information processing

Cartesian Raisins

One of the fun things about thinking up new science experiments is combining two or more old ideas into one new one. This time, we will combine the Dancing Raisins activity with the Cartesian Diver.

Breathing Hot and Cold

One of the most common questions that I get is where do I get the ideas for these experiments. Some are old classics that I try to give a new angle. Others are the result of questions sent to me by subscribers. Some of the ones that I like the best are the ones that just pop up, seemingly out of nowhere. This is one of those. It also comes with its own story, which makes it even better.

The story is one of Aesop's fables. If you have never read any of these, go read some. It is well worth the time.

Bouncing Remotes

This experiment comes from spending too much time in hotel rooms as I travel. As I was packing for the trip home, I found a very useful technique for adjusting the television when I was not directly in front of it.

What is a Higgs boson, and why should I care?

The Higgs boson is one of the particles that have been predicted, but has only recently been detected. It was predicted by several physicists, including theoretical physicist Peter Higgs. That is where the first part of the name came from.

OK, so what is a boson? That huge number of elementary particles is divided into two major groups: fermions and bosons. Fermions are sometimes called matter particles because they are the particles that take up space. Two fermions cannot be in the same spot at the same time.

Thoughts on a Science Fair Project, part 1

“Science Fair Project!”

Ahh, those three special words that can strike terror into the hearts of students, parents, and teachers. I have already begun to get emails requesting fun, quick, easy projects that no one has ever done before, and that will win the science fair. I wish I had a few hundred thousand projects that fit those requirements, but even that would not take the frustration out of this annual ordeal.