Supernova Condensate is a blog about our place in the Universe. Of astronomy, chemistry and life in the big bad bubble of academia.
Invader Xan is a molecular astrophysicist and part-time alien invader, who spends life looking at very small things on very large scales, and trying to better understand the chemistry of interstellar space.
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Tag Archives: molecules
I have obtained permission from Haley Gomez to geek out over the internet about something in her talk at this conference today – which is possibly the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen at an astronomy conference! Specifically, none other … Continue reading
This week I discovered one of the most faintly hilarious things I have for some time. It’s a fairly common mistake in chemistry to mis-draw a structure so that a carbon atom appears to have five bonds. It’s a fairly … Continue reading
Just one more thing… Anyone who’s been camping will likely be familiar with the so-called “chlorine tablets” which can be used to purify water for drinking. Just so that we’re clear here, these tablets may contain a chemical compound which … Continue reading
Every now and again, I hear something which makes me so aghast that I really don’t know what to think. The so called “Miracle Mineral Solution” which I heard of today was exactly one of those things. Aghast, perhaps, but … Continue reading
Anyone who knows me will know that I love representations of molecules in popular culture. Because molecules are cool, and chemistry doesn’t get nearly enough geek love. This in particular, is a C60 fullerene, constructed from tibetan buddha beads made … Continue reading
What do oregano and tequila have in common? The answer is this stuff! Carvacrol is a monoterpenoid phenol which is the main aroma compound in oregano, causing that sweet and warm (if slightly pungent) aroma when you add a sprinkle … Continue reading
“Of course, this identification is simply wrong.” That one remark caused a subdued but audible commotion in the audience, and a handful of shocked responses to be posted on twitter. The remark in question had been made by Jacek Krełowski, … Continue reading
Lots of plants have a set of cleverly contrived natural defences, carefully honed by millenia of evolution to be repulsive to animals which might want to try and eat them. Unfortunately for those plants, human beings are funny creatures who … Continue reading
So I was wandering around the department where I work a few days ago and I happened to stop by a noticeboard, where I found this. Which made me double take. That particular chaotic ensemble of phenols looked strangely familiar … Continue reading