The Alchemist learns this week how phosphorus atoms might be perfectly placed to build a quantum computer and how fluorescent gel and filter paper might put explosive sniffer dogs out of work. In environmental remediation the reverse of gold-digging could be used to remove toxic mercury ions from contaminated water while across the universe it could be that Earth-like planets are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to chemical composition. In elemental discoveries, the possibility of making a pure, metastable “arsenic black” could be possible thanks to energetic calculations. This week’s award comes from Pittcon and is awarded posthumously to father than son Genzo Shimadzu, Sr. and Genzo Shimadzu, Jr. founders of the Shimadzu company famed for its analytical instruments.
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