Monthly Archives: May 2016

088 - Radium Button
Although the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has a standard periodic table and list of chemical elements, the names and symbols you see on your periodic table often depend on which language you speak and country you live in. Here’s a table of element names in different […]

Element Names in Different Languages

Green Trinitite or Alamogordo Glass (Shaddack)
This pretty green glass formed as a result of the Trinity Nuclear Test near Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. Although it is radioactive, it is safe to handle and valued by collectors. Chemically, trinitite is mostly fused sand, or silicon dioxide. It is quartz with feldspar and various […]

What Is Trinitite or Alamogordo Glass?

Mandelbrot Fractal
Since I’ve started making fractal art, I’ve been asked many times, “What is a fractal?” and “Yes, they look pretty, but what good are they?” Here are the basics. What Is a Fractal? A fractal is a mathematical equation that displays a repeating pattern, no matter what scale you examine […]

What a Fractal Is and Why You Should Care

Quarters (Matthias Shapiro)
One of the key properties of metals is that they typically conduct heat and electricity extremely well. There are countless practical applications of conductivity, plus some cool science projects. One of the more interesting projects is shrinking a quarter using electricity. Actually, it doesn’t need to be a quarter, but […]

How to Shrink a Quarter Using Electricity

Spherical Fire in Space (NASA)
Fire in space looks and behaves differently from fire on Earth. The reason is because we’re used to seeing flames bound by the influence of gravity. If you light a candle on Earth, you get a recognizable flame-shaped form and combustion proceeds with oxygen drawn into the flame from the […]

How Fire in Space Looks and Works