If you have been in the kitchen when your mother boils some water or milk, you may notice the flame of the gas burner turns yellow when liquid comes in contact with the flame. Did you know that there is chemistry at work behind this?
The earth is running out of fossil fuel. Soon there will be none left. So, the search for a clean and efficient alternative is on in full-swing. Harnessing the power of the waves is one way to create energy. Have you felt the power of the waves when taking a bath in the sea? The energy produced by surface ocean waves is tremendous. It's used to create electricity, to pump water into reservoir, and in desalination.
Have you ever been to a hospital with a person who needed to have a CAT scan done and wondered what that was all about? A CAT scan is a special kind of X-ray. It provides a three dimensional image of what is inside an object by using several two dimensional X-ray images. You may have seen a nurse giving patients an injection before the CAT scan begins. This is usually a solution of iodine.
We all love to have a sip of our favourite soft drink when we are thirsty, especially in summers. And we also love to have a little fizz in it. This fizz is the bubbly effervescence that is produced by adding pressurized carbon dioxide gas to water. It's also called carbonated water or just soda water.
Everyone needs to stay clean, whether we like it or not. After a rough day on the playing field, a bath with soap gives us that fresh feeling. Soap is wonderful, the way it bubbles and the sweet smell that it has. Apart from bathing, we wash our clothes and clean our utensils with soap. We use soap everyday but do we know the story of soap? It is an excellent example of everyday chemistry in action.
On a cold winter morning, if you take a walk outside in our nation's capital, you are likely to be surrounded by a thick cloud of smoke. And you may not be able to see anything at all. This is because of smog. Here is a little clarity about why things get smoky during the winters.
When it rains, it pours. The only way to stay dry when there are strong winds is a raincoat. You may use one when you go to school or you may have seen your dad wear one when he goes for work in the rainy season. Haven't you ever wondered how these raincoats are different from the normal clothes you wear?
Your mother might have warned you many times to tell her if you ever get a pungent smell from the kitchen. The smell might have been from a gas leak. Read on to know what it actually is. And what you should do when you detect a leak.
You must of heard of the term genetic engineering in the news or in the papers. But what does it mean? Is it good for us? What are its benefits? If you have ever had any of these queries, then you are in the right place!
'Chocolate' is one word that is mouth watering. Who could resist the delicious aroma of melted chocolate or a crunchy chocolate bar? Did you know that chocolate has 500 flavour components and a number of types, to suit every palate? In fact, chocolate's melting point is just below your body temperature, so it melts in your mouth! The melting increases our brain activity and heart rates, making us get excited and wanting even more!
Chewing gum is one of the oldest sweets known to man beginning as a chewy tree sap from the Mastiche trees of ancient Greece. Across the world even the Mayans of South America liked chewy treats. It was in the 1800s that entrepreneur John Curtis introduced chewing gum to the US with his small sticks of "Maine Pure Spruce Gum."
You must have noticed a set of smooth plates, cups and bowls at home that your mother keeps safely. She must have even told you to be careful while using it. Chances are there that these pieces of crockery are made of ceramic.
Balloons are fun. Well, aren't they? Be it the small ones you see at birthday parties or the giant ones you see floating in the sky, balloons are wonderful. If you are fascinated by balloons, the chemistry behind it will just blow you away.
When you hear the words acid rain, you think of something that is dangerous and is likely to burn you skin. Think about it, what could be worse than having acid which seems to burn everything it touches when falling from the sky. Why even umbrellas aren't going to help us then!
Adhesive tape is a tape that is coated with adhesive either on one side or both, and used for temporarily or permanently joining two overlapping materials. Adhesive tape is something we all use in our daily lives. It serves a number of purposes. Its convenience makes it virtually indispensable in our homes and while at work. If for example, you accidentally tear an important document at work, you reach for an adhesive tape to fix it in a jiffy. Though this invention has become indispensable in our lives, have you ever thought about what is the science behind this invention?
An eraser is an instrument of stationery used to remove pencil and sometimes pen marks. It is rather interesting to know that before the invention of erasers slabs of wax and breadcrumbs were used to 'wipe out' charcoal or lead marks from paper. Can you imagine doing that in the classroom? The first pencils were discovered around 1560's but people did not have anything that could rub out the marks with.
Ink is a pigment or dye that is used for colouring a surface in order to produce an image or a text. You use ink in many ways, whether it is the ink in your ballpoint pen, your father's special fountain pen or the ink used in your printer cartridge.
Have you ever seen that little Post-it note that your dad uses? That square yellow paper that he uses to makes notes on and pastes it to books and newspapers, or even on the refrigerator. Isn't it interesting how you can stick it somewhere then remove it easily and stick it somewhere else entirely?
