Oxygen

Dione - not something that you would probably hear about in everyday conversations bu tin the next few years this name may become one of the most important words in our language. Why? Well first of all, what is Dione? It is, in fact, one of Saturn's many moons. Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dione3_cassini_big.jpg Why has it been thrust into the limelight? Well, it is thought that it has a thin layer of molecular oxygen around the moon. So what is ...

Molecule of the week

Tributyltin. Thats right! You have correctly read it. It is not mis-spelt! So, tributyltin, (C4H9)3Sn. What makes this molecule so interesting? Image kindly reproduced according to the licence at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tributyltin.png Tributyltin is used to coat ships hulls as it is an 'antifouling' agent. Essentially, this means it stops plant life and algae building up on a ships hull. This is a problem as it reduces the performance of the boat or ship. And the problem with it? (There is always a problem isn't there!) As well as ...

Killer Salt

  It has been a bad winter here is the UK (and most of Europe). Bizzarly, we may see a reduction in the number of frogs during the spring and summer of 2011 as a consequence of this bad weather. However, this will not be caused by the extreme cold, it is more of a man made problem to do with the cold weather. Salt (good old Sodium Chloride, NaCl) is put onto roads to de-ice them - to stop them freezing. Whilst it is only ...