Scientists Watch Water Change Phase From a Liquid… to a Liquid

H20 is oh-so very weird. It’s on the lighter side of gases, but it’s one of the denser liquids. It’s got an abnormally high freezing and melting point, and it is densest when four degrees above its freezing point, where it changes from a liquid to a solid. A new paper seems to show a source for that weirdness. Read More >>

Scientists Create Mind-Bending Rydberg Polarons, Atoms Full of Atoms

Some of the most exciting, mind-blowing physics happens when things get really, really cold—such as atoms clumping beneath the shell of a far-out electron. Imagine a bunch of people huddled under an awning, except the people are atoms, and the awning is... also an atom. Read More >>

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Can Black Panther’s Vibranium Ever Be Real?

Vibranium’s the lifeblood of the Black Panther universe—the metal that helped propel Wakanda into a hyper-advanced technological society and granted Black Panther his superheroic abilities via a Vibranium-mutated heart-shaped herb. The Wakandan strain, sheared off a meteorite hundreds of years ago, has a number of useful properties—primarily, its ability to store more energy than any known terrestrial substance. As armour, it renders its wearer unstoppable; as footwear material, it can neutralise leaps from tall buildings. Read More >>

Picture of Single Trapped Atom Wins UK Science Photography Prize

Zoom in close on the centre of the picture above, and you can spot something you perhaps never thought you’d be able to see: a single atom. Here is a close-up if you’re having trouble: Read More >>

Swallowed Bombardier Beetles Spew Hot Chemicals From Their Butts to Make Predators Barf

These crafty bombardier beetles are able to escape after being swallowed by toads, which they do by ejecting hot, noxious chemicals that forces the predator to barf. It ain’t pretty, but it works. Read More >>

Heaviest Element Should Completely Subvert the Rules of High School Chemistry

At the bottom right-hand corner of the periodic table sits a fantasy world. Until recently, these elusive elements’ names were just fancy translations of their numbers. They’re enormous and can only be produced in the lab. They only stick around for a few seconds at most before radioactively decaying into smaller elements. Read More >>

Scientists Observe Incredible New Kind of Ice Thought to Exist in Uranus’ Centre

Here is an ice cube you do not want to put in your Diet Coke: A solid lattice of oxygen atoms with protons whizzing around inside of it. This ice is not normal on Earth, but might be elsewhere. And scientists have created it in a lab. Read More >>

Astronomers Detect Almond-Scented Molecule That Will Help Solve Interstellar Radiation Mystery

There’s an unidentified source of infrared throughout the universe. By looking at the specific wavelengths of the light, scientists think that it comes from carbon—but not just any carbon, a special kind where the atoms are arranged in multiple hexagonal rings. No one has been able to spot one of these multi-ring “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,” or PAHs in space—even though the infrared emissions imply that these PAHs should make up 10 per cent of the universe’s carbon. Now, scientists have found a new hint. Read More >>

Life Could Have Evolved From These Ancient Chemical Reactions

Fundamentally, your body is just a crazy chemistry experiment. You put in food and oxygen, chemical reactions happen, and out comes energy and poop. But how did these reactions first begin? Some scientists think they have an idea. Read More >>

This Could Be Where Mars’ Water Disappeared to

Mars looks like it used to have water—perhaps even entire oceans. But not today. Today, scientists can’t even decide whether it’s got slight trickles darkening the dirt on its mountainsides. If Mars did once have oceans, then where did they go? Read More >>

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We Do Not Recommend Making a Sword With Thermite, But Hey

Thermite, a mixture of powdered iron oxides and aluminium, can be burned to produce temperatures it would be hard to argue are truly safe outside of a meticulously controlled environment (over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit / 2,200 degrees Celsius). It’s used for a variety of purposes, from metal cutting and welding to military incendiaries. Read More >>

The Latest Discovery of Organics in Space is Nothing to Get Excited About

Astronomers have detected traces of an organic compound known as methyl chloride around a group of young stars. The discovery comes as a complete surprise to scientists, but instead of signifying the presence of alien life, it’s forcing them to re-evaluate the source of this molecule and its role as a basic building block for habitability. Read More >>

Hubble Observations Suggest Water May Be Abundant on Outer TRAPPIST-1 Planets

From the moment that seven Earth-sized planets were discovered in orbit around TRAPPIST-1—an ultracool dwarf star located 39 light years away—astronomers have been busy trying to learn everything they can about this intriguing star system, particularly its potential to foster life. Recently, an international team of scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to assess the chances of water existing on these planets—and the results are promising. Read More >>

Common Antiseptic Chemical Can Harm Important Cell Function

There are many bad things to worry about. Be it climate change, diseases, rabid dogs or ticks, life is just chock full of worry. So, here’s another thing: virtually everything in your medicine cabinet. Sorry :( Read More >>

Massive Tides Could Boost TRAPPIST-1’s Prospects For Life

Earlier this year, Earthlings rejoiced when scientists announced the discovery of three rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of TRAPPIST-1, an “ultracool dwarf” star located just 39 light years away. Soon after, astronomers brought us back down Earth, pointing out that it might be hard for life to survive on a world in such a tight orbit around such a dim star. But the debate has now taken yet another delicious twist, this time, in favour of aliens. Read More >>