New Year

Scientists have created other living inks out of bacteria, but this is the first that doesn't require the addition of other materials like acids, extracts and silica.

'Living Ink' Made From E. Coli Could One Day Be Used in Cancer Treatments or Self-Healing Buildings

Though the microbial material is still in the very beginning stages of development, researchers are hopeful about future applications

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University analyzed popular vaping products and found nearly 2,000 chemicals not disclosed by manufacturers, as well as six potentially harmful compounds, including a pesticide.

New Research

Nearly 2,000 Chemicals—Some Potentially Harmful—Found in Vaping Aerosols

Researchers discover industrial chemicals, a pesticide and caffeine during analysis of popular vaping products

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for their independent work that revolutionized the construction of molecules.

Innovation for Good

Scientists Behind 'Ingenious' Molecule-Building Tool Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Researchers Benjamin List and David MacMillan independently discovered cheaper, greener ways to create new molecules

Men ate over 50 percent more seafood protein than women and gained slightly more protein from grains. Women consumed more terrestrial meats, more eggs and dairy products, and more local fruits and vegetables.

New Analysis Reveals Vesuvius Victims' Diverse Diets

Isotope ratios show that men and women in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum had different dietary habits

This glass tube, part of the museum’s collection, once contained a sample of helium. Its paper label reads, “HELIUM / SIR W. RAMSAY, K.C.B., LL.D., F.R.S. / THOMAS TRYER & CO., Ltd. / STRATFORD, LONDON, ENGLAND.”

Smithsonian Voices

The History of How to Store Helium

With large and easily tapped natural supplies, the United States became the world’s leading helium producer

The team conducted a non-destructive analysis of a panel depicting the prophet Nathan.

Art Meets Science

Canterbury Cathedral's 12th-Century Stained Glass May Be England's Oldest

New research suggests four of the English church's intricate windows were in place when Henry II's men murdered Thomas Becket in 1170

NASA just announced a partnership with Tide to figure out how to do laundry in space. Solving this problem will allow astronauts to stop throwing away their dirty clothes, which means some missions must ferry hundreds of pounds of clean clothes into space.

NASA Just Put Doing the Laundry on Astronauts' Chore List

Dirty clothes are currently thrown away, requiring missions where weight is at a premium to bring many pounds of socks, shirts and underwear

Whether your steaks are thick or thin, research can help you grill for optimum flavor.

The Science Behind Grilling the Perfect Steak

Want to learn how cooking transforms beef’s flavor? Meat scientists have the answers.

Cosmetics designed to stay on longer or marketed as "wear-resistant," "long-lasting," and "waterproof" contained the highest levels of PFAS.

Scientists Find Toxic 'Forever Chemicals' in More Than 100 Popular Makeup Products

Waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipsticks contained the highest levels of organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS

Combining carbon dioxide and calcium creates calcium carbonate rocks such as limestone.

To Combat Climate Change, Researchers Want to Pull Carbon Dioxide From the Ocean and Turn It Into Rock

Running seawater through an ocean carbon capture plant could chemically convert carbon dioxide to limestone on a grand scale

Candy-size molecular models, about the diameter of Nerds candy, can help students with blindness to learn chemistry.

Innovation for Good

Gummy Candy-Like Models Can Help Students With Blindness Study Chemistry

Tiny shapes made from gelatin and resin may empower children to learn science

Miscanthus is a type of grass that is often grown as a biofuel. Trials in the United Kingdom are now underway to explore the possibility of scaling up biofuel crops like Miscanthus grasses to see if they can help fight climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

United Kingdom Begins Large-Scale Carbon Removal Trials

The $42 million project will test out five strategies for pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to fight climate change

Incan qeros from the National Museum of the American Indian. The white pigment “often appears yellowish over time,” says Emily Kaplan.

How the Inca Discovered a Prized Pigment

The centuries-old history of titanium white

Remnants of a supernova called Cassiopeia A, located in our galaxy about 11,000 light-years from Earth. Scientists have long thought that supernovae were responsible for the creation of the heaviest elements, but new research suggests other types of stellar events may also be in play.

New Research

Scientists Find Plutonium Made in Outer Space on Ocean Floor

Research suggests the rare, heavy element may have been created by the collision of two neutron stars

A new way of chemically recycling single-use plastics might offer an incentive to keep them out of landfills.

Innovation for Good

New Chemical Process Turns Single-Use Plastics Into Fuels

Researchers say their method can break down hard-to-recycle plastics using half the energy of existing techniques

Researchers created this 3- by 2-centimeter version of The Starry Night in just four minutes.

Art Meets Science

Scientists Use Laser Paintbrush to Craft Mini Version of van Gogh's 'Starry Night'

The colorful "brushstrokes" are "reversible, rewritable [and] erasable," says scholar Galina Odintsova

A close-up view of Picasso's Seated Man (1917) shows the deep cracks running along its surface.

Art Meets Science

Why Did This Picasso Painting Deteriorate Faster Than Its Peers?

Study examines how animal glue, canvases, layers of paint and chemicals interacted to produce cracks in one work but not in others

It’s hard to smell them underwater, but corals, like all living things, release a range of volatile chemicals.

Why Are Scientists Studying Coral's Smell?

Gassy chemicals may tell tales of coral health and climate change

Seventeen-year-old Dasia Taylor was named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented Color-Changing Sutures to Detect Infection

After winning a state science fair and becoming a finalist in a national competition, Dasia Taylor now has her sights set on a patent

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