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Using Technology to Make Solar Cells Affordable

When light hits a solar cell, an electric current is generated. When you punch numbers into a calculator without inserting a battery or plugging it into the wall, you're taking advantage of solar cells [more…]

Outlining Your Ideas for Your Science Fair Project

Before you can tell them what you're going to tell them, you need to make an outline. When you actually begin to write the paper, your outline keeps you on track, so that you can present your information [more…]

Career Opportunities in Biochemistry

Because of recent advances in biochemistry and biotechnology, many new professions have been created for biochemistry majors. Those who stop at the BS degree often find themselves working as technicians [more…]

Chemistry -- Can You Take the Heat?

For chemical reactions and phase transformations, the energy absorbed or liberated is measured as heat. The principal unit for reporting heat is the calorie [more…]

Geography: Making Sense of It All

People are fascinated by the world in which they live. They want to know what it's like and why it is the way it is. Most importantly, they want to understand their place in it. Geography satisfies this [more…]

Forensics: Fingering Criminals Using DNA

Solving crime means finding out whodunit, so forensic scientists have long searched for ways of absolutely identifying individuals from materials left at a crime scene. [more…]

Discovering What Physics Is All About

You can observe plenty going on around you all the time in the middle of your complex world. Leaves are waving, the sun is shining, the stars are twinkling, light bulbs are glowing, cars are moving, computer [more…]

Bone Vocabulary

Adult human bones are composed of 30 percent protein (called ossein), 45 percent minerals (including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium), and 25 percent water. Minerals give the bone strength and hardness [more…]

Starting at the Bottom in Geography: Inside Earth

It would be great if you could go deep into the Earth and see what's going on, but that's impossible — despite what Jules Verne wrote. The average distance from Earth's surface to the center is 3,960 miles [more…]

Tornadoes: Really Twisted Winds

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. Nothing that the atmosphere can dish out is more destructive. They can sweep up anything that moves. They lift buildings from their foundations. They make a [more…]

Viewing the Moon's Geology

The entire moon is pockmarked with craters of every size, from microscopic pits to basins hundreds of miles in diameter. The largest is the South Pole-Aitken Basin, which is about 1,600 miles [more…]

Anatomy -- Flex Your Muscles

Muscle enables complex movements that are either under conscious control, such as clicking a computer mouse, or involuntary, such as the contraction of the heart or the peristalsis in the gut. To understand [more…]

Physics -- Good Vibrations

If you've spent even just a few Saturday mornings watching television cartoons, then you're probably familiar with the image of an opera singer whose loud, high notes causes glass to shatter. Is such a [more…]

Examining Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power plants rely on the chain reaction of fission to create nuclear power. The real trick, however, is to control the chain reaction, releasing its energy slowly so that ends other than destruction [more…]

Recognizing the Roles of Organic Chemists

Chemists working within the field of organic chemistry specialize in particular areas of research. Their specializations illustrate the diversity of the field of organic chemistry and its connection to [more…]

Biogeography: Watching Darwin's Finches

Biogeography is simply the study of the locations of different species through space. Biogeography reveals that species that appear to be closely related tend to be geographically close as well, as though [more…]

Physics -- Do the Wave

The easiest wave to visualize is a water wave. When you drop a pebble into a calm pool of water, ripples travel out from the point where the pebble entered the water. The disturbance travels out from the [more…]

Covering Cool Organic Discoveries

Chance and fortune have played a major role in the big discoveries in organic chemistry (although, as Pasteur would say, luck favors the prepared mind). [more…]

Astronomy -- The Celestial Pole

Over the course of the night, stars move across the sky from east to west as a consequence of Earth's rotation on its axis. The stars appear to move in circular paths around a [more…]

Concerns about Nuclear Power

In the United States, there are approximately 100 nuclear power plants producing more than 20 percent of the country's electricity. Almost 80 percent of France's electricity is generated through nuclear [more…]

Meeting a Few Nanotech Movers and Shakers

Nanotechnology has developed its fair share of notable overachievers — folks who are creatively exploring (and staking claim to) the uncharted territory of the nano scale. [more…]

Mapping the Geography of Languages

Language is arguably the most important of the cultural universals. This is not to question the significance of religion or other traits; but language is essential to communicating and sharing many aspects [more…]

Forensics: Defining Death

Picture yourself being buried alive. People living prior to the 19th century had good reason to worry about such matters, because stethoscopes hadn't been invented, and determinations of death were more [more…]

Forensics: Profiling the Perpetrator

If you don't know what you're looking for, finding it is nearly impossible. Profiling, or looking at evidence and making a best guess as to the type of individual who would commit the crime in question [more…]

Solar Activity: What's Going On Out There?

The term solar activity refers to all kinds of disturbances that take place on the sun from moment to moment and from one day to the next. All forms of solar activity, including the 11-year sunspot cycle [more…]


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