Women love their makeup, and out of the hundreds of makeup products, nail polish is on the top five of their list. Nail polish today has become a significant part of women's fashion and nail care. These small bottles of coloured nitrocellulose have become a symbol of the 20th century, with more than half the women using it.
I am sure you have seen your mother or sister using it, or if you are a girl, you probably have one tucked somewhere for special occasions. Lipstick is that waxy crayon-like cosmetic in a tube-like container used to colour lips.
Chocolate, strawberry, mint, chocolate chip, butterscotch, vanilla - the list is endless. You may have just one favourite flavour, but whether we're five years old or fifty, we all love ice cream don't we? But there's a lot more to ice cream than most of us generally know.
Biogas is formed when organic matter breaks down due to no oxygen. This gas is made of methane and carbon dioxide and is used as a fuel. As a form of fuel, biogas is especially important for the villages of India, who use it for their cooking.
Have you seen cartoons and movies in which people, while cutting trees, shout 'Timber" as loudly as they can? This is to alert co-workers and people in the area as a safety precaution that a tree is going to fall.The process of cutting down trees in large numbers for the purpose of timber or forest management is called logging.
Isn't it interesting to eat colourful food? Did you know that often food colouring is added to make what you eat so colourful? Any digestible substance added to food or drink in order to change its colour is known as food colour. Food colours are used both commercially as well as in domestic cooking.
I am sure you would have used a pencil in the recent past. Whether it was just to doodle something or to take down notes, the pencil is an excellent tool to make a marking that is not permanent. Pencils are usually made of graphite or in some cases coloured pigment or charcoal, encased in a wooden cylinder. It can be used for writing, marking and drawing.
Everybody loves to have white teeth. One of the most common procedures that dentists do these days is cosmetic dentistry. In this, tooth whitening is the most common and successful procedure. Over the last few years, tooth whitening has become very popular as it's an easy, inexpensive way to show off.
Correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid that is used to paint over writing or painting errors. Before the invention of word processors, correction fluid was the easiest way you could correct a mistake in a handwritten document.
Story books, newspapers, magazines and notebooks are all made of paper. Though we use paper every day, we take it for granted since it's easily available. Yet inventing paper itself was a challenge for man.
Corals are one of nature's wonders. You may have seen videos of divers swimming near colourful coral reefs documentaries or movies. These beautiful sea organisms are now losing the algae that give them their colour. This loss of colour is caused by stress factors like pollution, water temperature and sedimentation and is known as coral bleaching.
Everyone enjoys a healthy glass of milk to go with doughnuts, cakes, pancakes, cheese, cookies and such food. Yet not everyone can have milk or any of these foods. Why? Because there are some people who have something called lactose intolerance. Their bodies can't digest lactose, the sugar found in almost every dairy product.
The first thing you reach for when you are thirsty is a glass of water. Nothing quenches your thirst like a glass of water. However, too much of anything is not good. Drinking too much water can give you water intoxication.
Protein plays an important role in your diet. Our body needs protein as it is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs and glands. This is why your mother plans your diet to ensure you have a lot of protein in it.
Do you remember seeing your dad's calculator that had that strange strip which powered it? Remember how you were playing with it when you asked him to help you solve your maths problem? Wasn't it fun to keep your finger over the strip and after a time to see the calculator shut down? That was a photovoltaic cell, the thing that makes solar energy possible.
One of the strongest glues available at your local hardware store is Superglue. Just one-square inch of this glue can hold up to a ton! What's more this glue is fast. It can fix anything within seconds of applying it.
Today there are cafe's everywhere and new ones keep cropping up. Everyone enjoys a coffee break to catch up over a cup of coffee. Though we enjoy drinking a cup of coffee, few of us know that it is the chemistry behind your cup of coffee that makes it enjoyable?
If you have ever watched your mother cooking red cabbage you might have noticed it changes colour once it's cooked. Strange isn't it? Not if you think that cooking is chemistry after all and this is another excellent example of chemistry in our everyday life.
Water is the 'universal solvent', almost all substances dissolve in it. Oil is the one substance that does not dissolve in water. However hard you try you will always see that if you try to mix the two, you will notice that the oil layer lies about the water.
Having grey hair is part of growing old. Even in your own family you are likely to have uncles and aunts who have grey or white hair. The changing of hair colour is just another example of chemistry at work in your own body.
Can you imagine what a day without batteries would be like? Almost everything around us is powered by batteries. From your television remote to your mobile phone and even the family car has a battery in it. Without the battery, our life would be a tangled mess. We would have to use long extension wires for anything that needed to move a distance.
Have you heard of the electric car? These cars are very similar to the normal cars. What makes these cars different is that they use large batteries to power them instead of using petrol. What make these environmentally friendly cars possible are fuel cells.
