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Fan Efficiency

Keywords: efficiency, electric fan, power

How can we measure the efficiency of an electric fan?

When you're out shopping for an electric fan, it might be a good idea to look for one that not only keeps you cool, but keeps your energy consumption low, too. Using an anemometer, Kill-A-Watt meter and a little bit of math, you can figure out how efficient your fan really is.

4 years 28 weeks ago

Low-E Glass

Keywords: emissivity, thermal radiation

How do you tell the difference between low-E and regular glass?

With a cheap IR thermometer, low-E glass can be easily distinguished from the normal variety.

4 years 33 weeks ago

How much do grade 10 students know about our energy consumption?


Do students understand how similar we are to the machines we make?

The human body and the internal combustion engine are quite similar in that they are both heat engines requiring chemical energy to run.
By placing a question related to this notion on a national science contest, we attempted to discover what Grade 10 students think.

5 years 3 weeks ago

Nuclear Fission Project

Keywords: chemical, nuclear, reaction rates

Yes, you can do this at home.

Students can model a self-sustaining reaction using ping pong balls and mouse traps while varying the density/concentration of the reactants to see how that affects the rate of reaction.

5 years 3 weeks ago


Keywords: carbon dioxide, CO2e, terminology

What does the "e" mean?

A brief primer on the meaning of "CO2e"

5 years 5 weeks ago

Commuting by car or cycle - which is better?

Keywords: bicycle, Carbon footprint, consumption, cycling, energy, Food, spreadsheets

It's not actually that clear...

We set out to find how much of a change it would make environmentally if one cycled instead of drove to work and then further expanded our findings to include the variables of diet composition and material goods ownership.

5 years 6 weeks ago

Food, Energy and the Environment

Keywords: energy balance, Food, greenhouse gases

How do we feed nine billion people without destroying our environment?

The primary function of food is to provide our bodies with energy. Most of this energy comes ultimately from oil, with a little sunlight added, and its production is an energy-inefficient process.

5 years 6 weeks ago

Steam Burns

Keywords: heat, heat of vaporization, phase changed, specific heat, temperature change

Why can steam at 100 degree celsius burn worse than boiling water at 100 degree celsius?

This article explains why steam at 100 degC transfers more thermal energy to your skin than an equivalent mass of boiling water at 100 degC.

5 years 7 weeks ago

Chaos, Frog Ponds, and Red Tide

Keywords: Chaos, Complexity, Population Biology

Sometimes things are less complicated than they seem...

Under certain circumstances, simple equations can model complicated results. We can make a model of a frog pond that shows this type of behaviour. Sometimes this complex behaviour can lead us to identify incorrect, or not entirely correct, causes for the behaviour.

5 years 12 weeks ago

Interference and Colour Part III - Mathematics of Thin-Film Interference

Keywords: absorption, colour, diffraction grating, index of refraction, inherent phase difference, interference, light, path length difference, phase, phase difference, phase shift, reflection, thin-film interference, transmission, waves

How can alternating layers in a beetle's shell give the beetle brilliant colour?

This article explains how to derive the conditions for constructive interference for thin-film interference and finds the thicknesses of alternating layers of melanin and protein to give constructive interference at 635 nm.

5 years 13 weeks ago
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