UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
341 questions in the Category: materials.

Click Here to return to the search form.

1: What forces are inside the magnet that make them stick together or not at all?
2: Why have beach sands different colors?
3: I simply want to know what is the scientific definition of a stone or rock? Are ice and gold stones?
4: Why is snow "white" but ice cubes are colorless? Both are frozen water?
5: I need some info on PVC plastic. I need to know the process of making it and all the chemical reactions involved. Thankyou
6: Where can I find information on alkaline earth metals for a research project?
7: My few questions that I have for the scientists at UCSB are dealing with biomimetics of the human body. My first question is what other man made structures were modeled after the way that the human body is built besides from the Eiffel tower. I also want to know how the air pumps work. I sort of know how they work now but I would also want more of the basic information like, what is it trying to mimic of the human body? How did they come up with the idea to make airpumps? It would be great if you could answer my questions whenever you could so I can complete my power point presentation for my 8th grade science project. Sincerely, Denise
8: What is mimicked off bio mimicry besides the Eiffel tower?
9: What is a pink eraser made of? It totally stumped me.
10: I did a science fair project using glass squares cut the same size and thickness. I fractured the glass by dropping the same weight at the same spot. Why didn't it break the same way?
11: How strong is crumpled paper??
12: Is there anthing on this earth that a magnetic field can't go through?
13: Hi, I was wondering in how the afect of surfboard resin works in harding if it is a liqiud and it turns into a solid really fast after putting it in the sun. Is it a chemical reaction?
14: How was it decided that elements like Gold are worth so much money and that elements like Aluminum are practically worthless?
15: How is it that a magnetic material attaches to a metal?
16: What is in Mercury, which makes it so dangerous to be exposed to?
17: What elements are in diamonds, gold, and rust? What is the scientific name for rust?
18: How do you prevent rust?
19: Why do guitar strings break when tightened?
20: What is a water balloon's material?
21: I need to find a mineral that is hard enough to scratch a diamond. I also need to determine its hardness.
22: What materials can be charged with static electricity?
23: I noticed last summer, that when I left some water balloons in a bucket of water overnight, they shrunk down to nothing by the next day. Why does this happen? My mom thinks it might be because the latex balloon is porous. Also, the pressure of the water inside the balloon is more than the pressure of the water in the bucket, so the water wants to get out of the balloon. Is she right? Thank you. I couldn't find the answer on the internet anywhere.
24: Why doesn't a balloon pop when you put a sticker on it?
25: How are crystals uses in science? How do scienctists use crystals in science? Why is crysla growing important to us?
26: What is Floam made of?
27: I blew up a rubber balloon and a foil balloon and measured their circumference over a period of four days. The foil balloon deflated more. I am not sure how to explain why the foil balloon allowed more air out than the rubber one. Any ideas?
28: Are toilets made of metal?
29: Is it possible to use the silk material to replace the steel of reinforcement concrete?
30: Once the white top layer on a toilet seat chips away, is the underlying surface toxic or harmful in any way?
31: How are we able to obtain Manganese nodules? What are nodules?
32: I have heard that scientists have already produced synthetic materials that reproduce. How do they do that? By what materials? In what conditions? What is their shape? Can you give me some information about that?
33: If you are using a plant for phytoextraction of metal in the soil, how would you seperate and measure the amount of metal in the soil and in the plant?

Hi! I hope everything has been going well. I need some help on the following:
I want to calculate the amount of force on a NdfeB magnet. The amount of force on each particle (or atom) in the magnet is 0.000000000065024 newtons. to calculate the atoms in the magnet I did: grams/10.811 (10.811 is the atomic number of boron) which equals 37.85958746. Next, I multiplyed that by avagadros number: 37.85958746 times (6.02214 times 10 to the 23 power)and I got 2.27995736 times 10 to the 26 power. when I multiply the number of atoms by the force on each atom I get about: 1.482656617 times 10 to the 16 power newtons. That is A LOT of newtons! I dont understand why I am getting so much for just a magnet. I dont know what I may be doing wrong. I hope you can help. Thanks.

