Science & Technology

The Periodic Table and the Actinides

Most people know that uranium is radioactive, but few would think of taking a Geiger Counter with them when antique-hunting. A hundred years ago, uranium oxide was widely used in making decorative glass objects. Their characteristic greenish-yellow colour gave them the name of ‘Vaseline glass’, though their radioactivity means that uranium is not used in glass-making these days. Uranium is also used in making the shells fired by Army tanks, as it is extremely dense and also tends to ignite on impact.

Academic Publishing

Building the future on hundreds of years of History: Book archives in today’s research.

There are hundreds of extensive and ambitious archive digitisation projects taking place across the world today – all with the aim of getting primary research into the hands of millions more people, whilst building a permanent record of academic literature to drive the advancement of ideas for generations to come. None of this would be feasible without the close and ongoing collaboration of libraries, publishers, academic bodies and governments worldwide. And it’s an activity that shows no signs of slowing down.

Language & Culture

Linguistic archeology and the granularity of language change: Interview with Prof. Gerd Carling

Why is lingustic archeology so fascinating? What is special about your forthcoming Atlas project? How do polygons and network diagrams help us understand how language works? We talked to Gerd Carling, the editor of “The Mouton Atlas of Languages and Cultures” about her fascination with languages, both modern and ancient.

Science & Technology

Some element names are more Babelian than others, but which ones?

The year 2019 has been assigned by UNESCO as the Year of the Periodic Table of the Elements. This, and the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table, can finally be celebrated in the company of no less than 118 elements, all earlier vacancies in the system having been filled. Some reflections on the naming of elements are certainly in order.

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