Evangelista Torricelli disproved the maxim that nature abhors a vacuum.
If you can't name a politician who was also an active scientist, that doesn't mean they haven't been out there.
Back in the day, thermoses were all the rage. Learn how they worked!
Have you ever wondered what the speed of light meant?
These days kids have Styrofoam to keep soup hot, but back in my day, we all had thermoses. One of their drawbacks was that since their insides were made of glass they were pretty easily broken when dropped. The popping sound they made when they broke was cool to kids, but then we weren’t the ones who had to buy a new one. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Their descendants were even more vain, so in 16th century Venice mirror makers discovered the technique of backing a piece of glass with a reflecting metal composed of tin and mercury, producing a much clearer reflection.
If you’ve ever been to the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, perhaps you’ve sampled the kind of freeze-dried ice cream astronauts eat during space missions. A stiff, dry square, the freeze-dried version tastes just like ice cream, except that it isn’t cold, and has no moisture.
Changes in sunlight cause the cat’s brain to signal its hair follicles to respond appropriately. When there’s less sunlight, cats start growing short, fluffy secondary hairs whose job is to provide insulation. And when there’s more sunlight, cats start shedding.
One parsec is three point two six light years. And contrary to popular belief, a light year isn’t a unit of time at all! It’s also a unit of distance.