Engineering

Engineering is the discipline of design and construction of mechanical devices, equipment, structures and public works systems. Topics include aircraft technologies, buildings, bridges, robotics and heavy machinery.

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Why are the insides of tunnels usually covered in ceramic tile?

I've noticed that the insides of road and subway tunnels are usually covered in ceramic tile. Is there any particular reason for this or is it simply convention?

I've heard of bank robbers being foiled by a "dye pack" put in their money stash. What is a "dye pack"?

I've heard of bank robbers being foiled by a "dye pack" put in their money stash. What is a "dye pack"?

How Building Implosions Work

Safe, professional building implosions combine mathematics, intuition and sheer explosive power. Find out how the experts bring down huge structures without damaging the buildings nearby.

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?

Is there any rhyme or reason to how U.S. interstate highways are numbered?

Is there any rhyme or reason to how U.S. interstate highways are numbered?

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 do truck weigh stations work?

While traveling along the Interstate, you may have noticed that truck weigh stations occasionally dot the highway. What are these weigh stations for, and how do they measure the weight of a truck? Find out the answer in this article.

How Snakebots Will Work

The serpentine qualities of snakes are the inspiration for a new type of robotic, interplanetary probe. Find out how snakebots will explore other worlds.

What are motion cards and how do they work?

A friend of mine showed me this card that the image changed depending on the angle that you view it at. How does that work?

How Skyscrapers Work

People build skyscrapers primarily because they are convenient -- you can create a lot of real estate out of a relatively small ground area. They're also awe-inspiring. Skyscrapers capture our imagination -- how high can we build them? Learn about the architecture and design of these monumental buildings.

How Sword Making Works

The centuries-old art of sword making involves incredibly intricate metal work, and it's still being practiced today. Get a rare glimpse into the creation of this ancient weaponry.

How Hoverboards Will Work

See "Back to the Future 2"? Drool much over those hoverboards? Find out how these devices will work and see one that already does!

How Smart Structures Will Work

Smart Structures will completely change the way buildings react to earthquakes! See how they will work!

How Ultrasound Works

Ultrasound lets us peek into the human body to see everything from heart valves to a moving baby. But how do sound waves give us a picture?

How Radio Controlled Toys Work

Radio controlled toys are as popular with adults as they are with kids. Get inside an RC truck and find out how it translates radio signals into motion.

What is a funicular railway?

In the news about the recent accident at a ski resort in Austria, the reporters called the cable car that carried the skiers up the mountain a "funicular railway." What is that and how does it work?

How does "bulletproof" glass work?

In a lot of movies you see windows that are "bulletproof." Does bulletproof glass really exist, and if so, how does it work?

How can you measure the height of a tall tower?

Is there an easy way to measure the height of a cell phone tower in my neighborhood?

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?

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?

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?

What exactly is a blueprint?

If you've ever seen a construction site, you may have noticed that the general plans for construction are drawn out in the form of blueprints. What exactly are blueprints, though, and how are they made? Find out in this article.

How did public fountains, like those in Rome, work without any type of motor to pump the water?

Rome is famous for having large public fountains that work without the use of any kind of mechanized pump. How were these fountains able to generate enough water pressure without a motor? Check out this article for the answer to this question.

How Bridges Work

We are a species of bridge builders. Since time out of mind, humans have engineered structures to vault over obstacles with the help of logs, stone, steel and, of course, ingenuity. So, what keeps our bridges steadfast and strong?

How Electromagnets Work

Whether they're sorting out scrap metal or helping us unlock the secrets of the universe, electromagnets are pretty nifty devices. What's so great about magnetism on demand? We'll electrify you with the details in this article.


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