February 2020


four flying jets with contrails

Chemistry Takes to the Skies

By Brian Rohrig

The puffy white letters of skywriting look similar to the contrail streaks that you see trailing from airplanes. But a close look at the chemistry reveals what makes them so different.

Teacher's Guide

* Article in Spanish Translation

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Building ruins in Chernobyl

Chernobyl's Legacy

By Adrian Dingle

The Chernobyl disaster serves as a tragic reminder of the risks of nuclear energy. Examining what went wrong has made nuclear power safer, while other issues are factoring heavily into the industry’s future.

Teacher's Guide
Radioactivity Puzzle

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sparkes from hammered iron

Is Iron the Most Important Element?

By Steven Farmer

Iron plays a crucial role in many aspects of life, whether it’s in living things or the Earth’s crust and core. Find out more about this amazing element, and why you can’t live without it.

Teacher's Guide

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man in crystal cave
Getty Images

Crystal Caves

By Emma Hiolski/Chemical & Engineering News

Natural crystals of mind-blowing proportions have captivated scientists since their discovery in a Mexican cave 20 years ago. Researchers have unlocked the secrets of the crystals’ past, and now work to secure their future.

Teacher's Guide

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Open for Discussion: Can Nuclear Powere Save the Plante?

Open for Discussion: Can Nuclear Power Save the Planet?

By Michael Tinnesand

Nuclear power is often viewed by many as a dangerous technology that should become a relic of the past. But as the world seeks to reduce CO2 emissions to fight climate change, is it time to ramp up nuclear energy?

Open for Discussion: The Sweet Life of a candy chemist
Shafin Quazi

Chemistry in Person: The Sweet Life of a Candy Chemist

By Lis Gallegos

When Sarah Houle was a sophomore in high school, her love for food science began with an unlikely food—eggs. Now, she’s a Research & Development Manager at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.