"This is a book that science teachers will love." - Mark Kidger, Astronomer at La Palma Observatory.
How do you make a clock out of an ice cube? Send messages using bubbles? Make money using a tube that waltzes? This collection of curious and offbeat science experiments provides the answers to these and 36 other questions. Accomplished physicist and science writer Neil A. Downie covers a range of phenomena, from the rocking and rolling that drives a waltzing tube; to the fluid mechanics of a coffee-cup rev counter and biceps made from balloons; to the simple chemistry of red-hot batteries and wet solar cells. For each experiment, he provides historical anecdotes about the relevant phenomena, a list of equipment, detailed instructions, and a full explanation - requiring only high-school mathematics - of the science behind the procedure. For those intrigued by any experiment, he includes follow-up suggestions, which describe ways to tinker with the initial "recipe". This collection of lively experiments, with complete explanations and simple mathematics, will appeal to high-school science teachers, inveterate tinkerers, amateur scientists, or anyone looking for a project for the next science fair.NER(01): GB
Table of Contents
CHAOTIC CLOCKS 1 (30)
1 Chaotic Regularity 4 (9)
Hammer randomly at a pendulum and get a
remarkably accurate clock.
2 Glacial Oscillations 13 (7)
Ice melts and re-forms rapidly, then melts
and re-forms slowly.
3 Everlasting Hourglass 20 (11)
Is it a clock or a concrete mixer?
AERODYMAGIC 31 (18)
4 Juggling Airstreams 34 (7)
How many ping-pong balls can you balance on
top of one another?
5 Railroad Yacht 41 (8)
Go sailing without seasickness pills.
SOUNDS INTERESTING 49 (22)
6 Musical Glugging 51 (6)
Is this what Handel meant by water music?
7 Pneumatic Drum 57 (6)
Try out this percussion instrument for
8 Singing Contacts 63 (8)
Listen to those electrons.
JOLLY BOATING 71 (20)
9 Giant Putt-Putt Boat 73 (6)
Build a jet boat that's ideal for swamps.
10 Follow That Field! 79 (12)
Trace electric fields with a boat.
TRANSPORTS OF DELIGHT 91 (40)
11 Electric Worms 93 (7)
The magic of friction makes an unusual
12 Vacuum Railroad 100(8)
Travel by tube with help from a vacuum
13 Naggobot, or Reverse Ice Vehicle 108(7)
Jingle bells for the snowless make summer
sleigh rides possible.
14 Boadicea's Autochariot 115(7)
Keep the army of ancient Rome at bay with a
15 Tubal Travelator 122(9)
Construct a conveyance of convenience.
CENTRIPETAL FORCE AND CENTRIFUGAL PROJECTILES 131(16)
16 Centripetal Chaos 134(6)
Take a sideways look at the lava lamp.
17 The Rotapult 140(7)
Watch out, Goliath!
EXOTIC AMPLIFICATION 147(22)
18 Transformer Transistors 149(11)
See the magic of magnetism with an
amplifier that the Victorians could have
19 Electrolystor Amplifier 160(9)
Control an AC output with bubbles from a DC
VIBRATIONS, ROTATIONS, AND CHANCE 169(14)
20 Waltzing Tube 171(5)
Observe curious rotation around two axes in
this Victorian toy.
21 Motor Dice 176(7)
Electrify your dice, and don't forget the
MAVERICK MEASUREMENT 183(50)
22 Coffee-Cup Revolution Counter 185(5)
Track the approach of dinosaurs and measure
23 Coulter's Bubbles 190(8)
Blow bubbles through your gas meter.
24 Electronic Elastic 198(6)
Make a force sensor from a rubber band.
25 Light Tunnels 204(9)
Measure angles with a bent tube.
26 Reverse Electric Lamp Solar Tracker 213(7)
Put light into this bulb and get
27 Gravity Diode 220(6)
Electrons appear to know which way is up.
28 AMIPLEX 226(7)
Go from an experiment to a graph in a
CURIOUS COMMUNICATIONS 233(52)
29 Servo Telegraph 235(10)
An output wheel in Anchorage follows every
movement of an input wheel in Key West.
30 Send Me a Bubblegram 245(7)
Make a telegraph from the orderly progress
of bubbles in tubes.
31 Pneumatic Morse 252(7)
Send messages with compressed air.
32 Seven-Segment Telegraph 259(5)
Send messages with an ingenious scheme of
wires and diodes.
33 Six-Wire Telegraph 264(12)
Send reduced messages-"It's language, Jim,
but not as we know it."
34 Moving Messages 276(9)
Rapid rotation deceives the eye in these
prestidigitatory electric illusions.
UNUSUAL ACTUATORS 285(14)
35 Balloon Biceps 287(5)
Get muscles like Popeye's-from a balloon.
36 Ink Sandwiches 292(7)
These sandwiches are not for eating but for
ELECTROCHEMICAL MAGIC 299(22)
37 Red-Hot Batteries 301(6)
Need electric power? Plug in a flame!
38 Unusually Cool Sunglasses 307(6)
Make shades from electrolytically etched
39 Wet Solar Cell 313(8)
Get power from sunshine and salt.
Hints and Tips 321(4)
Suggested Further Reading 325(4)