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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.

Topics to Explore

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Why are blueprints blue?

Why are blueprints blue and not some other color? There's a specific chemical process behind it, and its discovery has all the elements of a dark fairy tale.

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.

10 Crazy Uses for Completely Frictionless Surfaces

Just imagine the possibilities: a world free of gum walls and full of bartenders speeding drinks along the bar. But that's really just the tip of the (super-slick) iceberg.

How Baxter the Robot Works

Get ready to welcome your new robotic coworker. He's careful and friendly, and he's ready to learn. And he could revolutionize the manufacturing industry.

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.

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?

10 Evil Robots Bent on Destroying Humanity

"Hahaha ... we've come to destroy your world!" Or so it must read in the chapter of the "Evil Robot Handbook" on what to say when you first encounter humans. Here are 10 robots you really don't want to mess with.

What makes realistic robots so creepy?

A robot, at its simplest, is a machine that can perform tasks normally undertaken by people. But when 'bots are too similar to their human creators, they become unsettling. Why is that, exactly?

Big Power, Small Package

You might consider it a feat of strength when you haul a particularly weighty and cumbersome armful of groceries into the house, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the dramatically heavy loads these powerhouses can handle.

10 Heaviest Objects Mankind Has Ever Moved

It's always been a dilemma for humans: how to move that super-heavy object to a new place. But we always seem to find a way, don't we?

10 Women Who Broke New Ground in Engineering

One of the most travelled stretches of U.S. highway was designed by a woman who loved mathematics and wasn't interested in being a teacher. Who was she, and where is it?

The World's Most Awe-inspiring Glass Buildings

How much do you know about architecture? How about architecture you can see through? The architects who designed these structures will blow you away with the buildings they created –- from glass.

Futuristic Architecture Pictures

While most '50s and '60s imaginings of future architecture didn't pan out, there are some futuristic-looking modern buildings that fit the bill. We'll show you some amazing examples of "future-tecture" in this gallery.

10 Innovative Architects to Watch

Move over, Gaudi, Gehry and Wright. There are some new architectural players on the scene, and they're shaping our world in unique and innovative ways.

How will the future of architecture change the way we live?

As much as we'd all love to hang our hats in Jetsons-style bubble homes in the future, it's likely that future domiciles will be more practical than fantastical.

10 Most Famous Architects Who Ever Lived

We see buildings pop up and get torn down all the time, but some structures (and the masters who designed them) were built to last. Who are some of the most inspiring architects in history?

10 Most Copied Architects

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then these 10 architects have gotten loads of compliments throughout the history of design. Who are they?

How Kilobots Work

Got $15? You could build a Kilobot. Got $150? You could build 10 of these small bots, which might make you a robot master.

10 Robots With Dirty Jobs

So you like to complain about your demonic boss, moronic co-workers and fancy company coffee machine that never, ever works? You need to zip it and meet these 10 hard-working bots. They could tell you stories.

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.

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.

5 Things You Didn't Know About the Metric System

In most of the world, the metric system reigns supreme, and with its convenient prefixes and correlation of units, it's easy to see why the system caught on. But what don't you know about metric?

How Earthquake-resistant Buildings Work

Sometimes it seems as though Earth has been hitting the caffeine a little too hard, with all the shakes from earthquakes. So, how do structures stand strong amid all those quakes?

How was the Bay Bridge built?

The Bay Bridge is a wonder of structural engineering. Find out how multiple architectural styles were incorporated into the bridge that unites Oakland with San Francisco.

What was the first steel-framed skyscraper?

Steel-framed skyscrapers are common sights in any city skyline these days. But someone had to be the first to build up, up, up. Find out where this architectural standard was born.

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