DIY Wave Machine
DIY Wave Machine

Waves are everywhere! Electromagnetic waves traverse the vacuum of space. Gravitational waves ripple spacetime itself. Mechanical waves propagate energy through air, water, and other media. Sound is a great example of a mechanical wave. Vibrating molecules disturb their neighbors, which disturb their neighbors, and so on. The individual units don’t move far, but the energy

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Small but Mighty: Eggshell Architecture
Small but Mighty: Eggshell Architecture

In West Virginia’s New River Gorge, an 88-million-pound bridge spans a chasm eight tenths of a mile wide. Before its construction, drivers detoured for the better part of an hour to navigate the Gorge’s steep, water-carved walls. Today, the crossing takes less than a minute at highway driving speed. (Image credit: Louise McLaughlin.) For most

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DIY Tumblewing Glider

To build a tumblewing glider, start with a long, thin rectangle of paper. We experimented with gliders ranging from about three to eight inches in length and had good results with rectangles roughly 4-6 times as long as they were wide. The lighter and thinner the building material you use, the easier your glider will

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Is it a Microwave or a Shrink Ray?
Is it a Microwave or a Shrink Ray?

I’ll be honest: This one blew me away the first time I saw it! What is going on here? It all has to do with polymers, which are basically long chains of repeated molecules, which you can learn more about here. Just to re-iterate: This is not dangerous to you, but it is dangerous to

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Why Do Water Glasses Sing?
Why Do Water Glasses Sing?

Imagine pushing a child on a swing set. When, exactly, do you push? Intuitively, most of us wait for the swing to be at its closest, then give it a shove as it starts to fall away. At any other time we’d either be inviting a collision or chasing after the child.  Amplifying the swinging

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