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What is a combustion reaction? Chemistry

By |2019-04-18T05:22:11-07:00June 3rd, 2017|Chemistry|

A candle flame What's a combustion reaction? When two molecules bump into each other under the right circumstances, they may exchange electrons in ways that change both molecules into new kinds of molecules. What's a molecule? More about electrons All our chemistry articles Releasing heat or light or electricity While they're doing that - [...]

Fire and Magnifying Glasses – Chemistry project

By |2019-06-08T18:24:29-07:00June 3rd, 2017|Chemistry|

Using magnifying glasses to focus sunlight and start a fire Be careful with fire! Be very careful with fire, because it can burn you, or burn down your house. If you're not an adult, make sure an adult knows when you do this experiment and thinks you are safe. Combustion reactions Sunlight and photons [...]

Digestion – Oxidation reaction

By |2019-05-08T05:40:43-07:00June 3rd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

Kids eating food (thanks to USDA) - get ready to digest food! How do you digest food? When animals, including people like you, digest their food, they use an oxidation reaction to break down big hydrocarbon molecules like sugar into different molecules. Cell digestion Digestive system What is an oxidation reaction? All our chemistry articles [...]

What is a protein? Organic chemistry

By |2017-06-02T23:46:07-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

Proteins are a type of molecule made mainly out of hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are combinations of smaller molecules called amino acids. The first amino acids probably developed into proteins more than four billion years ago on Earth, possibly with the help of ribonucleic acid, or RNA. We don't know whether this process has happened on [...]

What are amino acids? Organic chemistry

By |2019-01-24T12:13:44-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

A model of the amino acid molecule glycine (red is oxygen, black is carbon, yellow is hydrogen, and blue is nitrogen atoms) What are amino acids? Amino acids are molecules made out of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen atoms (and a little sulphur). More about hydrogen What are molecules? All our chemistry articles When [...]

What is metal? Chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:23-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Copper ore in Iran Metals are atoms that attach themselves to other atoms in a particular way. Metal atoms, because of how their electrons are arranged, lose their electrons easily. When they join up with other atoms to make molecules, metal atoms join together by exchanging electrons. Because metal atoms join other metal [...]

What is water made of? Molecules and chemistry

By |2017-06-02T18:02:44-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

A big ocean wave The first molecules of water formed out in space, about 14 billion years ago, as part of the nebula left over after an early star exploded in a supernova. There were a lot of hydrogen and oxygen atoms floating around in these nebulae, and when they stuck together that [...]

What is uranium? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2018-04-16T23:49:23-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry, Physics|

Diagram of a uranium atom Uranium is a rare atom, not just on Earth but also in space and on other planets. There is not very much uranium anywhere. That's because, like lead or gold, uranium only forms inside exploding supernovas. Because uranium atoms have so many protons and neutrons in them, they don't [...]