Environmental Science

The environment is truly a thing of beauty and should be protected whenever possible. What can we do to save the environment, and what new technology is available to help us?

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How can water cut through steel? A device called a waterjet uses extreme force to cut through all sorts of things.

Despite the dangers, oil refineries are essential to society in its current form. Learn how crude oil is converted into everything from butane to gasoline.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

OK, so volts measure the potential for energy to travel and ohms measure the resistance to the electrical flow, but what are amps and watts?

By Dave Roos

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What happens to all of that trash the dump truck picks up every week? It doesn't just disappear into a parallel universe: Each day, we all contribute to the local landfill, and the waste disposal system is pretty involved.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Where electricity is produced from a coal fired power station, how much coal is required to run a 100-watt light bulb 24 hours a day for one year?

Carbon-14 dating is something that you hear about in the news all the time. Everything from mastodons to the Shroud of Turin has been dated using this technique! Learn about how carbon-14 dating works and why it is so accurate!

By Marshall Brain

The polar ice caps have been in the news recently because of their alleged shrinking due to global warming. If this is true, how much would the oceans rise if the ice caps melted completely? Learn the answer to this question in this article.

By Marshall Brain

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Let's say you have a lunch date to make – and it's on the other side of the planet. Wouldn't it be convenient to pop down a hole through Earth's innards? But what would really happen if you did?

By Nicholas Gerbis

Is it possible to generate electricity directly from heat? Thermocouples do it, with no moving parts.

A seismograph can accurately measure the movement of the Earth during a quake. How does a seismograph work, though, and what is the Richter scale that is associated with earthquakes? Learn the answers to these questions in this article.

We know that paper comes from trees, but just how much does it take? Let's do the math and figure out how much paper your average tree can be made into.

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During the summer I am always hearing about ozone warnings in my city. This ozone is bad. But then I hear about the ozone layer, which is good. How can ozone be both good and bad?

Charcoal is carbon. Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. What does this have to do with its absorbancy?

Gravity is a force that we experience every minute of our lives, but hardly notice or give a passing thought to in our daily routines. Have you ever wondered what gravity is and how it works? Learn about the force of gravity in this article.

By Julia Layton

One way to store energy is to use a battery, like a lead-acid battery or a nickel-cadmium battery, but are there lighter or longer-lasting ways to store energy? There must be a better way!

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Let's say you have a nice fire going, and it's reduced down to a pit of hot "glowing embers." If you now toss a piece of wood, or even a sheet of paper, onto this fire, you see a huge puff of smoke as it heats up.

An oscilloscope measures the voltage and frequency of an electric signal. A machine uses "sweeps" and and an input signal. See how it all comes together.

How do they measure "sea level"? Is it the average of the tides? And is the sea level actually rising or not?

On the Flintstones, a small bird sits inside the light and turns it on every night before he goes to bed. In a modern streetlight, a small circuit replaces the bird.

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You've probably seen solar cells on calculators, call boxes, road signs, homes and businesses. But how do solar cells work?

By Jessika Toothman & Scott Aldous

A fascinating article that describes the work of The Nature Conservancy and the benefits of its conservation projects to our environment and ecology!

You've probably never noticed how many of these you use everyday, but HowStuffWorks took the time to count them and take them apart to see what's inside!

By Marshall Brain

Diamonds are beautiful and popular - but not everyone can afford these gems. While man-made versions are less expensive, most lack the luster and brilliance of the real thing, except moissanite. See how it compares!

By Melissa Russell-Ausley

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Electrical power is a little bit like the air you breathe: You don't really think about it until it is missing. There are good reasons the power grid distribution system works the way it does, though it can lead to some big problems.

By Marshall Brain & Dave Roos