There was, he thought, no point in collecting anything else; this was everything else. It was the catalogue of everything that existed in the universe, stripped down to its 118 basic ingredients.— Itchingham Lofte, element collector (from Itch by Simon Mayo)
Chemistry is essentially the study of elements – the 118 so far discovered or made – and their compounds. This blog concerns my creative endeavours inspired by chemistry and chemists.
- Salt crystalsSodium chloride, one of humankind’s most familiar crystals. It has something of a bad name, being implicated in high blood pressure, but is also essential to animal life.Continue reading “Salt crystals”
- Green grows the grassOur lives depend on the magnesium ion at the centre of the chlorophyll pigment that gives leafy plants their green colour. Without chlorophyll’s ability to absorb photons, plantsContinue reading “Green grows the grass”
- YttriumYttrium – another example of the usefulness of rare earth elements, and another element named for the Ytterby mine in Sweden. One of the most important current usesContinue reading “Yttrium”
- Scandi designThree of the elements discovered in Scandinavia: holmium, thulium and thorium, the first two discovered in Sweden (in the minerals from the famous mine at Ytterby which yieldedContinue reading “Scandi design”
- Introducing the f-blockLanthanum and actinium: the two elements that give their names to the lanthanoid series and actinoid series which together form the f-block of the periodic table. The patternsContinue reading “Introducing the f-block”
- Crystal glassDelighted to have been asked by Cambridge Chemistry Department to write about the glass in their toilets! A nice piece of British design history… https://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/news/crystallography-inspired-festival-britain-glass
- Bunsen’s burnerHappy #NationalBunsenBurnerDay! These little burners represent rubidium, one of the two elements discovered by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff in 1861. Bunsen developed his burner with assistant PeterContinue reading “Bunsen’s burner”
- Lithium therapyLithium carbonate is one of the 590 medicines on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines: those considered to satisfy the priority health needs of a population andContinue reading “Lithium therapy”
- Radium girlsKatherine Schaub, Amelia (Molly) Maggia, Quinta Maggia McDonald, Albina Maggia Larice, Helen Quinlan, Grace Fryer, Edna Bolz Hussman, Hazel Vincent Kuser, Marguerite Carlough, Catherine Wolfe Donohue, Inez CorcoranContinue reading “Radium girls”
- Flying the flagTwo elements represented by flags, each with a distinctive cross. The Saltire, or St Andrew’s Cross, is the flag of Scotland and represents the only element to beContinue reading “Flying the flag”
periodically.blog features the work of Clare E Wilkes, author, crafter and chemistry enthusiast
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Credit to the wonderful Cambridge Imprint for the paper used for the Periodic Table at the top of this page.