Hello, I have some more information regarding my force problem: The dimensions of the magnet that I am using are: 1.5" by 3" by 3/4" This is how I got 6.5024E-11 N of force per atom: I used this formula: F=qv times B f= force q= test particle of charge, q at rest that point (proton, I believe) v= velocity of particle sin= angle of particle or B, in other words B = 12700 guass times (10to the power of -4 tesla divided by 1 guass) = 12.7 tesla, B= 12.7 tesla q= (proton) 1.60 times 10 to the power of -19 coulombs v= 3.2 times 10 to the power of 7 m/s angle= 90 degrees, or 1.57 radians The following are my calculations: F= [(1.60 time 10 to the - 19 power coulombs) times (3.2 times 10 to the 7 power m/s)] times 12.7 tesla = 1.60 times 10 to the -19 power coulombs times 32000000m/s times 12.7 tesla = 5.12 times 10 to the -12 power times 12.7 tesla = 6.5024 times 10 to the -11 power N = 0.000000000065024 newtons (on one particle).

35: I'm sorry if I confused you about the calculations with the force on the magnet. It turns out that they are inccorect. They are not compatable with the second question I asked you, about the formula to calculating the diamagnetic force created by bismuth. So, if you can direct me to any information or if you have a formula that I can use to calculate the diamagnetic force created by bismuth it would be a big help. I was wondering if I could modify a formula for calculating magnetic force and use that for bismuth, but you guys know more than I do, I would really appreciate the help. So, I guess my question is to put it simply, What is the formula for calculating the diamagnetic force created by bismuth? (at certian points in space taking into acount the magnet and its certian properties, the bismuths properties, etc...)
36: Thanks for your help so far, but when calculating the diamagnetic force created by bismuth, it would be much easier (at least for me) to use a formula, or a couple of basic formulas to calculate the diamagnetic force. So if you guys have a formula that I could plug in all the variables into TO CALCULATE THE DIAMAGNETIC FORCE CREATED BY BISMUTH that would be a big help. Thanks for your help so far.
37: Hi! How can I calculate the magnetic force on an object, such as bismuth? Is that force on the entire object or on just one particle?
38: Hi! Thanks again for the textbook. I have been doing a project refering to diamagnetism. I need to demonstrate diamagnetism in a experiment. I want to levitate, or be able to move, a sample of bismuth. I need information on how I can do that, on how I can calculate mathematically to lift a sample of bismuth. I could really use your help. Thanks.
39: You said that "the mathamatics is not simple" in calculating the diamagnetic force of bismuth. For me, even if the math is not simple, I would prefer that I recieve (If it is possible) the math fundamental to the experiment that I am doing so I can do the math. It would be much easier for me. Thanks.
40: Hi, I read an article the other day about an artificial retina that nanotechnologists have recently created. I really liked it and all, but I was wondering how something like that could work. My sister who is in college now told me about brain input and output signals that are recived from electronic sources, such as the artificial retina. How would a blind person be able to "remember" what they saw with the artificial retina? If the artificial retina does not have direct contact with the part of the brain that stores information, how is seeing something, and (knowing you have seen it) possible?

Hi! I have a question regarding calculating the diamagnetic force:
You guys said "to calculate the diamagnetic force, use the magnetic susceptibility of bismuth to calculate the induced counter- magnetic field in the bismuth... the magnetization of bismuth will cause it to have a magnetic dipole that is opposite to that of the induced magnet." So, by my understanding you guys are saying that the magnetization of bismuth (which I can calculate by multiplying the magnetic susceptibility of bismuth by the strenght of the applied magnetic field) will cause the induced counter-magnetic field in bismuth? In other words: THE MAGNETIZATION OF BISMUTH WILL CAUSE THE INDUCED COUNTER-MAGNETIC FIELD IN BISMUTH? I CAN CALCULATE THE INDUCED COUNTER-MAGNETIC FIELD IN BISMUTH BY CALCULATING THE MAGNETIZATION OF BISMUTH? THE MAGNETIZATION OF BISMUTH WILL GIVE YOU THE INDUCED COUNTER- MAGNETIC FIELD IN BISMUTH, WHICH WILL GIVE YOU THE DIAMAGNETIC FORCE?

