1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Introduction to Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter and the reactions that occur between molecules and atoms.

Do you wonder what chemistry is or why you would want to study it? Take a look at answers to some basic questions about chemistry.

Learn About Chemistry
Chemistry Spotlight10

This Day in Science History - April 18 - Albert Einstein

Thursday April 17, 2014
April 18th marks the passing of one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein. His theory of relativity marks the largest change in the field of physics since Newton's classical mechanics. Initially, the theory was to relate acceleration due to gravity and inertial acceleration, but was eventually applied to include electromagnetism.

Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.

Follow About.com Chemistry on Facebook or Twitter.

Homemade Silly Putty Recipes

Thursday April 17, 2014
Silly Putty (morguefile)Silly Putty was invented in 1943 when an engineer accidentally dropped boric acid into silicone oil. It made its big debut at the International Toy Fair in New York in 1950, packaged in plastic eggs to be sold as an Easter novelty item. Since then, Silly Putty has remained a popular science toy! While you probably don't have the ingredients to make the original Silly Putty polymer, there are a couple of Silly Putty Recipes that use common household ingredients.

Silly Putty Recipe #1

  • 1/4 cup glue
  • 3/8 cup water (1/4 cup water plus 1/8 cup water)
  • 1 tablespoon borax
Mix together 1/4 cup glue and 1/4 cup water. Add food coloring if you want colored Silly Putty.

In a separate container, dissolve 1 tablespoon borax in 1/8 cup water.

Stir the borax mixture and glue mixture together to make the putty. If the Silly Putty is too sticky, you can add more borax one teaspoon at a time to stiffen the mixture.

Silly Putty Recipe #2

  • 1/4 cup liquid starch
  • 1/4 cup glue
Mix the liquid starch and glue together. Add food coloring, if desired.

If the Silly Putty is too sticky, add more liquid starch until you get the consistency you want.

How To Store Homemade Silly Putty

Store homemade Silly Putty in a sealed plastic container. Putting the container in the refrigerator helps prevent mold from growing on the putty.

Want to see what to expect? Watch the silly putty video tutorial.

Learn More

Silly Putty Chemistry
Things You Can Do with Silly Putty
Make Magnetic Silly Putty
Best Slime Recipes

This Day in Science History - April 17 - Giovanni Riccioli

Wednesday April 16, 2014
The Moon has its own unique geography. We have names for the smooth dark areas like Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquillitatus, otherwise known as the Sea of Serenity and Sea of Tranquility. The craters have names like Tycho, Copernicus and Archimedes.

One man is largely responsible for these names, Giovanni Riccioli celebrates his birthday today. Riccioli was one of the most prominent astronomers of his time and created a detailed atlas of the Moon. His names for the Maria and craters have lasted to current times.

Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.

Follow About.com Chemistry on Facebook or Twitter.

Can You Do the Mentos Trick with Regular Soda?

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Mentos Trick (Anne Helmenstine)Sometimes I take for granted what works and what doesn't work with science tricks. For example, there is the Mentos trick, where you drop a tube of Mentos candies into a bottle of soda to get a Mentos geyser. Typically this is done using Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, but do you know whether it works with regular soda?... Find out

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.