At the modest temperatures and pressures of Earth’s surface, the densest known material is the metallic element osmium, which packs 22 grams into 1 cubic centimetre, or more than 100 grams into a teaspoonful. Read here.

A new study disputes the prevailing hypothesis on why Mercury has a big core relative to its mantle. For decades, scientists argued that hit-and-run collisions blew away much of Mercury’s rocky mantle and left the big, dense, metal core inside. But new research reveals that collisions are not to blame — instead, the density, mass and iron content of a rocky planet’s core is influenced by its distance from the sun’s magnetic field. Read more

The Quality of Petrol; Long chain hydrocarbons burn unevenly in car engines, tending to ignite too soon and cause a rattling noise, called knocking. Branched chain alkanes burn in a more controlled manner and are added to the gasoline fraction when petrol is blended. They are produced from straight chain alkanes by catalytic cracking.
firework
Chemistry of fireworks; in order to produce flashes and noise, an oxidizer (KClO4) and a fuel (Al and S) excite the electrons within the metals. The brilliant yellow, green, red colored emission spectra are due to Na, Ba, and Sr ions respectively.
paramagnetism of O2 molecule
When liquid oxygen is poured into the space between the poles of a strong magnet, it remains there until it boils away. This attraction of liquid oxygen for the magnetic field demonstrates the paramagnetism of the O2 molecules.
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