Innovation

Do you know how common everyday items, such as mirrors, fireworks or sunglasses work? This collection of Innovation articles explores the workings of objects you may come into contact with on a regular basis.

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The ancient Chinese brought us many great innovations, including some that we take for granted in the modern world. Let's examine 10 of ancient China's greatest inventions.

By Josh Clark & Sascha Bos

Are you hungry for some nitro-scrambled egg-and-bacon ice cream? Did you want a little fried mayo on that sandwich? Molecular gastronomy has cast cooking in a new light and created some seemingly bizarre, but shockingly delicious dishes.

By William Harris

Like any quality-control system, peer review was designed to scrutinize all new scientific discoveries, ideas and implications. So how does flawed research still slip through the system of checks and balances?

By William Harris

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You don't have to be a scientist in a white coat to use the scientific method. We all use it every day to make observations and solve problems.

By William Harris

Newton's iconic laws of motion are at work all around you, whether you're watching an Olympic swimmer push off a pool wall or a batter hit a baseball. So what are they?

By William Harris

Many people consider caviar, unfertilized sturgeon eggs, to be a delicious delicacy. But how exactly is this luxury harvested, and what is the proper way to eat it?

By Laurie L. Dove & Austin Henderson

Ah, the pride of leaving your name on a discovery as a lasting legacy of your time here on Earth. As the 10 discoveries on this list demonstrate, you probably won't get to revel in that pride while you're still alive.

By Maria Trimarchi

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He had patents and pigeons galore. His role in history books could be more. So come ye science fans, and read up on your Tesla facts, myths and lore.

By Nicholas Gerbis

Although many still remember Nikola Tesla, his name doesn't carry the weight it once did during his famous battles with Thomas Edison. What was this eccentric genius like?

By John Kelly

On its good days, science is incredible and enlightening. On its bad days, science can be anywhere from gross to downright bizarre. What are some of science's craziest questions? (And why did anyone want to answer them?)

By Jessika Toothman

"Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." That little line appears so often and in so many contexts, it's almost lost all meaning -- but why is it there, and what does physics have to do with it?

By Julia Layton

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Why is the sky blue? What's relativity all about? If you're thinking, "something to do with light and physics and stuff," we have some short explanations for you.

By Patrick J. Kiger

If this were trivia night, your team could probably summon this answer without breaking a sweat. But in true polymath style, Engelbart's signature invention is only part of his computer genius. Meet him.

By Nicholas Gerbis

In an age of health-conscious consumers, low-carb diets and bottled water, one snack has stood the test of time. Twinkies are an icon of junk-food snacks and guilty pleasures, nutritionally worthless yet irresistibly yummy.

By Ed Grabianowski

Water and vitamins help keep us alive and healthy. So if you put the vitamins in the water, wouldn't you be even healthier? Check out Glaceau's Vitaminwater and see if it really does what it claims to do.

By John Fuller

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We humans aren't complete slaves to time. We've devised ways to pack an extra hour of sunshine into our day, thanks to daylight saving time. But who came up with this idea and why do so many people loathe it?

By William Harris, Kathryn Whitbourne & Desiree Bowie

Gravity dictates the structure of the universe, from the way cosmic bodies form to the way they orbit more massive planets or stars. Has it always played such a starring role in our cosmic history?

By Robert Lamb

Gravity is great, but if we could figure out how to selectively reduce its effects, we could cut the energy demands of travel and transportation. Don't cheaper airline tickets sound pretty good?

By Robert Lamb

Explore the ingenuity of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, a machine that transformed cotton processing, reshaped industries and influenced economies.

By Desiree Bowie

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Learn how the invention of the world's first motorcycle in the 19th century shaped the future of mobility and revolutionized two-wheeled transportation.

By Desiree Bowie

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce is responsible for the first photo ever taken. Almost lost to time, the image used a process called heliography.

By Yara Simón

The flying shuttle was a transformative invention during the Industrial Revolution. Learn more about the device that revolutionized the weaving process.

By Reina Belardes

Explore the mechanics and inner workings of the internal combustion engine, an innovation of the Industrial Revolution that transformed transportation.

By Desiree Bowie

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The phonograph transformed audio recording, leaving a lasting impact on how we capture and preserve sound. Learn about the invention's history and evolution.

By Desiree Bowie

The pneumatic tire revolutionized transportation and a number of other industries that rely on air-cushioned rubber tires.

By Nicole Antonio