Though you may never have heard of fermentation, you are likely to have experienced it. Fermentation helped make that piece of toast you had for breakfast. It is also responsible for making yoghurt, wine and beer.
Even though our mother warns us time and again, we somehow manage to drop something like tea or dal on our favourite shirt. That shirt would be ruined if it were not our mother's stain remover. Did you know that there are more than ten different types of stain remover? These range from stain removal powders, tablets, liquids, to sprays.
We all like a bit of colour in our life. Man has been using paints to give us this touch of colour ever since the days of cave paintings where red and yellow ochre colouring was used to draw pictures. Today paints and dyes are used for everything from home appliances to homes themselves.
Cold cream gets its name from the cool feeling that you get when you apply it on your skin. It is used to cleanse the skin, remove makeup and soften the skin. They are also used on sunburnt skin. How this cream manages it is a cool bit of chemistry.
Hydrocarbons are compounds that are made entirely out of hydrogen and carbon. We come across hydrocarbons in our day to day lives but don't realise it at times. When you go to the petrol bunk you fill your car with a mixture of hexane-septane-octane- nonane mixture. Doesn't sound familiar? Its gasoline!
Think of alcohol and you may think of the drinks like beer, wine and whisky that your dad may lock away or reserves for those special parties where only 'adults' are allowed to drink. But for a chemist, these are just few of the alcohols that a chemist knows.
Moth balls are small balls of chemical pesticide used to protect your clothes against moths. The vapour of the moth ball, that smells pleasant to humans, kills both moths and moth larvae. Mothballs are highly toxic and should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
Do you remember the amazing refreshing feeling of a glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day? You may have noticed the sharp sour taste of the lemonade. This tartness is a result of carboxylic acids. This is an organic acid that is found in a variety of fruits including grapes, lemons and vinegar.
Carbohydrates are organic compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The proportion between the hydrogen and oxygen in this is the same as it is in water. Plants produce carbohydrates by the process of photosynthesis.
Carbon fibre is a lightweight yet strong substance. Many things from sports equipment like golf clubs and tennis racquets to sports cars use carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is easily identifiable by its unique chequered appearance.
Just like the human body requires important nutrients to survive, plants also need essential nutrients. Apart from getting these nutrients naturally, we sometimes help plants by giving them fertilisers that encourage their growth.
We use chemicals to keep our house clean. Two popular chemicals used for this are ammonia and bleach. Though both are effective cleaners, you might notice a warning on their containers telling you not to mix each other.
We all like to wear colourful clothes. Whether a special occasion or just daily wear, it's always nice to add a little colour in our lives. Dyes are the chemical substances that are responsible for turning plain cloth into the colourful garments that we wear every day.
Most of us enjoy a glass of milk. Whether we have it plain or flavoured, milk is the ultimate health drink that our parents have given us. This white wonder is full of healthy vitamins and other chemicals.
We have all seen a plaster cast some time or the other. They help people who have had accidents and broken their bones to get better quickly. The same substance is used to make sculptures and decorate your home.
Diamonds are always called a girl's best friend. They are formed from carbon and are used for a variety of purposes from jewellery to use in lasers and cutting and polishing tools. Though most diamonds are colourless you do come across a few; rare coloured diamonds.
There are times when your tummy is not all right, after you have been eating all that junk food and soft drinks. Your mummy might give you some pills to make you feel better. It is likely that this medicine is an antacid. Learn about how these medicines help you feel better and the chemistry behind them.
Artificial smoke and fog provides a special effect for music artists performing on stage. Most artists make use of this effect to complement it with lighting while they are on tour. This extraordinary visual effect would not be possible were it not for chemistry.
We often find small sachets in the packaging of expensive electronic equipment like cameras or cell phones. These little packets contain substances called desiccants, which are used to ensure everything stays dry.
She sells sea shells on the sea shore. You might have heard this tongue twister before. You may even have collected shells from the beach before. But have you ever wondered how these spectacular sea shells get their beautiful colours?
For a long time man has aspired to reach the stars. Rockets have taken man to the moon and back. Today one of the most spectacular sights to see is the billows of white clouds that accompany a shuttle lift off. It's time to learn about the basic chemistry behind rocketry.
If your father is a diplomat you might have noticed him scribbling on a note with a pen that didn't seem to have any ink in it. Though invisible ink is something you read in stories it really does exist. Here's how it works.
While chemistry has been a great benefit to us, sometimes its applications have caused harm. The widespread use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers is an example. One step towards the solution is growing more organic food.
Every activity we do leads to the emission of some carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Do you know that you can now measure how much carbon dioxide you are using, and thus know how to reduce it? This is done by trading 'carbon credits'.
