v18n1 From the Editors

In this issue, we follow the halogen group elements (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine) from the Earth’s interior to surface—and even beyond! In a similar vein to two previous Elements issues that also explored groups of elements united by common properties (Rare Earth Elements; October 2012 and Platinum Group Elements; August 2008), this issue similarly showcases the wide diversity of research that is encompassed by halogen mineralogy and geochemistry. Over the last several decades, the halogens have increasingly come into the spotlight, possibly due to improving methods for measuring ultra-low abundance bromine and iodine in geologic materials, as well as isotopes of chlorine and bromine. The result of this increased enthusiasm for halogens is deftly covered over six articles by this issue’s authors—from halogens in Earth and planetary systems to experimental petrology and analytical developments, there truly is something for everyone.

Read More

Beware the Bromides

With respect to Br, I was not meaningfully introduced to the term “bromide” until I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. Not in chemistry lab, but rather in a Comparative Literature course. The term “bromide!” was scrawled in red, repeatedly, all over my essay on Moby Dick. Apparently, my deep, philosophical musings on Ahab’s obsessive quest were found to be “trite and unoriginal”. Oh dear! A wellearned, if stinging, instruction on how Br-bearing sedatives (no longer available due to their toxicity) entered the English lexicon to refer to boring and meaningless expressions, in large part due to Gelett Burgess’ 1906 essay, Are You a Bromide?

Read More

v17n5 From the Editors

Elements is published through the collaboration of 18 participating scientific societies. The Elements editorial team is responsible for the content and the day-to-day management of the magazine. The Elements Executive Committee is responsible for the management of the magazine through financial oversight, approval of editorial appointments, and facilitating a close working relationship between the editorial team and the participating societies.

Read More

v17n4 From the Editors

For centuries, philosophers and scientists had proposed the existence of planets outside of our own Solar System. Yet, it wasn’t until late 20th century that scientists first confirmed the existence of exoplanets. How does one study planets that are thousands of light years away from Earth? Exoplanet studies are not purely within the domain of astrophysicists. As you will discover in the articles of this issue, exoplanet research requires an interdisciplinary approach.

Read More

v17n3 From the Editors

In just about every physical science course the concept of the atom is taught. Students are introduced to the three subatomic particles of electrons, protons, and neutrons. Usually, there is a lot of emphasis on electrons, because their configuration determines the chemical properties of an atom. And the protons get a lot of attention as well: who doesn’t like H+? Sadly, too often, neutrons are left in the “Oh, there is another part of an atom” category … that neutral subatomic particle that adds weight to the atom.

Read More

v17n2 From the Editors

Science is a breeding ground for jargon. Jargon is useful and elegant for the specialist but often a conundrum for the nonspecialist. As you read the articles of this issue of Elements, you will likely encounter some of this rich terminology, including the evocative terms “snottite” and “moonmilk”. But, thankfully, the editors and authors have made considerable effort to translate much of this cave science jargon so that we, too, can enjoy the wonderful world of speleothems.

Read More