Again, you guys said "to calculate the diamagnetic force, use the magnetic susceptibility of bismuth to calculate the induced counter-magnetic field in the bismuth" DO I USE THE FORMULA TO CALCULATE THE MAGNETIZATION OF BISMUTH TO CALCULATE THIS TOO? Again, to calculate the magnetization of bismuth:I can calculate by multiplying the magnetic susceptibility of bismuth by the strenght of the applied magnetic field

42: Hi! I have been using the following website to calculate the magnetic strenght of a magnet from a distance:
I would appreciate your opinion on the accuracy of those calculations. If you guys have other (possibly more accurate) formulas that I could use instead of that website, I would love to use them. I just want to make sure that the results from that website that I am basing my experiment on are accurate enought. Thanks.

43: Hi! I have been hearing a lot about a cool alloy: shape memory alloy. I know it can go back to its original shape when exposed to a certian temperature, but I was wondering, are there any alloys that do the same when exposed to a magnetic, or electro-magnetic field? By the way, how can one make shape memory alloy? Thanks for your help.
44: How does ferro-fluid work? Do other ferro- materials behave in the same way? Could you make a material with the properties of ferro-fluid (except the fluid part) into the shape of sheet metal or something else, some other shape? Is a magnetic shape changing polymer basically a ferrofluid-like material?
45: Hi! I have heard of this really cool "liquid metal" at liquidmetal.com, are there any publicly avaliable products of liquid metal?
46: Hi! I need help regarding calculating the diamagnetic force:
If I am correct, (correct me if I'm wrong) then lets use the following example of a calculation of the magnetization of bismuth that will cause an induced magnetic dipole that is opposite of the applied field.
(magnetization = magnetic susceptibility * applied magnetic field strenght)
M = (-1.66 * 10^-4) * 1 tesla
M = -0.00166
(correct me if my math is wrong)
- How do I know or calculate the size of the sample of bismuth?
- How do I know when I have enough force to levitate or move the sample of bismuth?
- What am I supposed to measure
"M = -0.00166" in,
What units do I use?
How do I figure out the diamagnetic force (in Newtons) from "M = -0.00166" (to answer question two)

47: Hi! I need some clarification on some information you sent me before:
M = -.000166 * H
and by defenition,
B = mu_0 * (H+M)
= mu_0 * (H - .000166 * H)
= mu_0 * 0.999834 * H
- What do all of the variables stand for?
- What purpose does the calculation serve, what do I calculate using the above?
- Is it the size of the bismuth sample... how do you calculate that?

48: Hi! Have the strong and weak nuclear forces been unified with the electromagnetic force? How could that be theoretically done? Is there some sort of formula or equation for this unification as well?
49: Hi! If you go to www.hyperphysics.phy- astr.gsu.edu/hbase/HFrame.html and click on condensed matter, then go to diamagnetism and check out the Table of magnetic susceptibilities, it states that Bismuth's magnetic susceptibility is -16.6, is that correct, is that equal to -1.66*10-4? Which should I use?
50: Hi! Thanks for the answers. To answer your question (What is the density of bismuth?) The density of bismuth is about 9.80 g/cm3. Is that how I can figure out the answers to some of the questions I asked? (How do I calculate the size of the sample of bismuth, etc..?) I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO DO THAT! Also, when I am able to figure that out, about how strong of a magnet do you think I will need to propel, or levitate, the bismuth?

Also, because you said that the magnetization of bismuth is measured in Teslas, then how do I calculate the force (Newtons) on the bismuth from those calculations? I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO DO THAT! Thanks again for that information.

