What is Superconductivity? (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1. The incredible phenomenon of superconductivity was discovered by Onnes in 1911. I have taken advantage of a fictional centenary celebration at Leyden, in the Netherlands, to interview some of the protagonists in this marvellous adventure and have them guide us through a reconstruction of superconductivity’s history up to its open-ended finale. […]

Brainpower or Ritual Healing?

This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science. Antonio Torrisi finds out why ‘never trusting a doctor’ could be a fatal mistake. Since the case of Mr. Wright in 1957, whose cancer shrunk dramatically thanks only to his deep trust in a drug that was in reality ineffective, the world of […]

What is Superconductivity? (Part 1)

The incredible phenomenon of superconductivity was discovered in 1911 and celebrated its centenary last year. The breakthrough led to a great number of further discoveries and exotic phenomena, leading in turn to technical applications such as superconductive magnets for particle accelerators, magnetic resonance imaging, maglev trains that can reach speeds of 581 km/h, transformers for […]

Mendeleev and Mendelevium

Mendeleev’s periodic table, a rectangle of colourful framed squares hanging on the walls of all chemistry departments in the world, is considered the “Gospel” of the chemist or, better, its portable version. Nowadays the periodic table is printed everywhere, from calendars to mouse-pads and bookmarks. We can say that it represents the essential order of […]

Sub-Surface Life?

This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science magazine Antonio Torrisi uncovers the secrets held by the mysterious Lake Vostok, Antarctica’s as-yet unexplored sub-surface lake. The Antarctic is one of the most extreme places on Earth, so it follows it would be one of the least explored. However, remote areas spark […]

Welcome to Elements

A big and warm welcome to you, kind and enthusiastic reader: a big and warm welcome to the realm of matter, which matters a lot, because it’s all related to what we are and what we are surrounded by. The idea started around a year ago with a charming and enthusiastic event hosted by The […]

Bangs and Foams

At number twenty in Gordon’s street Where Ingold’s shelter used to be A thin, tall man with Chem degree Will show you magic, but he’s no cheat. You’ll blink at bangs, flashing lights, smoke free As hydrogen meets fire you’ll grit your teeth Iodine colours will swing and light While giant bubbles and foams will […]