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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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Are food-based plastics a good idea?

Once upon a time, food was used for one thing: eating. Today, it has a much more complicated role. And one of those roles might be serving as an upstart in the world of plastics.

How Electroluminescent (EL) Wire Works

Versatile and efficient, electroluminescent (EL) wire is widely used by artists to illuminate clothing, bicycle spokes, turntables and even cars. But how does this cool product work with so little power and without a visible energy source?

How Aerogels Work

This not-so-new material looks like a hologram and could play a valuable role in the future of insulation, electronics, oil spill cleanup and green energy. So why don't aerogels have the A-list name recognition they deserve?

10 Innovations Nominated for 2010 Edison Awards

The American Marketing Association created the Edison Awards to honor inventors and their innovations. With many great ideas to choose from, what are some of the nominees for 2010?

What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is one of the hot buzzwords of the 21st century. You know that it has to do with things that are very small, but just what are the implications of technology on the molecular scale, anyway?

What is the gray goo nightmare?

If people could create nanomachines, they might be able to help fight diseases on the molecular level. They might even be able to replicate themselves. But what happens if that process gets out of hand?

Are There Natural Nanotechnologies?

When most people talk about nanotechnology, they're referring to tiny machines built by humans. Could any molecules found in nature qualify as natural nanotechnology?

Will robots change us?

Science fiction prepared us for life with robots long before it became a reality. They've already changed the way goods are manufactured, but can they truly change the way human beings live?

Could computers and robots become conscious? If so, what happens then?

Artificial intelligence has advanced very quickly. Some believe that it's possible that machines will eventually be able to improve themselves. But could machines ever truly achieve consciousness?

Can nanoscopic machines manipulate atoms?

Engineers have gotten good at making very small things. We're already talking about building at the nanoscopic scale. Is it possible to build tiny machines that can move even tinier atoms?

Skyscraper Pictures

Skyscrapers are fascinating engineering feats, but they can also be beautiful additions to city skylines. Travel to new heights with this skyscraper gallery.

10 Inventions by Thomas Edison (That You've Never Heard Of)

It's common knowledge that Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb and the phonograph, but did you know he also developed concrete furniture and a phone to communicate with the dead?

How the Edison Awards Work

The Edison Awards annually honor the best new, cutting-edge products, companies and business executives -- all in the name of the record-setting inventor, Thomas Edison. What exactly does it take to earn an Edison Award?

5 Amazing Innovations that Have Won Edison Awards

Every now and then, a new product bursts onto the scene, causing a sensation among consumers and leaving an indelible mark on a given industry. These amazing innovations are contenders for an Edison Award.

10 Expensive Restorations

Over the centuries, some of the most breathtaking buildings on Earth have been restored many times. Whether they were to make necessary repairs, update designs or adjust to changing needs, all these projects required big bucks.

Why don't water towers freeze solid in the winter?

Water towers can be found in just about every town and city in America. Have you ever wondered if they freeze in the winter?

Awesome Architecture Image Gallery

From the Taj Mahal to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to Fallingwater, flip through these beautiful examples of architecture.

Robot Pictures

Whether they’re adorable like ASIMO or creepy like the world's most lifelike androids, today's robots take on a range of shapes and sizes. But they're not all humanoid. This gallery also shows off a few that are inspired by the animal kingdom.

Top 10 Structurally Amazing Bridges

Bridges move cars, trains, bikes and people, among other things. These 10 may even move your soul with their engineering ingenuity and beauty. So which 10 make the cut?

How Welding Works

For a process that simply bonds two pieces of metal, welding affects a lot of our world and some stuff that's out of this world, like the International Space Station. What's it like to man the torch?

How LED Incapacitators Work

This nonlethal weapon doesn't cause any lasting damage, but it may cause you to pray to the porcelains gods if an officer shines one in your eyes long enough to subdue you.

What's a brownfield?

Have you ever passed by an abandoned warehouse or gas station and wondered why the government doesn't just tear it down? Well, it may be a brownfield.

Can a swimsuit make you swim faster?

Wouldn't it be cool to blow past that swimmer in the next lane who always leaves you eating her watery dust? Could a bathing suit help you do it?

10 Construction Projects That Broke the Bank

Whether we're trying to save a sinking city or dig a massive tunnel, our appetite for construction knows no bounds. But if designers had known the actual cost of these 10 projects, they might have gone back to the drawing board.

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.

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