Ripping a pop can in half with your bare hands is not all that hard if you know a bit of chemistry and a little about how soda cans are fabricated. The key, is the plastic liner that coats the inside of the can. In order to protect the aluminum can from the carbonic acid in sodas, can manufacturers coat the inside of a can with a plastic liner. The liner also protects the inside of beer cans as well.
A new exhibit at Imagination Station, the earthquake platform. As part of engineering week I challenge local meteorologist Jay Berschback to build a stable tower on the Earthquake platform exhibit. Using only foam noodles and some cross-bracing he must construct a stable tower at least 5 stories tall. Find out if he can meet the challenge. Read more
Food calories are a measure of how much energy is contained in the food item. A very graphic way to visualize how much energy is in a handful of food is to burn it and observer the flame. We try this with a handful of cheesepuffs and Total cereal. Read more
Oobleck is a suspension of cornstarch and water that can behave like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure you apply. Try to grab some in your hand and it will form a solid ball in your palm just until you release the pressure, then it will flow out between your fingers. Materials that behave this way are classified as non-Newtonian liquids because their flow properties are not described by a constant viscosity. The name Oobleck comes from the 1949 children’s book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss. In the story a sticky liquid falls from the sky as a result of the king becoming bored with normal weather.