51: Hi! How could I calculate the amount of bismuth needed, and the magnetic field needed (of the levitated object) to levitate the magnetic material above the bismuth? (This seems easier than levitating bismuth over a magnet)
52: Hi! I'm having some trouble with the formula to find the force between the Bismuth and the magnet:
F = mu_0/2*M*A*H and figuring out the size and mass of the bismuth. Could you show me how it's done, so I can use that as a model for further calculations? The unit conversions and numbers are a little confusing and I want to make sure I'm doing it right. Thanks.

53: Hi! Thanks for the information. Previously, you said that to calculate the force betweeen the bismuth and the magnet, use the following formula: F=mu_0/2*M*A*H but then you gave me a different formula: F=magnetic field*magnetic susceptibility*surface area of magnet Which do I use?
54: Hi! When getting a sample of bismuth, apart from the samples dimensions, about how much bismuth should I use, should I use relatively little, or will I get better results using more bismuth? About how strong, and what kind of magnet should I be looking for for this experiment, where could I get those kinds of magnets that you would approve of?
55: Hi! I know that you said that the mass of the bismuth doesn't really matter, but could I calculate - before any experimentation - the weight limit for a sample of bismuth based on the magnet's strength? How do I calculate that? Thanks so much for your help.
56: Are you sure that the formula for diamagnetic force (B2/z=mu_0*p*g/x) is correct? I just want to be 100% sure so I can accurately calculate the force for the experiment, I don't want to do the experiment and find out that it was incorrect. Maybe I'm thinking this because you said you simplified it a little bit, and it seems like something is missing. If it is possible, I would like to know the unsimplifed version also, even if it is more complex. Then I could decide if it is within my knowledge to do, and I could also compare results from the simpler version of the formula. Thanks for your help, you've helped me a lot.
57: We have liquid nitrogen slowly boiling away in a foam bowl. We put a penny into the liquid nitrogen. We see some vigorous bubbling around the penny. After awhile, the bubbling suddenly crescendos to a big burst, with sound and some splattering, before quickly settling down to quiet bubbling with small bubbles. What's this burst all about? I would have thought intuitively that as the penny cooled down and reached some equilibrium temperature the bubbling would settle down in a smooth way. Thanks!
58: IMPORTANT Hi! You said the following formula was used for diamagnetic levitation: B2/Z=mu_0*P*G/X. But what specifically? I need to find the diamagnetic force created. And even if I find the values of B2 and Z, how do I use them to calculate the diamagnetic force? Thank you so much!
59: Hi, Anthony. I hope you are having a good day. I would just like to thank you so much for the help that you have given me in answering and providing crucial information for my experiment. I cant thank you enought for what you have done. Once again, and honestly, thank you so much! - Fineas When I did the initial calculations for B^2/z=mu_0*p*G/x I found that the answer of mu_0*p*G/x was negative, but any answer of B^2/z will be positive. How do I solve this problem, the formula doesnt seem to work out?
60: Hi! I have a question regarding the magnetic levitation formula. I calculated than the answer for (mu_0*p*g/x)in the formula b2/z=mu_0*p*g/x. It is 726.49 T2/m. I was wondering, that means that b2/z also has to equal 726.49 T2/m. Does that insure that the bismuth will levitate? In other words, if I calculate that (b2/z) is less than 726.49 T2/m, then the bismuth will not levitate? It has to be perfectly 726.49 T2/m... or more? Thanks for your help.
61: I was wondering why CH4 and NF3 are "stronger greenhouse gasses" than CO2. My guess is that there are more bonds and it takes much more energy to break those bonds so they trap more infrared energy. The limit would be when the bonds break? thanks and hello
62: Wikipedia says NF3 absorbs 17,000 times more IR energy than CO2, so why? Is it about different vibrational modes again? Thanks
63: Hi! I hope you are having a happy new year!
How can I calculate how much force (in newtons) a 1/2 in and 1 in thick steel (preferably stainless steel) can take?
Thanks for your help!

