UTC: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

My favorite element

When you do my job(s), and you write the kind of stuff that I write, the question of what my favorite element might be comes up a lot – quite a lot in fact. Actually I don’t think that the question is one that I would have ever give any thought to were it not […]

Announcing an exciting new book project

Very exciting news! A couple of weeks ago I signed a contract with the Hachette Book Group USA, to adapt Sam Kean’s Disappearing Spoon for young readers. Yeah, THAT Disappearing Spoon! Any chemistry teacher who has ever made a list of non-fiction, extra reading for one of their middle/high school physical science or chemistry classes, […]

Four new elements for the periodic table very soon?

Well maybe not, but there seems to be a decent chance that at least two of the elements that are currently not formally recognized by IUPAC, could be on the brink of being added to the periodic table by having their discoveries officially confirmed. If that were to happen, then the people credited with each […]

The Spirit of the Question

My recent conversation with Eric Scerri that spawned this post, was initially provoked by his article from the previous week in Scientific American. It got me thinking about an old AP exam question from 2006, that asked about the as yet undiscovered element 119. That question was incredibly easy in the grand scheme of things, […]

4s & 3d, 3d & 4s, Cu & Cr, sloppy aufbau & Eric Scerri!

Yeah, that’s an inelegant title to say the least, but behind it is an elegant piece of chemistry that is struggling to get recognition. Yesterday I had the enormous pleasure and privilege to chat with UCLA chemistry professor and venerable author and expert on the periodic table, Eric Scerri. Eric and I chatted about a […]

The Periodic Table: Elements With Style in many other languages

I was aware of a few different languages that the Periodic Table: Elements With Style had been translated into, but apparently there’s a lot more than I first realized! Can you identify the languages? If so, let me know!

Newsletter #11

Newsletter #11 can be viewed here.

Those confounded names and symbols!

Zach Weiner takes on the elements and the stress of the chemistry test in this, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Strip. Whilst reading Weiner’s cartoon I was reminded of the (somewhat old-fashioned and some would say outdated) terror of being asked to ‘memorize’ all of the symbols, for all of the elements, and the fact that […]

US Patent awarded for a 3D Periodic Table

Over the years I’ve seen many renditions of the periodic table (some of which have even been in three dimensions) and here’s the latest reincarnation. US Patent 7938646 for a three-dimensional periodic table was awarded to Michael Aldersley on May 10th 2011. Quite what one would do with this I’m not sure, but it’s certainly […]