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Kaleidoscopes Explained

Kaleidoscopes use light and mirrors to reflect objects that create patterns. There are multitudes of different varieties and types, but they all follow the same basic principles of physics. To make a kaleidoscope, you would need some type of round, hollow material and two to four mirrors to put inside of it. Aluminum foil can also be used as a reflector. On one end of a kaleidoscope, there is an object container that holds the objects to be reflected. Then this can be closed off with plastic

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Straight Outta Compton

This is the Compton Effect. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with the hometown of the NWA. No, the compton effect is the term given to the increase in wavelength that occurs when photons interact with electrons in a material. The high energy that photons possess can be transferred to electrons and gives them enough energy to be launched out of the atom, and for a photon containing the remaining energy to be emitted in a different direction than the original. This way the overall momentum i

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How does Lightning Work?

Lightning is a phenomenon that has been occurring for thousands of years, but today most people don't know a whole lot about how or why it happens. To put it simply, lightning is the result of a buildup of electrical charge that happens in clouds created from water vapor. Research suggests that a strong negative charge tends to build up toward the bottom of clouds, and most of the positive charge located in clouds collects nearer to the top portion of them. A "step leader" then begins to be

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The Physics of the Drinking Bird Toy

The drinking bird novelty item has been around for decades, but it's seemingly simple design is deceptive. Carefully calculated physics principles have gone into the creation of this toy. Mostly, it utilizes energy conversion, operating as a heat engine that changes heat energy from water into mechanical work. The drinking bird design is made up of several important components: -two glass bulbs of equal size attached on either end of a glass tube -a fuzzy, absorbent material to cover the bi

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Why do soap bubbles have color?

Looking back at my childhood, some of my fondest memories were those sunny days when my siblings and I could just run around and blow bubbles. It was so amazing to us how we could create something so entertaining out of the simple soap solution. To go along with the mystery of making bubbles, we always were perplexed by how the bubbles always had a shimmery rainbow color to them. As kids we wrote it off as magic, but now I know that there are laws of physics at work here. The reason that soap

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