Elements on the BBC

I try not to focus my posts too much on other websites – it seems as if it is a bit of a cheat but over the last few months the BBC magazine (found on the BBC website) has been producing some excellent articles on various elements in the periodic table – you may have read some yourself.   However, what has not been so widely publicised it the fact that the written articles have accompanying downloadable podcasts of around 30 minutes ...

The oldest oxygen on the planet?

The BBC continue to churn out high quality science documentaries. The latest to hit our screens started on Tuesday night - 'How To Grow A Planet'. Presented by the charismatic Professor Iain Stewart. One interesting clip from last nights episode is shown below - the production of oxygen (by electrolysis) from iron oxide. The clip skips around the chemistry (disappointingly) but it makes quite interesting viewing: lwMkS8WixyI You could ask your class to see if they could reproduce this experiment using their current knowledge ...

Science meets Art

Not strictly a chemistry posting .... .... but worthy of a mention all the same. This link takes you to the BBC website where you should be able to view the results of Science Magazine's annual visualisation challenge. Some of the images are amazing - in particular (and a chemistry one at that) is the image of a substance that has been attacked by hydrofluoric acid. I though tit was a photo of Monument Valley in the USA at first! Enjoy :mrgreen:

3D Printing for Design Technology IB Students – Are you Lucky Enough?

By CharlesC [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons  Are you thinking about a 3D printer for your Design Technology department - as we are at our school and have for a while. But were always unsure if the investment was too much. So to begin with we tested the water by buying one of the Open Source RepRap versions available that are very cheap and cost effective and at least give students an insight to the ...

Rare Earth’s (3)

Over the past twelve months or so I have mentioned the rare earth elements - the 'black gold' of the 21st century. Japan has recently discovered huge deposits of some of the rare earth elements ....... unfortunately they are between 4000 - 6000m below the surface of the sea. However, the demand for these elements is so great that I would speculate sometime (I am not sure when) in the future they will become economically viable to be mined. Watch this space ...

Stardust

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may remember a few posts about twelve months ago that were linked in with a BBC TV series called 'Wonders of The Solar System'. It was hosted by professor Brian Cox. Well, the prof is back with a new four part series. Episode 2, Stardust aired Sunday evening in the UK. As ever, Professor Cox presents the show with a real laid back, graceful yet accessible approach. Episode 2 has some ...

Triple Points

By Wednesday, January 12, 2011 , , , , 0

  I saw an excellent TV programme last night on the BBC iPlayer. The series was 'Horizon' and the episode was titled 'What is one degree?'  (Click here to watch it). The comedian Ben Miller presented the show (incidentally, he has a physics PhD from Cambridge University!) The programme mainly deals with temperature but there are a few sections that relate to chemistry. What caught my eye in particular was a section on the triple point of water. The triple point of a substance is when ...

Liquid Armour

  Following on from yesterdays posting on thixotropic liquids.... I came across a great article on the BBC website (click here to read it) To summarise, a company has discovered a way of making liquid Kevlar body armour. It has some great advantages over traditional Kevlar as it is lighter and can be moulded. Most importantly it is also more effective. By Ben Mills and Jynto , via Wikimedia CommonsThe new material works in the same way as our thixotropic liquid. The actual composition ...

Climate Change Link to CO2

  Nothing ground breaking here but recent research shows a ‘global pattern’ of change that begun 2.7 million years ago. By Ansgar Walk (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia CommonsThere seems to be a feedback process which has amplified climate change. Dr Carrie Lear told BBC News that “this study reveals a feedback process that has magnified climate change since the inception of Northern Hemisphere glaciation 2.7 million years ago. It seems the tropical warming caused by high CO2 levels ...