64: Why is there a reaction when one mixes Copper pennies and Nitric acid together? What is this reaction?
65: Does plastic ever biodegrade?

I'm an eighth grade student at La Colina Jr High and I am doing my science fair project on carcinogens that leak into water from the plastic bottle that the water is contained in, when the bottle is heated.

I am having trouble with finding a way to test for bpa or other common carcinogens in plastic bottles that I can do! It would also be okay if I could just identify a foreign substance in the water that wasn't there before.

Thank you very much for any information you can give me.

67: I have two questions that both involve the concept of an exothermic reaction. A)why does a soft roll material need to be applied to skin before a cast or splint can be applied? B)After it is in place, why are nurses told not to place a recently casted extremity on to a plastic pillow for support before the cast is dry?
68: Why is it that metals/metal objects are prohibited from being used in the microwave?
69: Do you know of any software to calculate the area of morphology surface for cement in 2D?
70: How does the same thermos keep coffee hot, but milk cold?
71: Are lithium polymer batteries dangerous? Why?
72: Hi! Thanks for your help so far. I have heard of a good way to connect two rotating parts, using a "press fit". I heard that there is a formula to calculate the deviation between the diameters of the two parts being connected, but have so far havent found it on my own. Do you know the formula? Thanks for your help!
73: I saw an airplane spreading a red material over the areas of the Jesusita fire. Can you tell me what is that material? How does it work?
74: Why does graphite can conduct electricity and magnetite doesn't?
75: Is there any element that could react with guitar strings that would change the tone of the strings, but maintain functionality?
76: How does lightning make glass
77: Hi! I have a question involving pistons... What is the average clearance, or space, between the piston of a car that moves up and down, and the outer part that the piston moves in? The clearance obviously must be small enought to provide an air-tight seal, but I also want to know what the max. possible clearance between two objects can be to still allow an air- tight "seal"? Thanks for your help! I hope to be hearing from you soon.
78: Hi, Did you get these questions?

Would it be possible to make a clearance between two objects so small that it would prevent water from passing between those objects, essentially making the mechanism "water- tight?" If so, how small would the clearance have to be?

Would it be possible to make a clearance between two objects so small that it would prevent air from passing between those objects, essentially making the mechanism "air-tight?" If so, how small would the clearance have to be?

Thanks for your help!

79: Hi! Thanks for answering my last question on magnets. This question is sort-of a follow-up question: Are there any circumstances, or can you guys think of any ways, where a compass needle would spin in circles due to its interact with a magnetic field? Maybe if the compass was in a circular magnet or if the needle was slightly off-center to create some sort of net force? Your info is great, thanks!
80: How do antiseptic soaps work?
81: How do stain removers work? (2)
82: How do mood rings work?
83: How do glow sticks work?
84: Is there any way to make fireworks brighter than they already are?
85: What is in fireworks that causes them to make the booming noise and what decides their different colors? This is a project for my chemistry class.
86: How does metal rust?
87: Hi! On the subject of space suit insulation: I was wondering, would a space suit insulated completely by a layer of aerogel protect the wearer against the extreme hot and cold temperature in space or on the moon? Would it be superior to the current mode of insulation used at NASA now, with the many layers of material that are used to protect the wearer? Thanks for your help!
88: What makes a mineral magnetic?
89: What is the density of the lightest mineral?
90: Hi! I was wondering, when a person puts a magnet inside a steel armature to increase its magnetic strength, and that assembly is allowed to interact with another magnet that does not have a steel armature, is there a risk that the steel will be attracted by that second magnet and ruin the magnet assembly? Thanks for your help!
91: Why is there such a small amount of Lithium in the universe? (Subsidiary questions: Does Sol have less or more than most stars? If so, why?)
92: Hello, thank for taking your time to answer this question. I was reading this article online:
question What makes this bonding unusual? Furthermore, according to my studies, noble do not like to react with other gasses, so, why is molecular hydrogen reacting Xenon, which is noble gas?
93: I have heard that plastic water bottles are very bad for the body because certain chemicals are released into the water. Then the water becomes contaminated and we cannot digest these chemicals, and with no where to go, they are stored on body. Could this be true? If so, what chemicals are released and how(heat or time maybe)? Also, does the body not have the ability to digest them?
94: Why does magnesium produce a bright light when reacted with fire?
95: What makes asbestos toxic?
96: We are conducting an experiment where we need to know what washable lint rollers are made of (the sticky, rubbery part of the lint roller). Any clue as to what they use?
97: I am doing a science project on the amount of Bisphenol A in bottled water. How would I measure this quantity? If I need a special machine, how would I get access to this machine?
98: Can tissues and paper towels be recycled?
99: Which diaper brand holds the most water?
100: Ineed information on which brand of diapers can hold the most water?
101: What diaper brand holds the most liquid?

