Archives of Ask A Scientist!
About "Ask A Scientist!"
On September 17th, 1998 the Ithaca Journal ran its first "Ask A Scientist!" article in which Professor Neil Ashcroft , who was then the director of CCMR, answered the question "What is Jupiter made of?" Since then, we have received over 1,000 questions from students and adults from all over the world. Select questions are answered weekly and published in the Ithaca Journal and on our web site. "Ask A Scientist!" reaches more than 21,000 Central New York residents through the Ithaca Journal and countless others around the world throught the "Ask a Scientist!" web site.
Across disciplines and across the state, from Nobel Prize winning scientist David Lee to notable science education advocate Bill Nye, researchers and scientists have been called on to respond to these questions. For more than seven years, kids - and a few adults - have been submitting their queries to find out the answer to life's everyday questions.
- How do you make a magnet?
- What chemical properties, if any, makes things sticky?
- Why do we get a shock from electricity?
- Why is the pressure required for a bicycle tire so much higher than the pressure for a car tire? How come the much smaller bike tire does not explode when filled with such high pressure?
- Specifically, we have paperwork that gives different names for several of the new elements: Db for number 105 instead of Ha and Bh for number 107 instead of Ns. Do we have names for 110, 111, or beyond? What is the last one that was made?
- Why is vegetable oil able to be used as a power source for automobiles?
- How are the colors in a rainbow made?
- I was under the impression that viscosity of a fluid, particularly motor oil, increases as heat is applied. What is viscosity and does it have a positive or negative temperature coefficient?
- In Einstein's equation, E = mc2, he says that the energy released by an object is equal to the object's mass times the speed of light squared. Why is the speed of light a factor in determining energy release?
- How come deserts have sand instead of dirt and soil?