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Dial chem for murder

6 March 2015 The Crucible

Poisons may seem to be a murderer’s perfect accomplice, but chemists can always persuade them to betray their secrets, says Philip Ball

A brave new word

24 February 2015 The Crucible

Why did scientists endure, while sciencers perished? Philip Ball examines the quirks of science’s lexical legacy

The spirit of the matter

27 January 2015 The Crucible

Philip Ball muses on the mercurial nature of chemical history

A complete chemist

11 December 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball celebrates Paul Schleyer’s contributions to scientific discourse, spanning decades and disciplines

An end to bubble puzzle trouble?

2 December 2014 The Crucible

Has a 20-year-old problem finally been solved, asks Philip Ball

Spheres of influence

30 October 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball savours the chemistry of avant-garde gastronomy

Appreciating art criticism

11 September 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball considers Chinese works of art that comment on environmental and chemical issues

Does life play dice?

3 September 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball wonders whether life evolved to exploit quantum phenomena, or if it’s just in our nature

The fascinating in the familiar

28 July 2014 The Crucible

A simple droplet shows that there are still plenty of puzzles to ponder in everyday observations, says Philip Ball

How the Pelican got its hue

26 June 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball covers the chemical history of Penguin’s inexpensive educational books

Is junk DNA all garbage?

22 May 2014 The Crucible

A brouhaha in biology shows that uncovering what we don’t know is more important than arguments about what we do, says Philip Ball

Family values

17 April 2014 The Crucible

Do larger research groups mean mentorship and ethics will inevitably suffer?

Open exposure

21 March 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball muses on the many meanings of openness in science

Computational chemicals

25 February 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball explains how creative chemists are teaching molecules some new tricks

Sense and sense ability

20 January 2014 The Crucible

Philip Ball is surprised to discover just how sensitive we are about our feelings

We choose to go to the muon

8 January 2014 The Crucible

Subatomic sorties have uncovered strange new species, says Philip Ball. Should we give these alien atoms a place at the table?

Novelty hits top the charts

18 November 2013 The Crucible

There’s no formula for citation success, says Philip Ball, but high-impact tracts mix the classical with the unconventional

Chemistry's climate of scepticism

21 October 2013 The Crucible

Philip Ball asks why chemistry seems to have more than its share of global warming’s opponents

Crystallography 101

1 October 2013 The Crucible

Philip Ball reflects on a century of progress in the science of structure

Making science personal

13 August 2013 The Crucible

It's time to take action on the passive voice, says Philip Ball

DNA waves don't wash

10 July 2013 The Crucible

Philip Ball asks why a spectacular claim seems to have been overlooked. Sometimes science doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to

A self-assembled periodic table

5 July 2013 The Crucible

Philip Ball unpacks the instructions for a new periodic table

The name's (quadruple) bond?

13 May 2013 The Crucible

Philip Ball discusses the contentious issue of C2 bonding. Dare we draw four lines?

Quantum leaps of faith

29 April 2013 The Crucible

The path to quantum mechanics becomes smoother if you take a different route, says Philip Ball

Clairvoyant chemistry

15 March 2013 The Crucible

Philip Ball discusses spiritualism, science and a most unusual book