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Trying to Measure the Speed of Light

James Clerk Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism tells us that light is an electromagnetic wave traveling at 300,000 kilometers per second (kps). Maxwell's equations tell us that changing electric and [more…]

Different Patterns of Evolution

Groups of species undergo various kinds of natural selection and, over time, may engage in several patterns of evolution: convergent evolution, divergent evolution, parallel evolution, [more…]

Decrypting Cryptographic Ciphers

Cryptography today has evolved into a complex science (some say an art) presenting many great promises and challenges in the field of information security. The basics of cryptography include classes and [more…]

Articulating the Importance of Joints in Anatomy

Another word for anatomical joints is articulations from the Latin word articularis, meaning "jointed." There are many types of joints, and they tend to be classified by the amount of movement they permit [more…]

Knowing What Can Go Wrong with Your Immune System

The human species wouldn't have survived long if the body had no immune system. The first cold virus would have made the original members of our fair species extinct right away, if the body's immune system [more…]

Forensics: Assessing the Scene of the Crime

From the moment the first police officer arrives at the crime scene, he follows a strict set of procedural guidelines designed to protect him and everyone else who's present; guard evidence against damage [more…]

Getting into Hot Water: The Physics of Temperature

You always start a calculation or observation in physics by making measurements; and when the physics topics you're discussing are heat and temperature, you have several different scales at your disposal [more…]

What the Heck Is RFID?

With all the recent hype over radio frequency identification (RFID) and the requirements to implement it, you might think that RFID can turn water into wine, transform lead into gold, and cure the world's [more…]

Getting to Know Einstein's Wives

Einstein obviously had a tremendous influence on the scientific community and the entire world. Einstein enjoyed people's company and learned a great deal from those around him – including the two women [more…]

Physics -- Drawing Electric Field Lines

The electric field is defined as the force per unit charge exerted on a small positive test charge placed at that point. The rules for drawing electric field lines for any static configuration of charges [more…]

Physics -- Newton's Laws of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton (a.k.a. "The Big Fig") learned a lot from his famous apple-on-the-head incident. If you're studying physics this year, you'll soon come to know his three laws of motion very well. [more…]

Chemistry -- Hydrocarbons

An infinite variety of compounds can be assembled from only carbon and hydrogen atoms. So-called hydrocarbonsmay be the simplest organic compounds, but they have mighty economic importance because they [more…]

Grasping the Global Geographical Grid: Hip, Hip, Hipparchus!

In geography, the world as a whole possesses a grid whose coordinates may be used to identify the absolute location of things. Indeed, that is why a Greek named Hipparchus invented the global grid some [more…]

Transportation Within and Between Cells

Within and around cells, materials are constantly being shipped one way or another across membranes. At any given moment, a particular substance may exist in higher or lower concentrations on one side [more…]

Ossification: Growing Bones

If it weren't for ossification, you'd be a soft mound of blood, water, and flesh. The process of creating and growing bones is complicated, interesting, and chock-full of vocabulary that you need to know [more…]

Examining the Physical Properties of Water

The medium in which biological systems operate is water, and physical properties of water influence the biological systems. Therefore, it is important to understand some properties of water that you learned [more…]

Chemistry -- Subatomic Particles

The exploration of atomic structure began in 1911, when Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealander who worked in Canada and England, discovered that atoms had a dense central [more…]

Plant Biology: Roots, Shoots, Stems, and Leaves

Your basic vascular plant parts are roots, shoots, stems, and leaves. Of course, there's a wealth of variety within these types or parts, but it boils down to those four. Each part has distinct functions [more…]

Physics: Emitting and Absorbing Light — Radiation

You get out of the shower soaking wet in the dead of winter, and you're toasty warm. Why? Because of a little physics, of course. In particular, the heat lamp you have in your bathroom. The heat lamp beams [more…]

Wising Up to Weather Words

You hear these words all the time on your local weather forecast: highs and lows and temperatures and pressures and wind chills and humidities and chances of showers and wind speeds and directions. But [more…]

Going with the Flow in Geography: Ocean Currents

The oceans have warm and cold surface currents that act like a global heating and air-conditioning system. They bring significant warmth to high latitude areas that would otherwise be much cooler, and [more…]

Einstein Storms the Scientific World

When Einstein began his research as an amateur scientist, there were two major problems: [more…]

Examining the Elements of a Basic RFID System

Learning the fundamentals of RFID can be overwhelming. By understanding the basics of how data travels in waves and then through a network in an RFID system, however, you gain a solid foundation for greater [more…]

How Old Is the Earth: Radioisotope Dating

Scientists estimate that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, based on radioisotope dating techniques. To understand how this process works, you need to know a little bit about atoms and isotopes. [more…]

Physics -- Displacement and Velocity

Imagine that a car begins traveling along a road after starting from a specific signpost. To know the exact position of the car after it has traveled a given distance, you need to know not only the miles [more…]


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