Researchers create nanoscale slalom course for electrons

A research team led by professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy have created a serpentine path for electrons, imbuing them with new properties that could be useful in future quantum devices.

Inside the black box of iron oxide formation

From the splendorous red hues in the Grand Canyon to the mundane rust attacking a neglected bicycle, iron hydroxides are all around us. As a matter of fact, they are just as common as quartz, which is the most widely distributed ...

Stable catalysts for new energy

On the way to a CO2-neutral economy, we need to perfect a whole range of technologies—including the electrochemical extraction of hydrogen from water, fuel cells, or carbon capture. All these technologies have one thing ...

Understanding the utility of plasmas for medical applications

Plasma medicine is an emerging field, as plasmas show promise for use in a wide range of therapies from wound healing to cancer treatment. Plasma jets are the main plasma sources typically used in plasma-surface applications. ...

Using strain to control oxynitride properties

Japanese scientists have stumbled onto a simple method for controlling the introduction of defects, called 'vacancy layers," into perovskite oxynitrides, leading to changes in their physical properties. The approach, published ...

Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels

An international team comprising researchers from the University of Bristol, and Hunan and Central South Universities in China, have prepared biocompatible protocells that generate nitric oxide gas—a known reagent for blood ...

Ultrafast laser experiments pave way to better industrial catalysts

Arizona State University's Scott Sayres and his team have recently published an ultrafast laser study on uncharged iron oxide clusters, which could ultimately lead to the development of new and less-expensive industrial catalysts. ...

Scientists uncover secrets to designing brain-like devices

Even with decades of unprecedented development in computational power, the human brain still holds many advantages over modern computing technologies. Our brains are extremely efficient for many cognitive tasks and do not ...

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Redox

Redox (shorthand for reduction-oxidation reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. This can be either a simple redox process such as the oxidation of carbon to yield carbon dioxide or the reduction of carbon by hydrogen to yield methane (CH4), or it can be a complex process such as the oxidation of sugar in the human body through a series of very complex electron transfer processes.

The term redox comes from the two concepts of reduction and oxidation. It can be explained in simple terms:

Though sufficient for many purposes, these descriptions are not precisely correct. Oxidation and reduction properly refer to a change in oxidation number — the actual transfer of electrons may never occur. Thus, oxidation is better defined as an increase in oxidation number, and reduction as a decrease in oxidation number. In practice, the transfer of electrons will always cause a change in oxidation number, but there are many reactions that are classed as "redox" even though no electron transfer occurs (such as those involving covalent bonds).

Non-redox reactions, which do not involve changes in formal charge, are known as metathesis reactions.

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