Category Archives: Chemistry

Scientific Glassblowing Fuses Art, Science and Innovation

Christine Roeger of the ASU glass shop wears sodium flare eye protection that filters out the orange flame of her torch.

Go to any major research university, and you’ll find the most advanced science relies on an art older than alchemy: glassblowing.

In this piece, we meet a third-generation scientific glassblower and go behind the scenes with some of her chief clients to see how this ancient art helps make cutting-edge research possible.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
At ASU, Third-Generation Scientific Glassblower Blends Art And Science

Mantle Mystery Yields to Diamond Vise

Cross section of a diamond anvil cell. Illustration by Tobias1984.

Improved imaging of the Earth’s interior has unlocked new subsurface mysteries, including an area 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) down where the mantle’s usual flow pattern changes.

Now, at a lab bench on the planet’s surface, a team of researchers might have found the reason why.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Researchers Use Diamond Vise To Crack Mantle Mystery

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

The Foggy Future of Refrigerants

Freon tanks await recycling. Image courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stable, nontoxic refrigerants changed the world, transforming food storage, expanding Sun Belt populations, even helping early movie theaters succeed. But they also wrecked the ozone layer — Earth’s shield against harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Today, as stockpiles dwindle — and prices rise — due to phase-outs set by the Montreal Protocols 30 years ago,  the future of Freon and its successors remains in doubt.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Stockpiles Dwindle, Freon Prices Rise

A GRaND Discovery: Dwarf Planet Ceres is Well-Stocked With Water

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PS.

After 4 billion years, the dwarf planet Ceres is still carrying a surprising amount of water weight — as much as 30 percent.

The finding, which was published in the Jan. 6 edition of the journal Science, is consistent with earlier models, and provides valuable clues to how Ceres formed.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Dwarf Planet Ceres Up To 30 Percent Water