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Article

Hydrogen

Hydrogen (H), the simplest, lightest and most abundant chemical element, is the main fuel for the nuclear fusion reactions which power the sun.

Article

Antimony

Antimony (Sb) is a silvery-white, lustrous, crystalline solid. Uncharacteristically for metals, it is brittle and conducts heat and electricity poorly. Antimony melts at 630°C and boils at 1380°C. The mineral stibnite is the most important source of antimony.

Article

Talc

Talc is a mineral composed of 31.7% magnesium oxide (MgO), 63.5% silicon dioxide (SiO2) and 4.8% water. It is formed by the alteration of dolomite or ultramafic IGNEOUS rocks. A formula for pure talc would look like this: 3 dolomite + 4 quartz + 1 water = 1 talc + 3 calcite + 3 CO2.

Article

Synchrotron

A synchrotron is a source of brilliant light that acts like a giant microscope to allow matter to be seen at the atomic level. Synchrotron light is millions of times brighter than sunlight and millions of times more intense than conventional X-rays.

Article

Dioxine

The term dioxin applies to any of 75 chlorinated derivatives of dibenzo-p-dioxin. The various types of dioxin are quite different from one another, the greatest difference being in their toxicity.

Article

Canada and the Development of the Polio Vaccine

During the first half of the 20th century, poliomyelitis, a.k.a. polio or “The Crippler,” hit Canada harder than anywhere else. Successive polio epidemics peaked in a national crisis in 1953. By that time, however, scientists at Connaught Medical Research Laboratories of the University of Toronto had made key discoveries that enabled American medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk to prepare the first polio vaccine. Connaught Labs also solved the problem of producing the vaccine on a large scale. Canada went on to play an important role in the development of the oral polio vaccine and international efforts to eradicate the disease.

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Article

Aluminum in Canada

Aluminum is a lightweight, strong and flexible metal that resists corrosion and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is a common material in vehicles, buildings, consumer goods, packaging, power transmission and electronics. Canada’s aluminum industry began at the turn of the 20th century and grew quickly during both World Wars. Today, Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer and second largest exporter of aluminum. The country nevertheless accounts for less than 5 per cent of global production. Aside from one smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia, all Canadian plants are in the province of Quebec.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.