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View Resource Counting Calories

This article by Paul Doherty, Senior Scientist at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, describes the burning peanut experiment and provides an introduction to food energy and how it is measured. The site presents an explanation of how food energy is converted to other forms in the human body. Also included is a discussion of the first law of thermodynamics and calorimetry with applications to...

View Resource Cold Metal

This site provides an activity on the conductivity and resistivity of various materials. A thermometer and other everyday materials like wood, metal, and styrofoam are used to compare temperatures detected by one?s hands with measured temperatures. The site contains an explanation of the observations and descriptions of insulators and conductors as well as materials needed and assembly for t...

View Resource Convection Currents

This demonstration provides an aesthetic way to view convection currents in fluids. Water warmed by an electric circuit mixes with the surrounding cooler water creating turbulence effects that bend light; the resulting swirling shadows can be projected onto a screen. The site provides an explanation of what happens and a simpler method to demonstrate the same effect. Materials needed and...

View Resource Dipping Bird

This Exploratorium activity uses dipping birds to provide an introduction to heat engines which convert heat energy to mechanical work. The site contains an explanation of the physics involved and also an extension activity that powers the bird with a light source.

View Resource Curie Point

This site from the Exploratorium provides a demonstration of how heat can destroy magnetism. The site contains a materials list, assembly instructions, and basic procedures for the activity. Also presented is an explanation of what happens in terms of the orientation of the atomic magnets in the metal.

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