The Chemistry of Currency


Dr. Kenneth Lyle, Duke University Department of Chemistryby Gabrielle Hodgins and Dr. Kenneth Lyle, Duke University, Durham NC

The wonders of magnetic ink!

INTRODUCTION

Demonstrating the magnetic ink used in printing US currency has proven to engage audiences of all ages because of its relevance to everyday life.  Nearly everyone has used machines that distribute and/or accept currency but few understand how the machines distinguish between the various denominations.  The key is in the face of each denomination.  Magnetic ink is used in the printing of the currency.  Each denomination has a different face and, therefore, a different magnetic signature.  Similar to a bar code reader, the machines recognize the denomination by its magnetic signature.  A strong magnet, such as a neodymium magnet, can be used to demonstrate the magnetic character of US currency.

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Inspiring Curiosity with the Atmospheric Mat


Electricity from Mud?! Educational Innovations Blogby Nancy Foote

A curiosity table.  That’s what I call it.  Whenever my students have a free minute (which rarely happens), I encourage them to investigate the materials on the curiosity table in our classroom.

Today I added something new—an Atmospheric Mat.

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An Introduction to the Plasma Globe


donna_giachettiby Donna Giachetti

I have the great fortune of working for a company that inspires—indeed, requires—me to learn something new every day.  I’m constantly scouring online science journals for tidbits on the latest in nanotechnology, the wonders of electrochemistry, or even something as relatively simple as the ultraviolet spectrum.

 
I’m not claiming I always understand everything I learn… but I try my best.  (Hey, I was an English major in college, so I’m not as scientifically inclined as most of my colleagues.)  Luckily, I can count on my trusty coworkers to help me out.

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The Plasma Globe, Inside and Out


Ted Beyer, Educational Innovations, Inc.by Ted Beyer

Nikola Tesla.  Amazing guy.  He came up with a huge number of inventions, but outside the scientific community he is largely overshadowed by his better known contemporary, Thomas Edison.  Tesla developed a stream of innovations that we use every day—things like AC power, fluorescent lighting, on and on.

What you might not know is that Tesla, when working on electric light in February of 1894, came up with the concept for what we now call the Plasma Globe.

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EI TV – Summer Science!


Educational Innovations Newsletter - EI TVDuring the summer, we love getting outdoors and soaking up the rays (with sunscreen, of course)!  Before you head outside, take a look at our hand-picked summer science videos.  If you have your own favorite summer science video ideas, please share them with us in the comments section below!

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