Discover more from Periodycal – The Compound Interest Newsletter
Learn about nuclear fusion & submit your chemistry history moments
Welcome to another edition of the Periodycal newsletter! In this issue, there’s a new graphic on nuclear fusion and how reactors that attempt to harness it work, a call for you to let me know what chemistry history moments you’d like to see highlighted in the Today in Chemistry History series, and more. There’s also the usual summary of upcoming dates with relevant chemistry graphics and interesting chemistry news and features.
How do nuclear fusion reactors work?
With the news towards the end of last year of the first-ever net energy production from a nuclear fusion reactor, the time seems apt for the latest edition of Periodic Graphics to delve into the reactors’ inner workings. The graphic provides an overview of the background to nuclear fusions, the main types of reactors currently in use, and a short history of our efforts to harness fusion as an energy source.
Submit your chemistry history moments
Those who follow the Compound Interest website regularly will know that I have a semi-regular series of graphics entitled Today in Chemistry History. As the name suggests, this series highlights significant chemistry events on particular dates. I'm continually looking to add to the series, so I’ve set up a form for suggestions on particular events or milestones you think should be highlighted. Got a suggestion? Add it to the form!
Salters Chemistry Club graphics
Over the past few years, I’ve been creating infographics for the Salters’ Chemistry Club, a chemistry learning platform for 11-14-year-olds. It was fantastic to hear this week that the platform is a finalist for a Bett Award for the second year running in the Free Digital Content, App or Open Educational Resource category!
Some of the graphics I’ve created for the platform are simplified versions of existing graphics, while others are exclusive to the platform. I’ll be looking to create more detailed versions of these to share in the coming months. In the meantime, if you work in a school, you can sign up to access the Salters’ Chemistry Club platform here.
Upcoming chemistry tie-ins
Here’s a quick run-down of upcoming events or days and links to some relevant chemistry graphics from the archives:
February: National Cherry Month — The chemistry of cherries
7th Feb: National Periodic Table Day — 24 periodic tables on a variety of themes
11th Feb: International Day of Women & Girls in Science – A selection of graphics highlighting women in chemistry
Chemistry news and features
Here’s the regular round-up of chemistry news and features I’ve found interesting over the past couple of weeks:
Terminator material helps Lego man break out of jail — In the heat of last summer, I melted a Lego man made of gallium on my patio. A team of researchers have gone one step further, and, by embedding magnetic microparticles in gallium, have made a gallium man that can be melted in a magnetic field instead.
Plant toxin hailed as ‘new weapon’ in antibiotic war against bacteria — Researchers have discovered a new antibiotic that attacks bacteria in a different way to existing antibacterial drugs.
Chemists claim to have cracked the code to long-lasting Roman concrete — Turns out calcium-rich rocks embedded in the concrete help it heal damage.
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As always, let me know if you’ve got any suggestions for the newsletter, or for graphics for the site. Share your ideas in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,