I recently went to Disneyland,and I saw the awesome firewors display, and I was wondering what they use to get those different colors? And if you know, how do they get the fireworks to make different shapes? like smilie faces or the hearts?



There is a spray called Staticide which reduces static in carpets, electronics, etc. How does that product work?

Thank You,

104: What is xenon used in? What is xenon mostly used in? How long did it take for Sir William Ramsay and Morris M. Travers to find the element xenon?
105: What is the composition of fabric, specifically cotton, wool, fleece, and polyester?
106: How does water affect fabric?
107: What are the contents of wicks?
108: What are the differnet types of wax?
109: What are the contents of wax and paraffin?
110: Do fabrics contain absorbent properties? If so what?
111: What keeps earth from collapsing in on itself like at the end of a star's life? Is it not big enough or what?
112: Is silk made of living thing?
113: A cement compound CaO.Al2O3.10H2O gives certain peaks when using the powder diffraction method. The compound now increases its water of crystallization to become CaO.Al2O3.11H2O. Will the diffraction pattern obtained be basically the same as the former, with only a slight difference, which corresponds to a slight increase in the d spacing? Or will the diffraction pattern be an entirely different pattern?

After reading some stuff on ferrofluids, my son hypothesized that stronger magnets next to ferrofluids would create smaller spikes than weaker magnets. It turned out it was not true, although the differences were minimal and there were also several problems with taking the measurements. But whatever the right hypothesis is, what makes the difference? Here is the passage we took from somewhere on the web that is confusing to me. Before I paste it below, let me say that it raises my question 2: the relationship between magnetic field, magnetic force, and magnets. I know this is too big a question and might be answered with a simple explanation for question 1 (if there is a simple explanation...).

"The stronger the field, the smaller the spikes. In the weedy field from a ferrite magnet you'll get just a smooth mound of fluid with a few spikes where the field is strongest, but the spikes get a lot smaller when you're playing with one of the bigger neodymium magnets."

Thanks so much!

115: Is there a thread that can support human weight (like spidermans' webshooter)?
116: Why is it that quartz vibrates when it is exposed to electricity?
117: Hello! I have a chemistry question regarding surfactants, that my teachers here arent able to answer (also I only have a very basic understanding of chemistry at this point, so this is far beyond Ive done). Here it is: Are there any surfactants out there that do not dissolve in water and can be made into (or already are) solids while still maintaining their surface-tension reducing properties? Thanks in advance!!
118: Hello! Is it possible to turn a synthetic surfactant (which is based on petro-chemicals) into a polymer or plastic of some sort while still maintaining its ability to reduce surface tension (and making it into a solid)? Thanks in advance!!
119: Hi, I am an 8th grade student doing a project on molecules and I need to know why the molecule diamond is in that kind of shape.

I'm still curious about the result of my project.

read- about

For your information, I've used XRD to determine the element of the 'rock'. If you remember, I'd sent you a micrograph pictures (using SEM) of the 'rock' last week.

