Physics Illustrations

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Coiled Springs - Slinky in Motion

Metal coil springs have existed since the Bronze Age and can be found everywhere from automobile suspensions to playground toys like the slinky. Most coil springs have an easily predicted behavior when a force is applied that is defined by Hooke's Law. Continue > Spring Coils - Physics and Workings

Applied Use of a Spring Coil - History of the Slinky

Richard James and Betty James invented the slinky in 1945. Richard James was a naval engineer trying to develop a meter designed to monitor horsepower on naval battleships. He was working with tension springs (1943) when one of the springs fell to the ground. He saw how the spring kept moving after it hit the ground and an idea for a toy was born. Continue > History of the Slinky

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How Hydrogen Fuels Cells Work

The workings of a fuel cell. artwork provided by Richard Goodman & H Power Corp

The hydrogen fuel cell operates similar to a battery. It has two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, separated by a membrane. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other.

The hydrogen reacts to a catalyst on the electrode anode that converts the hydrogen gas into negatively charged electrons (e-) and positively charged ions (H+).

The electrons flow out of the cell to be used as electrical energy. The hydrogen ions move through the electrolyte membrane to the cathode electrode where they combine with oxygen and the electrons to produce water. Unlike batteries, fuel cells never run out.

Hydrogen Fuels Cells

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Nanotechnology - The Nanoscale

Nanotechnology - The Nanoscale
Nanotechnology - The Nanoscale (Click Photo For Larger View). Courtesy of DOE

How do we measure the size of nanotechnology materials? We measure materials using the nanoscale. While not precisely defined, the nanoscale ranges from about 1 nanometer (nm) to 100 nanometers. From things the size of individual atoms on the smallest to what you might see with very good optical microscope at the largest size.