How to make nanoparticles using a coffee machine.

Featuring Professor Ed Lester (who is a legend and probably my favourite lecturer here) and the Chemical Engineering dept I’ve come to know and love/hate.


Life on Mars!
Little spheres of rock, dubbed blueberries, like these ones are known to form with the help of liquid water and microbes on Earth. This might mean there was once life (and liquid water) on Mars that formed their Martian cousins! It was only recently discovered that microbes are part of the process - research that was done using equipment in Western Australia.

Image of the Martian blueberries courtesy NASA/JPL/Cornell University - taken with the Opportunity Rover.

Also more info here:




This is what it looks like when you use liquid nitrogen to blow up 1500 ping pong balls

Watch Plymouth University professor Roy Lowry demonstrate what happens when you try to contain liquid nitrogen while it’s returning to its gaseous state. (The impatient among you can skip to 3:15.)


Submitted by Delsyd

Yeah, bitch! Science!

It’s like liquid nitrogen learned the Fus Ro Dah Shout.









Alkali metals are soft metals that can be cut with a knife. The air makes the metal corrode- so sometimes they are kept under oil to stop them from corroding. Their chemical reactions with water can be violent. 



“You can see things get gradually more terrifying as we go down the line”





I love the quiet whistle at the very end. Even the scientists are going “dang”.

I totally watched this 5 years ago when I was at school.

(via callmemoprah)


Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Earth

1. Mt. Everest isn’t the biggest mountain.

What? Of course it is. Well, maybe. Under the official definition of mountain, Mt. Everest is the biggest, but what if you measure from the base of the protrusion to the top? In that case: the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea is 10,314m from bottom to top. Quite something. Only 4,205m of the mountain are above sea level, but it has telescopes on top of it, so I think it wins hands down.

2. Earth has at least five natural moons.

I may have lied a little bit just before. Earth really does only have one natural moon, but there are more which have some epic cool orbits which make them seem like our moons. One of these is Cruithne, a 5km in diameter chunk of rock which has a very peculiar orbit. Seen in the gif above Cruithne is the odd yellow orbit path. But don’t worry; Cruithne doesn’t physically cross our orbit, so we’re safe from it. The same story goes for the other space rocks which seem like our natural satellites, even though they really orbit the sun.

3. Earth is smoother than a billiard ball.

Again. Kind of? You may have heard this before and been like, “What? No. Not a chance. Look at all those damn hills and stuff?” But, hey! Maths can help us prove this point. According to the World Pool-Billiard Association a pool ball can have a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches, and if the ball is 2.25 inches in diameter we can work out the ratio through 0.005/2.25=0.002. Now, if we bring this up to the scale of Earth we can do the following, 12,735km in diameter times the ratio of 0.00222, which gives us around 28km of tolerance. And hey, what do you know? Mt. Everest is 8.85km tall and Marianas Trench around 11km deep. Within the parameters! Time to play some cosmic cue sports?

4. Jumping through Earth is like orbiting it.

What exactly does that mean, you ask? Well, if you were to dig a hole through Earth (assuming this were even possible), and you were to evacuate the hole and line it with a very magic material, then you could effectively ‘orbit’ Earth by jumping through it. The same maths that drives orbits would also drive your descent and ascent from this hole. A trip from one side to the other would take 42 minutes and you would pass the centre of Earth at 7.7km/s. Also, if one were able to orbit Earth at its surface, the orbital period would be exactly the same as your transverse time. Strange, huh?

5. Earth is getting bigger!

Hey, cool! We’ll have more room to live and grow plants and build car parks, right? Not quite, sadly. As Earth speeds through space it passes through a lot of dust which is just chillin’ (quite literally). Over the course of a day we can accumulate around 20-40 tons on average. That’s not quite as much as you think when compared to the total mass of Earth, but over the course of a year it amounts to enough cosmic dust and rock to fill a six-story office building.

Images courtesy of CygX1, Joe Hastings, Wikipedia, Fictures, and respectively.

(Source: throughascientificlens, via thatonewannabechef)





Physicists Have Found the Higgs Boson 

At a meeting held at CERN this morning, scientists presented the latest results from the search for the long-sought Higgs particle. After 30 years of research and $9 billion of investment, they’ve changed the face of physics forever: they’ve found the Higgs boson.

actually shrieks

Today, I am proud to be a human.


(via fractalnarrative)


One of the biggest debuts in the science world could happen in a matter of weeks: The Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered!

(Source: Wired, via thatonewannabechef)

I got my chemist friend some new cups for his house

Also some shot glasses.



Rules of the Lab

#8 is used far more than anyone wants to admit.

(Source: quantumaniac, via thatonewannabechef)

Milk Doesn't Do Your Bones Good

You probably grew up hearing the axiom “milk - it does a body good” over and over again. Your mom likely made you drink milk in large quantities at the advice of your pediatrician to make sure you got enough calcium. Even movie stars, singers and athletes encourage you to drink more milk by wearing milk mustaches. 

If you want healthy and strong bones, the next time you see the most recent advertising campaign from the milk processors and dairy farmers -“Got Milk?”- you may want to say “no” and swallow a vitamin D supplement in stead. 

Researchers designed a cohort study to determine the effectiveness of dairy products, calcium and vitamin D in reducing stress fractures among girls aged 9 to 15 years old. Remarkably, and against conventional wisdom, scientists discovered that dairy and calcium intake did not afford any protective benefit from stress fractures. On the other hand those who had the highest intake of vitamin D had a 50 percent lower risk of stress fracture when compared with those with the lowest intake. (More)

I’m thinking this is why policies of “Kids have to drink milk. Fill it with sugar and colour and flavouring because lol kids won’t drink it plain” and taking away playtime is SO INCREDIBLY STUPID.

(Source: lunagemme, via notsorrycharlie-deactivated2013)