Chemistry

Every moment of every day, chemistry plays a part in all we experience. This branch of the Helium network humbly attempts to illuminate the vast array of chemical knowledge, making it accessible to all. Let our site inform, inspire, and awe you with chemical wonders.
Defining an acid
By: Ernest Capraro
Definitions of acids are abundant, and no single definition is used universally. Acids are typically defined either by the use of a relative scale, or by their chemical behavior. The most familiar way for most people to recognize an acid is to see how it...
Defining a base
By: Ernest Capraro
Defining bases and skinning cats have one thing in common – they each can be done in more than one way. Bases are typically defined either by the use of a relative scale, or by their chemical behavior. The most familiar way for most people...
Understanding Dalton's atomic theory
By: D. Vogt
Early 19th-century chemist John Dalton (1766-1844) made several important if partially obsolete contributions to the essential early development of atomic theory. According to his theory, all elements are made up of fundamentally different atoms, with measurably different weights; the atoms of different elements can combine...
What was Rutherford's gold foil experiment?
By: D. Vogt
Perhaps surprisingly, the Rutherford gold foil experiment was not actually performed by Nobel laureate chemist Ernest Rutherford, though it was carried out under his supervision, by his junior colleagues at the University of Manchester, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden. The experiment directed a beam of...
What makes helium an inert gas
By: D. Vogt
Helium, along with neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon, is an inert gas (also known as a noble gas) - that is, it does not normally react with other elements to form chemical compounds. Unlike most of these, however, helium is, at least for us...
Explaining the difference between a mixture and a solution
By: D. Vogt
In chemistry, the terms "mixture" and "solution" actually refer to two quite different types of samples. According to Charles Ophardt, a mixture is a combination of substances (at least two, but often more) which have not reacted chemically and may or may not possess a...
By: John Traveler
The late Dr. Carl Sagan loved to tell us our bodies are made of star dust. James D. Watson told us that life was just a matter of chemistry, a sequence of naturally occurring chemical reactions building more and more complex molecules. But what is...
What are the most abundant elements on Earth?
By: James Johnson
Elements, they are the basic building blocks of all matter and found everywhere. They are what form the Earth, and everything upon it. Even if you believe in God, he still made the elements to make us! They are what comprise the rocks that form...
Explaining why ice floats
By: James Johnson
Why does Ice float? Because God made it that way so it wouldn't crowd out the little fishes by sinking and filling up the seas, then getting them all frozen. This was an explanation by a four year old child. Sounds like an interesting theory...
Chemical names of substances found around the home
By: James Johnson
Everything physical is comprised of elements. To the ancients, those elements were simple: fire, earth, air, water and Aether. Fortunately this didn't mean much and so common names came into being. Now the elements are more clearly designated and so we have chemical names as...

 

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