I've attached some result of XRD. Hope you can give your opinion either it is fossil or not. I really appreciate your cooperation. Million thanks..:)

121: How are scientists able to figure out what the half life of an atom is when a half life can be billions of years? Do you ever completely get rid of radioactive atoms? How are we able to age the oldest rock that is 4 billion years old?
122: I am studying a polished cross-sectional piece of an igneous rock. How do I determine which phases/ compounds crystallize first (from the molten material) from the micro graphs taken?
123: During the Bucky Ball presentation at the MRL, we learned that bacteria have magnetic particles inside. Can you explain why and what for do this magnetic particles are there?
124: What is in silk that makes it a fiber that we can wear in any season?
125: What is an effective way to make aluminum powder from a house setting? I've heard you can chop up deodorant or antacids and dissolve them in alcohol, then skim off the top layer. The bottom layer can then be mixed with sulphuric acid to pull the aluminum out. How effective is this? Are there any more effective ways?
126: How do scientists known what the center of the earth is?
127: How is magma formed?
128: How do you make magma?
129: How do scientists make crystals?
130: Hello! How are you guys? Im continuing my second year here at PSU and am exited to begin another physics class. Ive been looking over some basic magnetics stuff and came upon a "Fun with Magnets" video while searching the net. The video can be found at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaXglgoF2eg It was one of several videos that I found while I was searching for some basic magnetism kits, but I found this one the most interesting. Id like to try and make one for a demonstration, and it looks simple enought to build (the creator says it uses permanent magnets), but im still trying to figure out exactly how the magnets are configured to make the cylinder magnet follow the shape of the arc. I was wondering if you guys had any ideas? Thanks a lot and have a great day!
131: We are a group of people interested in building a childrens playground in the Huasteca Mountains of Mexico. We need a ceiling material which can let the light pass through, but also be resistant and environmentally friendly. According to our research we think that ETFT plastic can be a good choice for our project, but we would like your advice as experts in Materials Science. Any help will be appreciated.
132: Why is gold stronger than platium?
133: What metal is more precious than platium?
134: What is the heaviest metal?
135: I can see different layers of soil emerging from the Ocean at the beach when there is low tide. How were these layers formed?
136: How does the type of material affect a piece of clothing's ability to insulate, and how can I test out this insulating ability?
137: Which would make a better/sharper blade, obsidian or zirconium oxide?
138: Please, I would like to know what other material could be used to replace phosphor in a CRT and still produce the same effect?
139: If water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, two gasses, then how is it a liquid?
140: What other materials can be used in a bulb other than Tungsten?
141: Do you believe radiometric dating is an accurate way to date the earth? Why or why not? Could you also please explain further what radiometric dating is and the process to use it? Mahalo.
142: Can you explain why the planets are round?
143: How are diamonds are made? We have found some information that says they are made by carbon under volcanic pressure,but we just don't understand it.
144: Are there crystals inside of volcanoes?
145: I am currently participating in a project where I have to design a space settlement. I would like some data on the materials and the processes being developed/studied here. If you have any such information, could you help me?
146: When a skateboard rolls to a stop, is most of its Kinetic Energy (KE) lost as heat in the ground, the wheels' surface, or in the ball bearings...of the wheel. Also, if two skateboards are in motion (A and B), and the wheels, ball bearings,.. of B have a higher heat capacity than A, would this mean that skateboard B would roll longer?
147: What causes bubbles to form when boiling water? Where are the bubbles coming from?
148: Why is electricity so powerful? Also, why does electricity like iron & metal?
149: Why is it that in high power electric wires, the current travels on the outside edge? I have heard that this phenomena is so strong that places like radio stations use copper pipes instead of solid wire.
150: How do scanners work? How do they work to process the information and send it to the computer?
151: When people make paper, are some of the cells still alive, or do they all just disintegrate?
152: How can a little computer chip do all kinds of things? How can a little chip in a computer have that much information?
153: How do we get electricty? How does it work?
154: How do CDs work?
155: Is there a plateau in the heating curve as a substance goes from a gas to plasma? Since it's not really a phase change, I wouldn't think you'd see it.
156: How do scientists know that the Earth's core is made out of Iron and not another magnetic metal?
157: What are the products produced in the decomposition reaction between p-nitroaniline and sulfuric acid at temperatures above 392 degrees Fahrenheit?
158: Which is made from a plant silk, linen or nylon?
159: I am interested in the low stress mechanical properties of linen, lycra, blended woven, and knitted fabrics. Could you help me?
160: How long do glow sticks last?
161: When a metal is burnt with a bright white light, what is that process called?
162: Which are the different techniques for preservation of patent print and plastic print? Both are the type of fingerprint.
163: When I put some sponge balls in water, why do they stick to each other and to the vessel?
164: What is enamel?
165: In Social Studies, we are studying landforms but our textbook doesn't tell us anything about volcanoes or canyons. Can you tell us more about these types of landforms?
166: Does the amount of stretch of a rubber band affect the distance a rubber band will travel?

