Topic: molecules

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Thermal expansion sphere and ring demonstrations

If you ever had trouble twisting open a jar lid that's stuck, try running it under some hot water. When you try again, it will most likely pop open with a twist thanks to thermal expansion. Most (but not all) matter w...

Airglow & the secrets behind Earth’s colorful ionosphere

What does our planet look like from space? Most are familiar with the beloved images of the blue marble or pale blue dot -- Earth from 18,000 and 3.7 billion miles away, respectively. But closer to home, within the ne...

What is fire? Is it a solid, a liquid, or a gas?

Sitting around a campfire, you can feel its heat, smell the woody smoke, and hear it crackle. If you get too close, it burns your eyes and stings your nostrils. You could stare at the bright flames forever as they twi...

What causes body odor?

Most of us don’t need more than one whiff to identify that generally unpleasant, characteristic smell we call body odor. But it’s a surprisingly complex phenomenon, influenced by our genetic makeup, age, diet, and hyg...

How To Capture A Scent, an easy science experiment

If you've ever wanted to capture your favorite smell—a rose, cinnamon, a pine tree, a campfire—this easy experiment might be able to help. From Science Friday: Aha! Here's how to capture a scent. With the help of some...

Go inside an ice cave to see nature’s most beautiful blue

Where do glaciers and icebergs get their beautiful blue color? This unique blue might be nature’s most brilliant, and the color arises in a very special way thanks to some surprising interactions between light and wat...

Surface tension and The Cheerios Effect

Ever notice how cereal clumps up in your bowl, or how cereal sticks to the edges of the bowl? Bubbles in beverages do the same thing. You've probably seen this surface tension and buoyancy at work, but did you know th...

Why is syrup sticky?

Water isn't sticky, and sugar on its own isn't sticky either. So why is syrup—a heated, melty combination of water and sugar—so very, very sticky? Emily Elert of MinuteEarth explains the sticky molecular structures of...

Demonstrations of the Coanda Effect

Fluids flowing near a surface tend to follow the shape of the surface. Using Schlieren optics, we can see this behavior. It is known as the Coanda Effect and its explanation depends on viscosity, the frictional forces...

Oxygen’s surprisingly complex journey through your body

Oxygen forms about 21% of the air around us. In your body, oxygen forms a vital role in the production of energy in most cells. But if gases can only efficiently diffuse across tiny distances, how does oxygen reach th...

The scientist that grows ‘identical twin snowflakes’

Snow crystals form when humid air is cooled to the point that molecules of water vapor start sticking to each other. In the clouds, crystals usually start forming around a tiny microscopic dust particle, but if the wa...

Can Bird Poop Make Clouds?

How does bird poop potentially help to keep our climate just a wee bit cooler? In this episode of Gross Science, Anna Rothschild helps connect tens of millions of seabirds in the Arctic to 40,000 metric tons of ammoni...

LEGO Dragon-Butterfly-Jet Magic Angle Sculpture

Created with layers and layers of LEGO pieces, magic angle sculptures appear to be completely abstract forms at first glance, but with the help of a light and rotation, they reveal their complex design. Inspired b...

Nature’s Scuba Divers – How Beetles Breathe Underwater

"Water beetles have been breathing underwater since before the dinosaurs existed,” said Crystal Maier, an entomologist at The Field Museum in Chicago. “It has evolved at least 10 times across the insect tree of life."...

Macro Video of Iridescent Soap Bubbles – Stereokroma

The next time you get the opportunity to blow some soap bubbles, be sure to take a long, close look at them. Those ever-changing rainbows sliding around across the surfaces of the bubbles can be spellbinding... like a...

Ferrofluid + Glow Sticks – The Physics Girl

Ferromagnetic + fluid = ferrofluid, a liquid containing nanoscale particles of magnetite, hematite, or an iron compound. Invented by NASA's Steve Papell in 1963, ferrofluid forms undulating spikes and patterns as it r...

Hot & Cold Water Science Experiment – HooplaKidzLab

With two matching jars, red and blue food coloring, some hot and cold water, an index card, and a dish or baking pan, you can observe how the different densities of hot and cold water behave. This experiment by Hoopla...

How Do Sharks and Rays Use Electricity to Find Hidden Prey?

Imagine if you had six traditional senses instead of five: Sound, sight, touch, smell, taste and... What might you pick? Echolocation? Magnetoreception? How about electroreception? Sharks, rays, skates and sawfish...

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