thermal energy

Cool Water

This experiment comes from washing the dishes. If you look around this site, you will find that a fair number of my experiments have come from washing dishes, which is probably the result of the state my mind is in when my belly is stuffed with yummy food.

Changing Pressure

Quite a bit of my travels involve changes in altitude. Going from sea level to over 7000 feet makes a big difference. As you go higher, the air pressure is less. This can do bad things to the stuff in your suitcase, such as causing shampoo to squirt all over your clothes. It would be nice to fly all of you up into the mountains to do this experiment, but I can't quite afford that right now. Instead, we will cause a change in air pressure by heating and cooling it.

Can Water Float?

There are many things that will float on water: pieces of wood, wax, Styrofoam, and many other things. They float because they are less dense than the water. Now for the question. Can water float on water? Is there a way to make water less dense?

The Science of Campfires

This experiment comes from my neighbors at the Malibu Creek State Park campground. While taking my morning walk, I heard a lady bragging to her husband that she started the campfire with only one match. That made me think of the fellow that I watched the night before as he poured two bottles of charcoal lighter fluid onto a pile of wood and still failed to get the fire going. He would pour on the liquid and get a huge blaze, which quickly died. How could the heat of one match work better than a gallon of blazing lighter fluid?

Breathing Hot and Cold

One of the most common questions that I get is where do I get the ideas for these experiments. Some are old classics that I try to give a new angle. Others are the result of questions sent to me by subscribers. Some of the ones that I like the best are the ones that just pop up, seemingly out of nowhere. This is one of those. It also comes with its own story, which makes it even better.

The story is one of Aesop's fables. If you have never read any of these, go read some. It is well worth the time.

A Cup of Cold

This experiment comes from some research I am doing on "Science With Your Refrigerator," but it has its roots in my childhood. You may recognize some of your childhood too.

A Cool Experiment

This experiment is one that you can try the next time you take a bath. Have you ever noticed that you feel cold after a hot bath? Actually, there is more than one reason that you could feel chilled when you get out of the tub. If the water was very warm, then the air will feel cooler by comparison, but even if the water was cool and the air was warm, you could still feel a chill.

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