Crime Scene Investigation

Test out your Chemistry (and detective) skills with this conundrum from St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group. Q: In some movies, the crime scene investigators spray chemicals to find traces of blood even if most of them have been cleaned or removed. Fluorescent blue light is normally shown in the place with…

Chemistry through time

Put your knowledge of Chemistry to the test with these history-themed questions from St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group. Q: The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is one of the renowned museums owned by Oxford University. Here you can see galleries full of paintings and sculptures made of white marble or blackened bronze, from…

Kitchen Chemistry

Test your chemistry knowledge with these kitchen-themed questions from St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group. Q: How radioactive is a banana? Click here for the answer. Q: What is the main process happening when cooking or frying fish? And what other method, without applying heat, would give a decent meal? Click…

Chemistry Brainteasers

Test your chemistry knowledge with these brainteasers from St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group. Q: How could you charge your phone using lemons as the energy source? Click here for the answer. Q: How can you measure the size of a molecule? Click here for the answer. Q: Can you estimate the minimum mass of…

Fun with Bubbles

Bubbles are undoubtedly great fun, but do you know the chemistry behind some of their most famous behaviours? See if you can answer the questions below from St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group. Q: There are plenty of videos online where people trigger explosions by adding Mentos to Coke. How…

Through the looking glass

Have a go at the questions below relating to glass courtesy of St John’s Chemistry Tutor Professor Richard Compton and his research group. Q: How long does it take for glass to flow appreciably? Click here for the answer. Q: Linking science and art, how could people many years ago create the stained glass windows seen in cathedrals and churches?…

Spot the odd one out

In order to predict how chemicals might interact with each other, chemists must get a good understanding of the 3D shapes of molecules.  A great way to do this is to study their symmetry. If you can imagine rotating a molecule (or any 3D object) without changing the way it looks, you have identified some…