Chemical Processes and Tests

Chemical processes and tests allow chemists to ascertain the properties of various substances. By utilizing chemical processes and tests, scientists can look at life on the atomic level. Click here to find some articles on chemical processes and tests.

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All bubbles pop — that's a fact of life. But what's the science behind the short life and inevitable pop of a bubble?

By Allison Troutner

Why do newspapers turn yellow over time?

Scenario: A helium balloon is up against the ceiling one day, and the next day it's on the floor. Does the balloon fall because the helium leaks out, or because the helium molecules slow down due to decreased pressure?

By Austin Henderson

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The main function of the Krebs cycle is to produce energy, stored and transported as ATP or GTP, to keep the human body up and running.

By Jesslyn Shields & Austin Henderson

I recently bought a pair of mirrored sunglasses and they are already scratched. Isn't there a way to make them scratch-resistant?

Biting on aluminum foil can be painful -- basically, when you bite on foil, you build a battery in your mouth. Ouch!

Chemical formulas provide a concise explanation for reactions. In this article, we explain the formula for the reaction in a smoke detector.

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Rust is the common name for iron oxide, which is created when iron bonds with oxygen. In fact, pure iron is only rarely found in nature because it interacts with oxygen so easily.

Everyone from the father of anatomy to modern-day pharmaceutical companies has used humans as guinea pigs. Do we always need live test subjects to advance science?

By Robert Lamb

That's one seriously big number, and technically Amedeo Avogadro didn't even come up with it. So how did the Italian chemist make such an indelible (numerical) mark on the wonderful world of chemistry?

By Jonathan Atteberry

What is dye-sublimation printing? Why is it better for printing digital images than traditional ink-jet printing?

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Ever wondered exactly what they "artificial flavors" in your candy are, and why no specific ingredients are listed? Find out in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors & Yara Simón

Helium balloons tend to fascinate adults and children alike (and it's not just the Donald Duck voice thing, though that is a big draw). Learn all about helium and why it floats!

By Marshall Brain

Here's something to consider: The place you call home likely has walls and glass windows. Both are adept at keeping rain, snow and wind from bothering you in your abode. Only one, though, allows light to enter. Why is that?

By William Harris

One person lay in critical condition on Feb. 29, 2008, after the deadly biotoxin ricin was found in his Las Vegas hotel room. What is ricin, and why is it so dangerous?

By Julia Layton

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You know how chocolate sometimes turns white? Why does that happen and is it still OK to eat?

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors & Desiree Bowie

Have you seen investigators on crime shows who spray some stuff on a "clean" carpet and suddenly -- blood stains! Well, of all the fictional technology on TV, it turns out this stuff is real! Find out how luminol reveals the blood.

By Tom Harris

Scientists have developed a blood test that can give an approximate age of a person within an hour.

By Alia Hoyt

The story of how the first new blue pigment in 200 years was discovered and took its place in the crayon box.

By Loraine Fick

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These small molecules are the foundation for much bigger things, from ordinary household products around us to essential components within our bodies.

By Debbie Swanson

Polymers are the basic components in so many of the products we use each day.

By Debbie Swanson

When you speak, a stream of air flows up your trachea from your lungs. And when you add helium, your voice rises several octaves. So if you filled the air with helium, just how high would your voice get?

By Marshall Brain

If you were to touch dry ice, it wouldn't be anything like touching water ice. So what's it like? Is it hot or cold? And would it leave a mark?

By Marshall Brain & Austin Henderson

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We've all been told not to put aluminum foil in the microwave. Stories of incredible explosions and fires are usually at the center of these ominous warnings. Why is that?

By Marshall Brain

Mass spectrometry enables the major league to sniff out athletes guilty of doping. It can also help us locate oil or design a killer perfume. Who says chemistry isn't cool?

By William Harris