Chemistry is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. In this section, learn about everyday chemistry, from chlorine beach to helium, and even why chocolate turns gray.
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?
First there was Volvo. Then came IKEA. Well get ready for the next major Swedish export: snus, a smokeless tobacco product, similar to dip or chew.
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?
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?
We once emptied the scent pods of male musk deer into a bottle of fragrance and doused it on, feeling like a million bucks. How has perfume changed since then?
Mushrooms -- they're not just a pizza topping. This psychotropic fungus has guided many an adventurer on a trip. How do shrooms make their magic?
We love it. We wear it glittering around our necks and sparkling at our ears, wrists and feet. We pass it down to our children and hoard it in secret stashes. Why is this precious metal so prized?
It begins with an unassuming "H" and ends in crazy elements that you've likely never heard of. But the periodic table, encapsulated on a mere sheet of paper, can be a scientist's best friend and a testament to our human drive to organize the world.
When it comes to stimulating the human central nervous system, meth can hold its shaky, toothless head high. Why is this drug so additive?
Can you pass the acid test? That electric Kool-Aid changed the fabric of 1960's American counterculture. So, what's it's like to trip on LSD?
Lead is one of the most maligned metals on the periodic table and for good reason. Lead poisoning is serious. But the beleaguered element isn't all bad, especially when it's protecting you from radiation.
Once considered a semiprecious metal alongside gold and silver, aluminum pretty much languished in obscurity until the 19th century. How did the metal become so ubiquitous?
Imagine spending your days racked with pain or losing pound upon pound because nausea leaves you unable to eat. Now imagine that someone offers you a wonder drug to cure all your ills. The problem? It's illegal.
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?
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?
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?
Most of us have heard the talk about oysters and chocolate, and maybe you've read an article about the stimulating effects of ginseng. But garlic, licorice and cucumber? Learn about the history of aphrodisiacs and whether they've been proven to be effective.
Crack cocaine, like many other illegal drugs, leads to addiction, death, increased crime rates and imprisonment. But this drug targets the inner city almost exclusively and possession or distribution of crack carries extremely harsh prison sentences.
Viagra is one of the best-known drugs of all time. Nearly every adult in America has heard of the drug and can tell you what it does. Find out how this high-profile medication works its magic.
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?
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.
My parents just came back from Belgium and they brought me several boxes of chocolates. Some of the candy is sort of grayish looking. Is it OK to eat?
Marijuana isn't just a recreational drug for hippies and philosophy majors -- its psychoactive history ranges from Egyptian mummies to modern U.S. politics. What's the big deal about this leafy, green plant?
I recently bought a pair of mirrored sunglasses and they are already scratched. Isn't there a way to make them scratch-resistant?
What is dye-sublimation printing? Why is it better for printing digital images than traditional ink-jet printing?