Inventions & Discoveries
The tools and technology that help us understand and change the world
Svante Arrhenius was one of the founders of modern physical chemistry. His later work cosmological work carried him beyond the scientific limits of many of his colleagues.
A personal portrait of the Nobel prize-winning crystallographer.
Cellophane celebrates its 100th anniversary with a comeback, after losing out to cheaper imitations in the 1970s.
Scientists have only recently begun to investigate the chemical components that give wines their distinct and complex flavors.
Part experimenter and part entertainer, Humphry Davy was a 19th-century icon.
The founding of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers represented the beginning of American technological dominance in the 20th century.
The invention of nylon in 1938 promised sleekness and practicality for women and soon ushered in a textile revolution for consumers and the military alike.
Technologies using nanosized objects have been around for hundreds of years.
Dalton proposed atomic theory in 1808; an additional century passed before the theory was universally accepted by scientists.
Is chemistry’s ubiquity why we so rarely talk about its historical importance?
Now ubiquitous and vital to modern life, aluminum was once more expensive than gold, locked away in its ore without a commercially viable method to release it.
The rise of the digital age depended on integrated circuits made with new materials and techniques that could both increase performance and drive down cost.
Mendeleev’s greatest achievement was not the periodic table so much as the recognition of the periodic system on which it was based.