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CHF staff and scholars provide a behind-the-scenes guide to activities at CHF, with reflections on science education, provocative explorations of chemistry in the wider world, and much more.

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All posts in Technology

Collective Voice: The 12,000 Pounds That Changed History

Today Periodic Tabloid welcomes guest blogger Ashley Levine. Levine participated in the authentication of a shield Willard Libby used in research on carbon dating, which won him a 1960 Nobel Prize. The instrument was donated to CHF by the Department of Homeland Security in February 2012.

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Posted In: History | Technology

The Quest Begins!

Exhibit installation is one of the most rewarding parts of the exhibition planning and creation process. You start with a blank canvas and design plans and watch it all move into place and unfold into something beautiful, something beyond what you could have imagined. I’ve often thought that a time-lapse video of an installation would be fun, but some snapshots from the week will have to do.

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Posted In: Education | Technology

Fireworks: Physics and Chemistry Juxtaposed

Philadelphia’s annual July 4th fireworks display on the Delaware River never fails to impress. The uniquely historic setting helps—in this city the American nation began its emergence onto the world stage. But the sizzling combination of colors and sounds from aerial fireworks, so much more astonishing than when I was a kid, set me thinking about the science of it all.

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Posted In: Technology

BIO Award

Dr. Nancy Chang is the first woman to be inducted in the Biotechnology Hall of Fame. Like many previous awardees, her life has been one of overcoming obstacles, rising above circumstances, being inspired, and finally, being an inspiration to others.

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Posted In: Technology

First Person: William McMillan

In the interest of history, chemist William McMillan wrote two volumes reflecting on his work in the Manhattan Project. But as of the date of his oral history—1999—those documents were still classified.

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Posted In: History | Policy | Technology

Metabolism and Cancer

A new paper makes a contribution to identifying a common unifying abnormality in cancer using mass spectrometry.

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Posted In: Technology

Collective Voice: The Balloon in Literature

To celebrate ballooning history this summer, CHF’s collections team is highlighting the ballooning postcards held by the Othmer Library of Chemical History. In this month’s Collective Voice we explore how balloons captured centuries of imagination—producing ideas more than just flights of fancy.

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Posted In: History | Technology

Doomsday Science

Detailed analysis of years of data from the Hubble Space Telescope reveal that our very own Milky Way galaxy is headed for a direct head-on collision with the Andromeda galaxy.

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Posted In: Technology

Alchemical Actors in the Hach Gallery

For the Hach Gallery exhibit that features rare books from the Othmer Library, The Alchemical Quest, exhibit designer Keith Ragone aims to create a “set design for the actors which are the books.”

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Elemental News

If you watch the news today (or perhaps tomorrow) you will be among the first to know that not just one, but two elements (114 and 116) will be baptized with their newly official names.

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Posted In: Technology