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.
Rubber is used to make the wet suits worn by divers because it has these properties. Since it can stretch, it can wrap around and protect the divers skin from dangerous objects and even from sunburn. As an insulator it keeps the diver warn, by trapping warm water near the skin without letting cold water come into the suit. But because it is exposed to water and sunlight when it is used we need a special type of rubber.
The particular type of rubber used in most wet suits is chloroprene rubber. It is a very stretchy synthetic (man-made) rubber that was invented in 1930 at the DuPont Company. This rubber can stand up to long-term exposure to water and light, much better than natural rubber. In the wet suit, the rubber is filled with tiny, trapped nitrogen bubbles which add to the ability of the wet suit to keep divers warm. Chloroprene rubber has recently become popular for laptop sleeves and iPod cases.
- What is in batteries that causes electricity?
- Why does fruit ripen?
- I have heard of ways to get energy through the braking of a car. How does this work?
- Is sinking sand real or myth? If real, please explain how it works.
- How do airplanes fly?
- If the mantle can rise when weight has been lifted off of it (isostasy), then why are some islands sinking into the ocean?
- What is a x-ray?
- We were measuring water. There was some water on the table. There was water under one of the cups. We tried to pick up the cup lightly and it stuck. Why?
- How do new materials that are used in swimming suits work and where do they come from?
- If plastic is made to be biodegradable, then won't the plastic forks and spoons we use dissolve in our mouth?