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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Hydrophilic Polymers TV


EI TV - Educational Innovations BlogIf a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is surely worth a few million.  Especially when it comes to scientific explanations, a video is a wonderful tool for conveying information to your students in a visual, easy-to-follow manner.

The videos below offer you and your students a glimpse into the world of hydrophilic polymers—where they are today, what new discoveries we’ve made, and where we are headed in the future.

Enjoy!  If you find a video on hydrophilic polymers that you’d like to share with us, please leave a comment!

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Hydrophilic Polymers in the News


In the News - Educational Innovations Blog

Superabsorbent hydrophilic polymers are everywhere—often, in places we’d never suspect.  Researchers continue to discover new uses for these handy materials:  in concrete, in stainless steel coatings, medical devices, and many other industrial applications.   Truly, they are one of the most fascinating areas of chemical research today.

We have collected below a sampling of news articles about recent developments in the field of SAPs in the hopes that these will inspire conversations with your students about the practical uses of hydrophilic substances.  If you come across an article of interest, please share it with us in the Comments section below.

Happy reading!

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Hydrophilic Polymers Humor


Educational Innovations Newsletter - HumorIt’s not that easy to find jokes about superabsorbent hydrophilic polymers… unless you have a dry sense of humor.  (Get it?)  Why not insert a bit of humor into your next quiz or homework page?  Extra points for students who guess the right answers to our riddles!

If you have a favorite cartoon or joke, we invite you to share it as a comment below.

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