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Quantum computer simulates hydrogen molecule

25 July 2016 Research

Prototype shows potential for more complex electronic structure calculations 

Views across the divide

8 July 2016 The Crucible

Philip Ball talks to chemists across Europe affected by Brexit about their concerns for the future of UK science

The synthetic human

4 July 2016 The Crucible

A plan to build our genome from scratch should be challenged on its scientific merit, not whether it is creating life, argues Philip Ball

The game (theory) of life

16 June 2016 The Crucible

Philip Ball asks if the building blocks of life benefit from cooperation 

Scientists claim to have seen ‘new state’ of water

28 April 2016 Research

Scepticism that water molecules with delocalised protons can be described as an unknown phase of water

Birds’ eye views

21 April 2016 The Crucible

Philip Ball asks whether quantum biology holds the secret to how birds navigate

Frothed at sea

5 April 2016 The Crucible

What causes salty water to foam? Philip Ball seeks the answer to a question more complex than it appears

Bonding accurately predicted in diatomics by new scheme

24 March 2016 Research

Hopes that simple theoretical framework can be extended to tackle polyatomic molecules

New buzz around vibrational smell theory

22 February 2016 Research

Controversial theory bolstered by discovery that ordinary and deuterated odour compounds elicit different responses in honeybee brains

What is a molecule?

28 January 2016 The Crucible

Despite being a standard scientific concept, it’s virtually impossible to agree a satisfactory definition, says Philip Ball

Chemical reaction flipped back and forth under scanning probe microscope

25 January 2016 Research

Work demonstrated on Bergman cyclisation offers route to valuable new reactions

The periodic table name game

5 January 2016 The Crucible

Proposed new rules on how elements are named save confusion but sacrifice romance, argues Philip Ball

Freezing oil droplets put on a show

23 December 2015 Research

Drops of hexadecane adopt geometric shapes more appropriate to crystals

Why we need more research risks

22 December 2015 The Crucible

Scientists are playing it too safe when choosing topics for investigation, warns Philip Ball

MEL Chemistry sets

9 December 2015 Review

A new take on chemistry at home

Weapons of mass discussion

30 November 2015 The Crucible

A chemistry opera gives reason to face up to the role of scientists in war, says Philip Ball

Speaking of chemistry

28 October 2015 The Crucible

Richard Feynman’s mischievous genius shone discussing chemistry, says Philip Ball

Nanotube desalination could be put back on track

20 October 2015 Research

Simulations reveal what may have been holding up this promising technology

Drawn out proteins make self-healing scaffolds

1 October 2015 Research

Self-assembling protein tubes can be shaped into a flexible, branching network that can support growing cells  

Navigating chemical space

29 September 2015 Feature

Fully exploring the ocean of possible compounds – even computationally – is impossible, finds Philip Ball

Uncle Tungsten’s nephew

8 September 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball pays tribute to Oliver Sacks

A shared secret?

26 August 2015 The Crucible

Do chemistry and alchemy have a common ancestor, or are they separated by science, asks Philip Ball

Weaving is believing

23 July 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball unpicks the history of science’s woollen wardrobe

First snapshot of elusive intermediate supplies surprise

13 July 2015 Research

Atomic force microscopy images reveal aryne possesses three consecutive carbon–carbon double bonds, rather than a single triple bond

Simple reaction shows quantum interference

1 July 2015 Research

Chemical reactions can show interference patterns similar to those seen in the classic double-slit experiment