Category ArchiveScience and Technology

The Chemistry of Perfume

perfume magic

perfume magic

Perfume is a mixture of fragrant, essential oils and aroma compounds, a fixative, and alcohol. It is used to give parts of the human body and sometimes other objects a long-lasting and pleasant smell.

The essential oils are obtained by distillation of flowers, plants, and grasses, such as orange blossom and roses. Extraction by enfleurage is used if distillation is not possible, for example in the case of Jasmin Absolute. Enfleurage is basically extraction by absorption of aroma materials into wax and then extracting the odorous oil with alcohol. Aromatic chemicals are also used. Fixatives, which bind the various fragrances together, include balsams, ambergris, and secretions from the scent glands of civets and musk deer (undiluted, these have

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A New Solar Touch Screen May Resolve Battery Life Issues

Solar-powered cellphone

Solar-powered cellphone

It’s no secret that cell phones, while indispensable inside modern life, have a trouble with battery longevity. I find that in most cases, my Android mobile phone and apple iphone will exhaust power even while they’ve fallen into sleep routine while unplugged from the wall for about 24 hours. This can be a bit frustrating, particularly if I need the phone to function without energy for a set period of time, like on the road trip when I neglected to pack a car charger and won’t have access to a power source for several days.

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Multi-User Touch-Screen Microscope

Snow crystals as seen under microscope

Snow crystals as seen under microscope

Finnish researchers have created an innovative new microscope that responds to hand and finger gestures on a giant touch screen.

The ‘multitouch microscope’ is the fruit of collaboration between researchers from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), and the Finnish company Multitouch Ltd, who specialise in professional multitouch displays and software platforms that support multi-user environments.

The microscope works like a giant interactive touch screen and can be operated by multiple users, bringing new opportunities to teaching and research.

‘The giant size, minimum 46 inch screen looks somewhat like an iPad on steroids,’ says researcher Johan Lundin, one of the developers of the microscope. ‘The sample viewing experience is like a combination of Google Maps and the user interface from the movie Minority Report.’

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Nuclear Reactor

Nuclear Reactor

Nuclear Reactor

Nuclear power provides about 20% of the US electricity supply. To understand how it works we need to understand the nucleus of an atom.

We tend to think of atoms as solid balls linked together with chemical bonds forming molecules. The reality is that the “hard” shell that represents an atom is a representation of the electron that is whizzing around the central placed nucleus. The “solid” ball is a poor representation; instead think of a ping-pong ball. Most of the ball is empty; in the case of an atom the shell(s) (mass of electrons) does not contribute much to the mass, as electrons are very low in mass. The bulk of the weight is in the nucleus where the proton(s) and neutron(s) reside.

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Suez Canal

Suez Canal opening ceremony 1869

Suez Canal opening ceremony 1869

Suez Canal, Arab. Qanat as Suways, waterway of Egypt extending from Port Said to Port Tawfiq (near Suez) and connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez and thence with the Red Sea. The canal is somewhat more than 100 mi (160 km) long. Proceeding S from Port Said, it runs in an almost undeviating straight line to Lake Timsah. From there a cutting leads to the Bitter Lakes (now one body of water), and a final cutting then reaches the Gulf of Suez. The canal has no locks and can accommodate all but the largest ships.

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