Where do the elements come from? Nuclear astrophysics proposes several origins, depending on the element: the Big Bang, dying and exploding stars, and cosmic rays.
Beginning in 1976 a pseudoscientific pamphlet spread like wildfire across Europe, stating that many common food additives caused cancer – including cellulose and citric acid.
In nuclear physics terminology, first you need to hit the barn, and next you need to wait for 50 to 100 shakes. And then the bomb blows up.
Old people smell different – and a few studies have posited a chemical basis for that difference.
Antoine Lavoisier explained how combustion uses oxygen with a very clever experiment. Later, he lost his head.
French magician Ivan Chabert was famous in the 19th century CE for his feats with heat: sitting in an oven, putting melted lead in his mouth, and bathing his feet in molten metal.
According to special relativity, something can happen both before and after something else – depending on the observer’s frame of reference.
In the late 17th century CE, Prince Rupert’s drops were some of the most confusing objects known to science: an extremely tough glass teardrop that will disintegrate if its tail is even slightly damaged.
Organosulfur compounds include some of the sweetest and the worst smells known to science. Thioacetone is the worst of them all.
A Christmas Eve parlour game played in Victorian England involved grabbing burning raisins with your hands and eating them while they were still alight.
The idea of the tractor beam first appeared in fiction in 1931. Since then, scientists have worked to make it a reality… and they’ve actually had some success.
We’ve all heard of the Dead Sea, so salty that people naturally float in it. But the Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia is saltier, and the Don Juan Pond in Antarctica is so salty that it doesn’t freeze, even at -50°C.
There is a point not more than 20km away from you right now where your normal body temperature is enough to boil the saliva off your tongue and the moisture out of your lungs.
Water freezes into ice. This is not new information to you (I hope). But which kind? Because there are eighteen different phases of ice, including electric viral space ice.
The universe is full of cosmic rays, blasted out from neighbouring galaxies, supernovae, and the like. In 2003, they nearly changed the outcome of a local Belgian election.