101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science


Dia Michelsby:  Dia Michels

Science affects everything—yet so many of us wish we understood it better. Using an accessible question-and-answer format, 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science expands every reader’s knowledge. Key concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, earth, and general science are explored and demystified by an award-winning science writer and a seasoned educational trainer. Endorsed by science organizations and educators, this book is perfect for kids, grown-ups, and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how science impacts everyday life.  101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science, written by Dia Michels and Nathan Levy is offered by Educational Innovations for $9.95.

101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science

Sample Questions from 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science!

1.  Name some characteristics of all mammals
2.  Name three of the bodily fluids
3.  What are the three states of water?
4.  What mineral is found in a saline solution?
5.  What do we use calories to measure?
6.  What happens over time when iron is exposed to oxygen?
7.  At the same pressure, which is more dense—hot air or cold air?
8.  How does a semiconductor work?
9.  Each year, Earth revolves once around what?

  • the sun
  • the moon
  • its axis
  • the Milky Way

10.  What are the four major directions? In which direction does the needle of a compass point?
11.  The continental divide separates:

  • which animals are nocturnal and which are diurnal.
  • the Northern Hemisphere from the Southern Hemisphere.
  • the direction water travels to the sea.
  • where it rains from where it snows.

12.  Why is it colder an hour after sunrise than it is at sunrise itself?
13.  What is a hypothesis?
14.  What is the goal of a double-blind, placebo controlled study?
15.  How can you use a lemon to light a light bulb?
 

Answers:

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Two Prisms: Four Demos


Martin Sagendorfby: Martin Sagendorf

Most everyone knows that an equilateral prism will refract white light into its constituent colors: a spectrum ranging from red to violet.  But, if one uses two prisms, there’s much more to be discovered.

All that’s required:

–       a source of white light

–       a slit mounted on a large piece of cardboard

–       two equilateral prisms

–       two small pieces of card stock

–       a square of ground glass.

SIMPLE REFRACTION

The light source and slit are arranged as shown.  A fairly narrow (1/4”) color spectrum will be displayed on the ground glass.  Note that the light beams are DIVERGENT.

One Prism Read the rest of this entry »


Thermal Conductivity: If you Want a Good Thermometer, Don’t Use Your Body


Martin Sagendorfby: Martin Sagendorf

An Easy Question:  Which is warmer – which is cooler?

In the strictest sense, it’s a matter of energy.  And we use temperature as a measure of energy level.  As we all know, the greater the energy level, the higher the temperature… But, although this is absolutely true; sometimes it’s not exactly what we perceive in everyday life.  When asked, we all can testify that when we touch a piece of metal we’ll say it feels cold.  But is it really cold?  Is it or isn’t it ‘cold’?

The Answer Is…

… very simple.  If the piece of metal is at room (ambient) temperature it cannot be ‘cold’ – it must be at the same temperature as the temperature of the room.

But First:

Let’s discuss ‘perceived temperature’: this is what we ‘think’ the temperature is.  It isn’t always the actual temperature (of the object we touch).  Thus we enter a wonderful combination of both physics and biology.  Physics describes the absolutes.  Biology describes the biological reactions (interpretations) of our physical world.

It’s a matter of thermal conductivity and our nerves.  Some materials are good conductors of heat (energy) and some are not.  Our nerves sense only temperature – so if thermal energy is rapidly removed from the tissues surrounding our nerve endings (like at our finger tips), our nerves sense that the temperature ‘they feel’ is cooler – e.g. the material is removing thermal energy from the body tissue surrounding the nerve ends at a rate faster than our body can re-supply energy to the tissues – thus our nerves sense this as ‘cooler’.

Now:

A truly illustrative and memorable way to present the question: Read the rest of this entry »