Stories tagged experiments

Jan
11
2013

Nano at home!: Forget those super-sterile clean rooms.  The DIY Nano app lets you explore nanoscale science in the comfort of your own home!
Nano at home!: Forget those super-sterile clean rooms. The DIY Nano app lets you explore nanoscale science in the comfort of your own home!Courtesy NISE Network
When things get really really small (nanoscale small), they behave completely differently! For example, gold at the nanoscale can look purple, orange, or red; static electricity has a greater effect on nanoparticles than gravity; and aluminum (the stuff your benign soda cans are made of) is explosive at the nanoscale!

If you want to experience some of these nanoscale phenomena first-hand, check out whatisnano.org, or download the DIY Nano app. The website and the app were both created by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net for short), and have videos and activity guides, complete with instructions and material lists, so you can do some nano experiments at home! The app was a Parents' Choice award winner for 2012, and was featured in Wired Magazine's review of apps. Definitely worth a look!

Have fun exploring nanoscale properties!

What a great way to while away a summer afternoon, sending giant bubbles wafting through the air. I like how some of the bubbles break down in stages. Very cool. Of course there is science behind how soap bubbles form which you can read here. Want to make your own giant bubbles? You could if your got yourself a Bubble Thing. I hope Science Buzz's Artifactor buys one. Last winter he posted a nifty video of bubbles freezing and bursting in sub-zero temperatures, and I'd like to see him do the same thing next winter with giant bubbles.

Jul
13
2008

Popular Science magazine is running a series of items on scientific research projects that seem fairly pointless. They report on experiments that have proven that unathletic kids are unpopular; that rock musicians tend to die young; and that people catch the flu in winter.

Why bother? Two reasons. First, as Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “common sense is neither.” A lot of the things we think we know turn out not to be true. Only by checking them out do we really know what’s what.

Second, confirming a phenomenon exists is the first step toward understanding it. If we want to combat the flu, for instance, it helps to know that, yes, it really does strike more often during a particular time of the year. This may be a clue to how the disease spreads, and how we might be able to stop it.

Sometimes, having an amazing grasp of the obvious can be a good thing!

The Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time. Need I say more? You have to check it out for yourself...