Michael Smith arrives in his office wearing his usual shabby old sweater and trousers that long ago should have been sent to a charity like the Salvation Army. You would never guess that just a few days before he had been awarded half a million dollars, his share of the 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Smith passes by a wall of shallow shelves jammed full of medals, awards and plaques for prizes he...

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featured question

Q: Why is it that a difference in the number of electrons in an atom makes a completely different kind of matter? Aren't the basic building blocks the same? Why are some elements gases and some solids if they are made of the same things, just different amounts?

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In the news

How much fossil fuel can we exploit?

January 7, 2015

Canada would need to leave 75 per cent of its oil in the ground as part of a global effort to cap global warming at two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a new study shows. The authors also conclude that the exploitation of resources in the Arctic should be ruled out. Using computer models, the authors found that if current global fossil fuel reserves are burned as planned, that will result in CO2 levels on Earth about three times higher than the +2 degree C level predicted by IPCC models. See our Stop The Burning page, Source: Science Media Centre.

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