Chemistry is referred to as central science because it provides a foundation for understanding both basic and applied scientific disciplines at a fundamental level. The most primary and fascinating part of chemistry
Here are some of the substances I find particularly peculiar and interesting:
First on the list are Ferrofluids. It is a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. They spike when subjected to a magnetic field and do not retain any magnetization once the external magnetic field is removed. The fluid consists mainly of tiny magnetic particles up to 100 times smaller than the wavelength of light.
Ferrofluids have the capability of reducing friction and are used in hydraulic suspension pistons. They have many applications in military, space and medicine as well. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has an exhibit of ferrofluids where you can shape a ferrofluid to your will by adjusting electromagnets above and below the tank. Explore more about the fun stuff you can do with ferrofluids here.
Another very fascinating substance is the Piranha Solution or Piranha Acid. It is a mixture of sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide (35%). It’s highly corrosive and an extremely powerful oxidizer. Mixing the solution is a highly exothermic process and often leads to the release of large amounts of corrosive fumes. It is used to clean photoresist from silicon wafers in the microelectronics industry. Piranha solution is indeed as dangerous as it sounds, don’t believe us? Why don’t you see for yourself below!
Last on the list is Vantablack. It is a chemical developed by Surrey NanoSystems and is one of the darkest substances known. It absorbs up to 99.96% of visible light. It reflects so little light that it is often described as the closest thing to a black hole we’ll see. The name VANTA is an acronym for vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays. The lingering misconception is that it is a colour. It’s not, Vantablack is a chemical substance. It is made of a lot of tiny, hollow carbon tubes, each with the width of a single atom. It is not something that can be bought. The main constituent, its nanotubes, must be grown in the lab using a complicated and patented process. You can find out some interesting facts about Vantablack here.
These were just some of the many fascinating chemicals out there. Go ahead and explore what chemistry has in store for you!