Solar eclipses are fairly rare, so it is always a treat to be able to observe one. The main challenge is to find a way to see the eclipse, without damaging your eyes. While there are special filters that let you watch an eclipse, there is also a very safe, very simple way to observe it with materials that you probably already have.
During the years I was on the road, doing science performances at schools and museums, I could count on being asked that question at least once a week. After all, isn't that the official uniform for all "real" scientists?
To understand why not all scientists wear white lab coats, lets start by thinking about why some scientists WOULD wear one. After all, the standard, white, lab coat is not the most stylish outfit, so there must be other reasons.
This week's experiment comes from all of the e-mails that I have been receiving about the danger of heating water in a microwave oven. Although it is very uncommon, under certain conditions, you can superheat the water to a point where stirring or adding sugar can cause it to almost explode into steam. To investigate this, you will need:
This week's experiment is the result of a fire at my parents' house. No one was hurt, but it did cause quite a bit of damage. In case you ever have a fire, you should regularly check your smoke detectors. In testing them, we will also learn some about how they work.