And why should you know?
What is she doing in the lab, you ask? Isn’t that dangerous? Who let her in there? Don’t worry! I’m nowhere near a laboratory and these pictures are actually from my sister. For some reason, she became a talented scientist and is currently writing her bachelor thesis in nanoscience with a specialisation in organic chemistry. And she is doing pretty cool stuff and I only understand half of it. But I do understand the part about fluorescence and it’s not only pretty but also very useful.
Continue reading What is fluorescence?
Explaining energy conversion efficiency and combustion
You probably already know that I write a lot about physics experiments. But I also love science toys and today I want to talk about something more chemical than physical. Obviously, the electrochemical fuel cell cars I am talking about can (and in my opinion should) be included in physics education, because talking about energy conversion efficiency in real life and authentic settings is so valuable. The big advantage of fuel cell car toys is that they combine fun with science with real interdisciplinary science learning. See for yourselves!
Continue reading Electrochemical fuel cells as a science toy
What does evaporation have to do with spa towns?
As you might have noticed by the lack of an experiment last week, I’ve been on a vacation and enjoyed some time away from work, Instagram and my blog. But I can tell you – my mind never wanders far from fascinating physical phenomena and so when I went on a stroll in the region I grew up with, I came across the graduation towers and enjoyed the fresh breeze filled with salty smell just like the ocean. We used to go there often when I was a kid and I really enjoyed talking a walk there. They don’t have anything to do with a school graduation but are used for increasing the concentration of saline solutions. And that’s exactly what I want to talk about today, so this will be a more theoretical blogpost with a little chemistry and physics backgrounds. Enjoy.
Continue reading Graduation Towers and saline solutions
Guest post by Mirjam
Since I am currently on vacation, I asked my dear friend Mirjam for help with this weeks experimental friday. And I can tell you, you’re in for a treat. She is deeply into oceanography and especially wavewatching, which, as you can probably tell, go very well together. And what makes her thoughts and ideas so outstanding is how she manages to see waves and patterns every time she looks upon water. I truly admire that. So let’s see what she can teach us about optics by looking at water.
Continue reading Seaside physics teaching: Looking at water to understand optics
Modelling with an apple and an egg
Last Tuesday, on July 16th 2019, we had a partial lunar eclipse which was visible in Germany. Unfortunately it was too cloudy for me to see but when I was 8, there was a solar eclipse right over Germany (in 1999) and I loved the event. I didn’t quite understand how rare solar eclipses are when you don’t travel to see one. I guess I’d appreciate it so much more now. Lunar eclipses are more common but still events for themselves. And what I also love about eclipses is that there are so many ways to visualize and understand these phenomena. I’ll explain three in this post.
Continue reading Lunar and Solar Eclipses
Thoughts about the energy concept
Let’s talk about energy. But don’t despair, this won’t become too theoretical. I promise. All I want to do is to nudge you into the right direction of thinking about energy as a concept that can explain many things in everyday life. Because that’s all there is to it. Obviously, the last sentence isn’t true, as energy is still something worth researching. But the technicalities are not important, but how we think about it is. So let me give you an example.
Continue reading Why does a Laptop get hot?
Using waterdrop art to explain optics
I am a huge fan of the art of photography. I love how some people are able to catch the perfect moment at the perfect time and place and just get it right with their camera. And sometimes, things can turn out pretty science-y. And when you think about it, it’s pretty obvious how photography is a lot of optical physics. Let me show you what I mean.
Continue reading Through a different kind of lens
If you are anything like me, you have probably prepared hard boiled eggs once, wanting to eat them the next day and put them back into the fridge. And when you’ve wanted to take them out the next day, you realized you put them right next to the raw eggs. What now? I admit, this happens more often than I would like it to be true. What a relief that I can use physics to help me find my hardboiled eggs.
Continue reading Teaching about Inertia
The phenomenon of Thermochromism
When I was a child, I would stand in front of fair booths and try on all sorts of mood rings and adore them. The change of color fascinated me. I really wanted to purchase one and my parents didn’t let me. Oh how unfair the world seemed to me. I didn’t care that these rings weren’t worth the money, I just loved watching the colors turn.
Continue reading Learning about energy transfer with color changing straws
Today, I know about the phenomenon of thermochromism and it still fascinates me. But I’ve also studied a little bit of physics and now understand the science behind the phenomenon so much better than when I was a kid. In this blog post, I’ll show you what thermochromism is, why it occurs and what we can learn about energy from it.
A variation of the lemon battery
This might be the most cliché experiment for science right after Elephant’s toothpaste. If you know how both works – congratulations, you are probably pretty nerdy. Honestly, I have seen both experiments and they are both incredibly entertaining. And since I got the Lemonade Clock for my birthday, I thought I’d show you this cool variation of the lemon battery. Especially since it does not only make a lightbulb light up but we can use the actual clock that comes with the materials of the Lemonade Clock Box.
Continue reading The Lemonade Clock