Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Science | Engineering | 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.

Featured
How does a Galileo thermometer work?

One of my co-workers has an interesting thermometer on his desk. It is a glass tube with different-colored floating things in it. What kind of thermometer is this, and how does it work?


 How do fans make you feel cooler?

Why does air cool down when pushed around by an electric fan? You would think that air molecules in motion would be creating friction, and therefore increasing the ambient temperature instead of decreasing it. So why do you feel cooler? See more »

How Anti-shoplifting Devices Work

 How Anti-shoplifting Devices Work

Anti-shoplifting devices, such as CCTV and alarms, aid in the task of merchandise loss prevention. Learn about anti-shoplifting devices and loss prevention. See more »

How Electromagnets Work

 How Electromagnets Work

Electromagnets are found in motors, tape decks, hard drives, VCRs and tons of other devices. Find out what makes an electromagnet 'electro' and learn how to make one at home. See more »

How Gyroscopes Work

 How Gyroscopes Work

Did you know that airplanes and space shuttles use the utterly low-tech gyroscope for navigation? Discover the secret behind gyroscopic motion! See more »