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What is friction? Physics definitions

By |2018-05-31T11:49:28+00:00August 16th, 2017|Physics|

Hands rubbing together is a kind of friction Friction is what happens when any two things rub against each other. These can be solid things, like your two hands rubbing together, or your skis rubbing on the snow, or a hammer hitting a nail, or they can be gases, like friction with the air slowing down your car, or [...]

What is a photon? Physics of light

By |2018-05-31T11:49:28+00:00August 16th, 2017|Physics|

Photons - Sunshine breaking through the clouds. When did the first photons appear? A photon is a tiny little particle of light, far too small to see individually. All light is made of photons (FOE-tahns). The earliest photons probably appeared about fifteen billion years ago, during the Big Bang. What's the speed of light? Unlike electrons and quarks, [...]

Emilie du Chatelet – European philosophy

By |2018-04-08T11:14:27+00:00August 7th, 2017|Modern Europe, Philosophy|

Emilie du Chatelet, a French philosopher in the 1700s Emilie du Chatelet's rich father, who was interested in literature and science, hired tutors to homeschool her, instead of sending her to a convent school. She learned Latin, German, Greek, and Italian, as well as math and science. When du Chatelet was 18, she married [...]

Digestion – Oxidation reaction – Chemistry

By |2017-06-03T00:41:56+00:00June 3rd, 2017|Biology, Chemistry|

Kids eating food (thanks to USDA) When animals, including people like you, digest their food, they use an oxidation reaction to break down big hydrocarbon molecules like sugar into different molecules. In order for your cells to break down sugar molecules made of hydrogen and carbon atoms, they have to combine the sugar with oxygen, just [...]

What is the strong nuclear force? Atoms and Physics

By |2018-04-16T23:47:52+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Physics|

Diagram of an iron atom The protons inside the nucleus of an atom all have a positive electrical charge, so they push away from each other. But the strong nuclear force pulls the protons together. As you might think from the name, the strong nuclear force is very strong. It is stronger than [...]

Steam and water – Simple Science – Chemistry

By |2017-06-02T16:05:45+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Swimming in natural hot springs in Iceland When water gets very hot, it boils and turns into steam. This happens at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. The water turns into steam because you (or something else: in the picture it is the volcano nearby) is adding energy in the form of [...]

What is heat? Simple science – Chemistry

By |2018-05-08T09:27:54+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry, Physics|

What is heat? A big campfire throws some serious heat Definition of heat When molecules of any kind of atoms get more energy in them than they had before, they move faster, and we call that "heat". When the molecules move faster, they hit against each other and bounce apart, and so they [...]

Friction and food coloring – Heat experiments – Chemistry

By |2018-04-16T17:38:04+00:00June 1st, 2017|Chemistry|

Children playing a running game You can easily make things hotter than they were before. Start by rubbing your hands together, and you'll see that they feel hot. That's because the energy you used up moving your hands against the friction of them touching each other turns into heat energy. Another way to [...]