When you next go shopping, you'll probably come back with a plastic bag or two. Try an experiment with it. Take a flower pot, and bury a paper bag and a plastic bag in it. Wait for a month, and dig them out. Which one had degraded?
If you watch news on TV, you may have seen images of petroleum spilling into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico. It causes a lot of environmental destruction, as it affects the fishes and other creatures of the sea, as well as birds like pelicans and sea gulls that live by the sea. But why does an oil spill cause so much destruction?
Radioactive materials play an important role in our lives. Some of the electricity you use comes from a nuclear power plant which uses them. Radio-isotopes are used in many medical applications. But did you know that once used, radioactive substances must be disposed off carefully?
The plant kingdom is very important to us, for it provides us with food, clothing, wood and many other products. Most importantly, plants convert carbon dioxide to life. What secrets do they hold for our future?
You'll have seen or read in the news about how some countries are trying to develop nuclear weapons, and how some countries are trying to stop them. The element uranium lies below all of this fuss, so let's try to understand its chemistry.
Some medicines we buy are mixtures of two or more drugs in a particular proportion. But how do manufacturers ensure that those proportions are correct? They use an analytical technique called chromatography.
In the final of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, you must have watched Spain hold aloft the golden Cup itself. So we thought it would be apt to share a video explaining the chemistry behind the making of the cup!
Next time you drink a glass of water, try cleaning it with a piece of rubber. There will still be a thin film of water left on the glass. Now look at how a car's windshield wiper works. How does that clean off the water, though it is made of rubber too?
If you like action films, you might watch the hero battle all the villains, and remain unhurt even though the villains are firing hundreds of bullets at him. He's wearing a bullet-proof jacket, but how does that work?
We may rarely watch a horror movie, but we often wonder how those grotesque effects were created. Or perhaps how film artists make fake scars and bruises. Let's explore the chemistry of special effects make-up!
We've been seeing news of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but now there's one much closer home. After two ships collided on Monday in the Arabian Sea, lots of petroleum has leaked, and is reaching the coast of Mumbai. How bad is it going to get?
It is so refreshing to get back inside the house after a tiring day, leaving behind the noise, air and light pollution of the traffic. But did you know that pollution is as serious a problem indoors as it is outdoors?
You know a match helps to light a fire but did you know phosphorus is the key element used in making match sticks? This video explains the chemical characteristics of phosphorus and why it is such a hot element.
In many cultures, those who do not get angry when provoked, do not get influenced by anything and keep their dignity when in the presence of 'base' people are called 'noble'. Now what if a gas showed these traits? Would you call it a Noble Gas?
If you've seen 'Pirates of the Caribbean', you'll have seen people fighting over rubies, pearls, diamonds and other coloured stones. What makes them so colourful and shiny, and why are they so precious?
You'd have seen few twins as unlike each other as the boys in the Suite Life of Zack and Cody. In chemistry too, there are twins, like the chemicals that give oranges and lemons their flavours. They're called mirror compounds.
Let's tell you a jeweller's secret - the gold jewellery your mom wears, isn't pure gold at all! It's actually an alloy of copper or silver with varying amounts of gold! So why do jewellers and goldsmiths do this?
If we told you that you could make a crash-proof car entirely out of glass, you'ld never believe us. But not just cars, even motor-boats and aeroplanes are made of glass today. The secret is in how the glass is made - as fibres!
Imagine you're getting late for school, and you discover that your shirt hasn't been ironed. It makes you so angry, doesn't it? Well, do you know there are fabrics that don't need ironing? They're called synthetics.
Once you've used a battery, you've got to throw it away. But batteries contain many poisonous chemicals, which damage the environment. That's why the world is shifting to rechargeable batteries. Shall we see how these work?
Some people nowadays use special liquid soaps and beauty bars to wash their hands, instead of regular soap. Think they're being snobby? Not really. Let's have a peep into what's in those special soaps.
Ever tried to make an omelette in an ordinary frying pan? Did it stick to the pan and give you a hard time getting it off, right? That's why we use Teflon-coated non-stick pans. Let's see what is non-stick about it.
Say 'acid' and what's the image that comes to mind? A fuming liquid inside a glass jar, too dangerous to handle. We don't think of boric acid, do we? But it's among the most useful chemicals to have around the house!
Sometimes you may have seen an old gold ornament at home that has got spots or other signs of age. Your parents may take it to a 'polisher' to get it cleaned and polished. But did you know that the polisher actually removes a layer of gold?
Ever looked at a blue, cloudless sky, and seen a jet plane fly across it, leaving a long, thin trail of white clouds? Have you noticed that passenger planes don't seem to leave any trail like that? Let's find out why.