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Devices

Ever wondered how that thing works? Explore the inner workings of many common devices and inventions, as well as those that aren't so common, such as compasses, gyroscopes and bug zappers.

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How does a rebreather work?

Unlike a regular SCUBA regulator which creates bubbles when the person wearing the apparatus exhales, a rebreather produces no bubbles when someone exhales. What exactly is a rebreather and how does it work?


How Chemical Sensing Devices Work

Chemical sensing devices are not just for detecting radon gas and carbon monoxide. They can be used in hospitals, airports, even on the battlefield. See more »

The Mosquito Alarm May Be Breaching Your Human Rights

That is, if you're under the age of 25 and your hearing's intact. See more »

You Can Bejewel Your Prosthetic

Prosthetic limbs don't have to be dull utility pieces. They've been elevated to art status, and can be fantastic fashion statements. See more »

Can drones be used in construction?

Small flying machines are already helping builders monitor construction projects. See more »

What's a Cybathlon?

This is not your grandma's Olympics, and these are definitely not her prosthetics. Get ready for the Cybathlon in 2016. The technology for this competition is going to blow you away. See more »

How Zambonis Work

All eyes are trained on you at halftime as you make slow sweeps across the rink, leaving sparkling smooth ice in your lumbering wake. The fans cheer. You tip your head slightly in modest acknowledgement. This is the life of the Zamboni driver. See more »

How Millimeter Wave Scanners Work

If you've traveled recently, you probably raised your arms above your head and waited for a millimeter wave scanner to do its screening thing. During those 10 seconds or so, did you ever wonder exactly how the device produced your image? See more »

What's the difference between backscatter machines and millimeter wave scanners?

Nope, these advanced imaging technologies are not the same. So whether you're concerned about privacy, safety or time as you're shuffling through the airport security line, we can tell you how these two types of scanners stack up against each other. See more »

Why isn't the U.S. on the metric system?

You may think of the U.S., Liberia and Myanmar as the sad-sack metric losers. The truth, however, is a little more complicated -- sort of like remembering how to switch between pounds and kilograms. See more »

How the Metric System Works

Ever heard of a little unit called a femtometer? Can you tell us how much you weigh -- in petagrams? We know you can't, so hurry up and start reading. We have work to do. See more »