Physics

Seeing Ultraviolet Light: Tonic Water in Sunlight

Ultraviolet (UV) light is an invisible part of light. It has a shorter wavelength than violet light (see ‘Making a Rainbow: Breaking Light Into Colour’), and its name means ‘beyond…

Growing Stalactites and Stalagmites

Stalactites and stalagmites are formations of rock in underground caves. They are formed when calcium carbonate and other minerals dissolve in water running through the soil and rocks. As the…

Make a Vacuum Cleaner

Originally, carpets and rugs were cleaned by lifting them, taking them outside, hanging them over a line and beating them with a carpet beater (a very dusty job), or by…

Melting Points for Different Solids

Different solids turn into liquids (melt) at different temperatures. This temperature is described as the melting point. Some solids are made up of molecules that bind together tightly and others…

The Physics of Bubbles

Whether they are in a bubble bath or drifting on the wind, bubbles are beautiful and fun things. Try making your own to examine the amazing properties of the simple…

Bending Light: Disappearing Glass Bowl and Bending Pencil

As light passes through transparent objects, it bends. This can create optical illusions like disappearing bowls, bending pencils and mirages. This is called refraction, and is useful in magnifying glasses…

Solids, Liquids and Gases: Ice, Water and Steam

Water exists in three states – solid ice, liquid water and gaseous steam. Solids have a fixed shape and size. Liquids can change in shape, but have a fixed size….

Keeping Warm or Cold: Insulation and Conduction

Heat travels through solids by conduction (see also ‘Detecting Fake Silver: Conductivity of Metal’). Insulation can keep things warm and keep things cool by reducing heat transfer through conduction. Insulation…

Vibrations: Seeing and Feeling Sound

Sounds are created from vibrations, whether it’s a tuning fork, the reed of a musical instrument, or sound coming from someone’s voice box. The vibrations make the air molecules move…

DISCOVERY, INFORMATION & GUIDANCE for Kids