Category Archives: science

An Open Source Toolbox for Studying the Earth

Fully understanding the planet’s complex ecosystem takes data, and lots of it. Unfortunately, the ability to collect detailed environmental data on a large scale with any sort of accuracy has traditionally been something that only the government or well-funded institutions have been capable of. Building and deploying the sensors necessary …read more

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Posted in 2019 Hackaday Prize, backplane, custom enclosure, environmental monitoring, modular, science, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

HF Propagation and Earthquakes

For all the successes of modern weather forecasting, where hurricanes, blizzards, and even notoriously unpredictable tornadoes are routinely detected before they strike, reliably predicting one aspect of nature’s fury has eluded us: earthquakes. The development of plate tectonic theory in the middle of the 20th century and the construction of …read more

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Posted in amateur radio, citizen science, earthquake, Interest, news, Original Art, prediction, science | Leave a comment

Build Your Own Plasma Ball

The simple plasma ball – it graces science museums and classrooms all around the world. It shares a place with the Van de Graaf generator, with the convenient addition of spectacular plasma rays that grace its spherical surface. High voltage, aesthetically pleasing, mad science tropes – what would make a …read more

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Posted in 2019 Hackaday Prize, Hackaday Prize, high voltage, how-to, plasma, science | Leave a comment

The Blessings And Destruction Wrought By Lead Over Millennia

Everyone one of us is likely aware of what lead — as in the metal — is. Having a somewhat dull, metallic gray appearance, it occupies atomic number 82 in the periodic table and is among the most dense materials known to humankind. Lead’s low melting point and malleability even …read more

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Posted in chemistry hacks, Featured, galena, lead, lead poisoning, lead safety, Medical hacks, Original Art, safety, science | Leave a comment

A Miniature Radio Telescope in Every Backyard

You probably wouldn’t expect to see somebody making astronomical observations during a cloudy day in the center of a dense urban area, but that’s exactly what was happening at the recent 2019 Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire. Professor James Aguirre of the University of Pennsylvania was there demonstrating the particularly compact …read more

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Posted in 2019 Philadelphia Maker Faire, arduino, cons, DirecTV, pan and tilt, radio hacks, Radio Telescope, RTL-SDR, science, stepper motor | Leave a comment

Willem Kolff’s Artificial Organs

In my youth I worked for a paid ambulance service, and while we all lived for the emergency calls, the routine transports were the calls that paid the bills. Compared with the glamor and excitement of a lights-and-siren run to a car wreck or heart attack, transports were dull as …read more

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Posted in Biography, dialysis, Hackaday Columns, invention, medicine, Original Art, science | Leave a comment

The Long History Of Fast Reactors And The Promise Of A Closed Fuel Cycle

The discovery of nuclear fission in the 1930s brought with it first the threat of nuclear annihilation by nuclear weapons in the 1940s, followed by the promise of clean, plentiful power in the 1950s courtesy of nuclear power plants. These would replace other types of thermal plants with one that …read more

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Posted in breeder reactors, Engineering, fast reactors, Featured, Original Art, science, thorium, uranium | Leave a comment

Better Battery Management Through Chemistry

The lead-acid rechargeable battery is a not-quite-modern marvel. Super reliable and easy to use, charging it is just a matter of applying a fixed voltage to it and waiting a while; eventually the battery is charged and stays topped off, and that’s it. Their ease is countered by their size, …read more

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Posted in battery, battery analysis, battery life, battery technology, chemistry hacks, Engineering, Featured, lipo, lipo battery, lithium, lithium battery, lithium cell, lithium ion, lithium polymer, Lithium-ion battery, Original Art, science | Leave a comment

Dealing With Invasive Species Through Robotics

Throughout its history, humankind’s travels have often brought unwelcome guests along for the ride, and sometimes introduced species into a new environment for a variety of reasons. These so-called invasive species are all too often responsible for widespread devastation in ecosystems, wiping out entire species and disrupting the natural balance. …read more

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Posted in green hacks, invasive species, robot fish, robots hacks, science | Leave a comment

Spot Adulterated Olive Oil With This Spectrophotometer

Olive oil at its finest quality is a product that brings alive the Mediterranean cuisine of which it is a staple. Unfortunately for many of us not fortunate enough to possess our own olive grove, commercial olive oils are frequently adulterated, diluted with cheaper oils such as canola. As consumers …read more

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Posted in olive oil, Raspberry Pi, science, Spectrophotometer | Leave a comment