Chemistry World podcast - December 2013

Audio Files

0.57 - Eight years after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, an investigation claims that there is evidence of polonium poisoning, but draws no certain conclusions. Arafat poisoning probe clouded by passage of time

3.43 - The UN watchdog has confirmed that Syria has destroyed its chemical weapons manufacturing equipment a day ahead of the deadline. Now Syria and the world faces the potentially costly and complex task of disposing of the legacy of the country’s chemical weapons programme. World faces up to Syria's chemical weapons legacy

6.44 - What’s the clever chemistry behind the magnetic mechanisms that allow birds and other animals to navigate? Oxford University’s Peter Hore explains why a light sensitive protein utilising spin chemistry might be the key. Nature's navigation system

13.10 - Cellulose fibres covered with magnetic nanoparticles have been used to make ultrathin loudspeakers by researchers in Sweden. The material could provide a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to the polymers traditionally used in speakers. Sustainable materials sound good

14.21 - UK researchers have shown how solar cell efficiency can be boosted by up to 50% by harnessing acoustic vibrations in the environment, including those caused by roof-top machinery, traffic and even pop music. Jingle cells are rocking on sunshine

17.00 - Scientists from Japan have harvested light energy using an exceptionally large number of light absorbers to relay photons via antennas into one final energy acceptor. This two-step sequence closely mimics natural photosynthesis, resulting in greater and more efficient energy transfer. Light harvesting with many man-made leaves

18.41 - Comprehending cheese: Paul McSweeney introduces the science of stilton and the chemistry of camembert. Blessed are the cheesemakers

24.49 - There’s no formula for citation success, but high-impact tracts mix the classical with the unconventional. Novelty hits top the charts

28.05 – On 4 December 1913, Frederick Soddy first coined the word ‘isotope’ in Nature. A century of isotopes

29.46 – 100 years ago, a new type of scientific instrument made waves by revealing the true nature of crystals. The Braggs’ Spectrometer

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