Automobile Air Bags

Air bags are now widely used in automobiles in North America to protect the occupants in the event of a collision.  It is essential that the bag inflate very quickly: that is, within a few one-hundredths of a second.  Thus, the gas used must be produced by some very rapid reaction.  Moreover, that gas should…

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Blast Furnaces

The Blast Furnace Iron ore, coke, and limestone are added at the top of the furnace, and air is blown in at the bottom.  The oxygen of the air reacts with the hot coke to form carbon monoxide.  This gas passes up the furnace, changing the iron oxide to iron as it moves down.  Liquid…

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Antoine Laurent Lavoisier

Lavoisier was the son of a wealthy Parisian lawyer, who hoped that his son would follow him in that profession.  Although Lavoisier qualified as a lawyer in 1764, he became interested in science and he devoted much of his life to research in chemistry.  He is shown here with his wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette, who assisted…

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Balloons

A balloon filled with any gas which is less dense than air will rise in the atmosphere. This is because the mass of the air displaced by the balloon is greater than the mass of the balloon itself. Since the density of the atmosphere decreases with increasing altitude, the balloon rises until the mass of…

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Scientific Heresy

There are a lot of ideas in science that persist, even in the face of little or no experimental support.  For instance, the famous chemist Linus Pauling, recipient of two Nobel Prizes, suggested in 1970 that large doses of vitamin C would ward off the common cold.  As a side benefit, he claimed that this…

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Life On Mars

Ron Hughes:  Recently, I’ve been seeing some interesting articles in magazines about water existing on Mars.  Some people, some secular scientists are looking at water on Mars as meaning that there could be life on Mars which may challenge the whole Christian paradigm.  I’d be interested to hear from a man of science about this…

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Scientists Are All Too Human

It’s important to remember that scientists are human beings who display all the same weaknesses as the rest of us. Take, for example, the famous mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton. He essentially rewrote the laws of physics, invented calculus and was first to understand the nature of light. As well, he proposed the theory…

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Where Did that Itch Come From?

Much of what goes on in our brains happens without our awareness. The cells in our brain constantly exchange messages with various parts of our body through nerve cells called neurons, which pass on messages via electrical impulses. We see, hear, feel, taste, and are aware of our body sensations and position, not at the…

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Can Lightning Strike Twice?

Lightning is caused by an electrical charge, which builds up between a cloud and an elevated object on the ground. Since there is a strong attractive force between positive and negative charges, lightning is very energetic, but unpredictable in its timing and effect. Lightning can be attracted to the same object repeatedly, either during a…

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Just Where Am I?

I reflected recently on how technology has changed map making. In ancient times map makers had to face innumerable dangers, disease and shipwreck, in their efforts to make an accurate survey of a coastline. And mapping the interior of a country involved battling deserts, mountains and impassable rivers. Even after the field data was collected,…

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