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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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

Why do most of us start relaxing as soon as we smell lavender or vanilla? Is it the memories they conjure up or is there a chemical reason?

By Dave Roos

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

By Alia Hoyt

There's some serious science behind the sparkle, with different metals, compounds and other elements creating the fun firework.

By Christopher Hassiotis

YouTube channel Let's Melt This has become an internet sensation. Why are we so mesmerized by videos of everyday objects undergoing phase change?

By Christopher Hassiotis

Developed in Israel, this foul-smelling liquid has been used on Palestinian and Israeli protesters … and it's showing up in the United States.

By Sarah Gleim

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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

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

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

Why do newspapers turn yellow over time?

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.

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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

Dynamite is simply some sort of absorbent material (like sawdust) soaked in nitroglycerin. But what makes this chemical so explosive?