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About NathanKenney

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  1. Welding, as most people know, is when you use a torch to melt a material to another material, as well as add some filler material for strength. However, there are a lot of different welds that can be made, and a lot of different ways you can make them. For example, some common types of energy sources for welding include a gas flame, lasers, electric arcs, electron beams, ultrasound, and friction. For the purpose of this post, I'll be talking about laser welding, since it is newer, and involves lasers which are just inherently cool. Welding using a laser beam consists of a concentrated laser be
  2. I have heard of quantum entanglement before, but really with no concept of what it actually was or how it worked. Turns out, surprise surprise, that it is incredibly complicated but also really amazing. In short, quantum entanglement consists of 2 particles becoming identical, or having the same spin and charge. After they have become entangled, they remain that way. This means that if one is spun the other way, the other will instantaneously react inversely to the particle it is paired with. As if this in itself isn't complicated enough, it also poses the question of how that information is
  3. Recently, wireless charging had been catching on in a lot of consumer technology especially smart phones. While almost useless at this point in time, it will hopefully get better over time, but here's the basics of how it works. There is a charging base, that must be connected to some conventional power supply, such as a wall outlet, and in the base, there is an induction coil which generates a changing magnetic field. A phone with wireless charging capabilities also has another induction coil, which takes power from the magnetic field created in the base coil, and transfers the form of curren
  4. Generally, when your car needs new tires you look for something with good tread so you have good traction with the road (unless you're broke and your only requirement for tires is the cheapest thing they sell at Walmart). But drag slicks are just totally smooth, so why do they hold traction so well? Well the answer is really simple actually, it mostly comes down to surface area. Since slicks are perfectly flat, the contact patch the tire has with the road is much larger, providing better traction. Also, since there is no tread on the tire, there can be no uneven tread wear, so they can be mad
  5. The combustion engine, while old, is still an impressive technological feat, as seen in its ability to remain the best way to power most vehilcles to this day. Internal combustion engines All work in the same general way, where some fuel is burned in a chamber, and the resulting energy from the explosions is used to move pistons, which in turn move a crank that can then be transferred into whatever energy is necessary to power whatever the engine is moving. The mechanical energy transferred to the crankshaft is much more useful in the terms of moving things than the chemical energy of the comb
  6. A lot of things glow in the dark, from toys to stickers to shoes. Just about anything you can imagine, someone's made it glow in the dark. There are several different categories of things that glow in the dark, but i'll be focusing on what makes most consumer products glow in the dark, since it's more relevant to every day life. While researching for this blog post, the second sentence of the Wikipedia page mentioned quantum mechanics, so this could be even more interesting than I initially thought it would. Anyways, the technical name for "glow in the dark" is phosphorescence and this type of
  7. How do you make a car go faster? Slap a turbo in it, duh. While that certainly isn't as easy as it sounds, how do turbos even work anyways? Well, for starters, turbos really are all about recycling. No really, unlike an old fashioned supercharger that relied on a belt driven system to receive power, a turbocharger is powered by a car's exhaust. The energy from the gas exiting the car's exhaust is used to run a turbine that compresses air coming into the engine. Since conventional combustion engines are powered by, well, combustion, and since one of the key ingredients to fire is oxygen, the tu
  8. Recently, just about every phone to come out and even some newer laptops include a finger print sensor. But how does this technology work? Well, in an iPhone and most other mobile phones, the fingerprint sensor used is called a capacitive touch button, which works very similarly to the actual screen of the phone, which fundamentally acts as a capacitor with the button being a conducting plate, the epidermal layer of your finger acting as a dielectric, and the dermal layer acting as the second conducting plate, creating a capacitance and therefore letting the button know where your finger is. T
  9. A YouTube series that i've been watching recently called roadkill, came up with possibly the best worst idea ever. Previously on the show, they tried to turbocharge a chevy manza using 5 leaf blowers all fed into a single tube that leads directly to the air intake on the engine, and believe it or not, it actually added some horsepower to the car, however had negligible real world use impact. Recently, however, they brought this same car back, but decided to replace the leaf blower turbo with something much better. Their new idea, dubbed the boost caboose, was a Chevy small block V8 engine on a
  10. Before deciding to make this post, I really had no idea how a touchscreen worked. However, after doing some research it's actually pretty interesting. Most modern touch screens, such as what is most likely on your phone is known as a capacitive touchscreen, and that's because it essentially works by acting as a capacitor. A capacitive touch screen is made up of a few essential parts, the LCD or OLED screen itself, a glass or plastic cover used as an insulator that is covered in a clear conductive coating, and sensors to measure change in emf and determine where you are touching. The following
  11. In the spirit of the new resident evil game coming out very soon, it should be interesting to find out how many characters should have died in the previous game in a helicopter crash. Throughout Resident evil 6, the are a few helicopter crashes, and in the usual horror game scare tactic, everyone but the main characters die in these crashes. But should your characters have lived? There is an average of 1.44 fatalities per hundred thousand hours flown in a helicopter, and you can probably make a safe guess that if your helicopter crashes, you're at much higher risk for dying. Although there are
  12. Guitar pickups are really interesting technology. most people have seen or played an electric guitar, and the way that the guitar is able to transmit sound to the amplifier is through the pickups. in essence, a guitar pickup is a set of magnets wrapped in wire. while there are different types of pickups such as humbuckers, single coils, and p90's among others, they all operate in generally the same way. It all starts by playing a string on the guitar, and from there, the physics really gets interesting. the permanent magnets in the pickup create a magnetic field, and the vibration of the strin
  13. In the interest of simplicity, we're going to talk about how a co2 powered blow-back style paintball gun works, because an electric paintball gun has so many complex parts, each one could have it's own explanation. so, Simply put, a co2 tank is screwed into the back of the gun, the gas flows through the gun, and is used to move the bolt back and forth, creating enough pressure behind the ball so send it flying out of the barrel. So, since this style of paintball gun is mainly gas through (no air regulation between the tank and the rammer), the main part that must be explained is the poppit val
  14. As legendary guitar player Tom Morello once said, a whammy pedal is essential for making those awesome pterodactyl sounds. but what even is a guitar effects pedal? simply, it changes the sound a guitar makes somewhere between playing the strings and the sound coming out of the amp. For now, we'll just focus on distortion pedals which are probably the most common pedals. Distortion pedals will distort the "clean sound" a guitar makes before the effect of the pedal is added in. When a guitar is played, sound is picked up by the pickups and sent through the quarter inch jack in the form of an ele
  15. So recently, record players have been making a resurgence. While there's no denying that they're pretty cool, and sound way better than a cd or mp3 (if you even care about that) they work in a pretty cool way. Record players as we know them now, work by spinning a record on a turntable, that is usually belt driven to spin a record at a given speed, most commonly either 33.5 rpm or 45 rpm. record players have a needle that runs through the grooves of the record that picks up vibrations which are sent through the needle, into wires in the are that are then sent through a coil in a magnetic field
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