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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.

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What's a "thinking cap" -- and could it make me a genius?

You've probably been asked to put on your thinking cap before, but have you ever wondered what it looked like or what it does? This thinking cap may not make you smarter, but it could help you tap into previously unexplored abilities.


 How does a magneto work?

I am curious about the ignition system in my lawn mower. I know that a spark plug creates a high-voltage spark, and I know in my car the electricity for the spark comes from the battery. My lawn mower doesn't have a battery, so where does the electricty come from? See more »

 How can I make my own battery to win a contest at school?

I am entering a chemistry contest at my high school. The goal is to build the battery that produces the most watts for one minute. Our battery can't be bigger then 1 foot in any direction and can't use strong acids. What are the best chemicals to use, and what's the best design? See more »

 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 »