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Hydrogen

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

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Nobel Prizes and Canada

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually for achievements that have significantly benefitted humankind. The prizes are among the highest international honours and are awarded in six categories: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics. They are administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by institutions in Sweden and Norway. Eighteen Canadians have won Nobel Prizes, excluding Canadian-born individuals who gave up their citizenship and members of organizations that have won the peace prize.

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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.

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Macleans

More Calcium Needed

An old wives’ tale reminded Mary Oordt that calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. "There’s a saying that for every baby, you lose a tooth," recalls the managing editor of Lethbridge Living magazine, who began to supplement her diet when she was pregnant.

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Chemistry Subdisciplines

Early chemistry was principally analytical in nature; only as the body of experimental data increased did the present-day specialities evolve. The principal chemical subdisciplines are analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

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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.

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Food Additives

Consumers normally consider that the term "food additive" refers to almost all substances, primarily chemical in nature, added to foods during production, manufacture, packaging or storage.

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Tantalum

Tantalum (Ta) is a grey, heavy, very hard metal with a high melting point (2996°C). When pure, it is ductile and can be easily fabricated. Tantalum has good rectifying properties (ie, converts alternating to direct current) and dielectric properties (ie, does not conduct direct current).

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Chemistry

Chemistry, the science concerned primarily with the structure and properties of matter and with the transformation of one form of matter into another. Now one of the most theoretically and methodologically sophisticated sciences, chemistry had its beginnings in medieval alchemy.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Titanium

Titanium (Ti) is a metallic element estimated to form about 0.5% of the rocks of the Canadian SHIELD. Titanium minerals of commercial importance include the dioxides rutile and anatase, which are polymorphs of TiO2 and ilmenite (FeO.TiO2), a mineral that contains 52.7% TiO2.

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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.

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

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Lighting

From earliest times it has been recognized that artificial light prolongs daytime activities. Relaxation and social interaction necessarily occurred after the day's work was done; therefore, indoor lighting has always had a special association with this aspect of living.

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Salt

Sodium chloride (NaCl), or common salt, is ubiquitous in the environment. In its solid form, salt crystallizes as colourless cubes and is called rock salt. Salt is also known to geologists as halite. Its crystal structure was the first to be determined by X-rays.

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Uranium

Uranium oxide was first identified in 1789 by M.H. Klaproth in the MINERAL pitchblende, but its distinctive property of radioactivity was discovered much later (1896) by Henri Becquerel.

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Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is the field of study that examines, measures and interprets the electromagnetic spectra produced when radiant energy is emitted or absorbed by a substance. Spectroscopic methods are important in performing chemical analyses of substances and are used in astronomical studies.

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Biochemistry

Biochemistry, encompasses the study of the chemical nature of living material and of the chemical transformations that occur within it.

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Petrochemical Industry

The petrochemical industry, which produces chemicals using OIL AND NATURAL GAS as major raw materials, occupies an important position in Canada's MANUFACTURING and consuming sectors. Oil and natural gas are composed primarily of hydrocarbons. Most petrochemicals contain hydrogen or carbon or both.