Hello, my name is Jenna. I am an 8th grade student at La Colina J.H. I am currently working on my science fair project. My Science fair question is:

How does a wetsuit affect drag?

My procedures are:
1.Wear a competition swimsuit.
2. Swim in 25m pool
3. Swim 100m.
4. Measure and document time of 100m swim.
5. Rest 2 minutes.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 nine times.
7. Average the times of all 100m swim sets.
8. After a week of rest, wear a triathlon swimming wetsuit of 3mm thickness neoprene with no arms.
9. Repeat steps 2-7 wearing wetsuit.
My hypothesis is: If the wetsuit does create drag then I think the competitive swimsuit will provide better speed and time then the wetsuit. IF you have the time I would really appreciate answers to these questions.
a. Do my procedures sound like they would work for my experiment?
b. Is there anything I could do to make my experiment better?
c. Would it be better to do five trials of the competition suit and then five trials of the wetsuit on one day then do the same thing a week later?
d. Is there any vital information about drag I should know before conducting my experiment?
e. What is the best way to measure drag?

168: I am doing an experiment with diamagnetic (repelled by magnets) materials and magnets. I am trying to figure out what kind of easily obtainable, diamagnetic material, is the strongest (by levitation). The materials I am using are: Pyrolitic Carbon, Bismuth, Lead, Graphite, and Copper. I was wondering if you had any of these materials (3x3 inches, 4x4 inches, 5x5 inches, etc., plates approximately 1 mm thick) at UCSB or knew anywhere that might have them (for a cheap price of course). I am looking for 2 plates (all the same size) of each of the materials. If you know anything, then please tell me. Also, I was wondering if you guys have any available mentors. I need a mentor also for my Science Project so if you have anyone available then please tell me. Thanks!
169: What elements are found in the compound methoxycinnamate?
170: I am testing the quality of a fingerprint lifted with different materials used. 1.What conclusions can I expect? 2.What are good materials I can use to test and what are the procedures that follow?3.Is there new technology that helps investigators find the best quality of a fingerprint lifted?4. What do you do on a daily basis for your job?
171: How do we know that the earth has a solid core?
172: Why is water the only element that is found in 3 states of matter?
173: What materials can make ice melt faster?
174: What makes markers spread on paper? And also on wet paper?
175: How does heat transfer?
176: I am doing a science project on which a bat hits a baseball farther, a bat made of wood or aluminum? Do you have any idea of how can I set up my experiment?
177: My science project is about the conductivity of different metals (such as copper, aluminum, brass, etc.) Which of your topics relates to my question? What can you tell me about the conductivity of metals? How would you test this?
178: Where does the heat go when a surface coated in multi-wall carbon nanotubes absorbes this heat? If we coated a pool cover in the multi-wall carbon nanotubes, would it be possible to channel the heat into a hot tub using copper wires?
179: What are the properties and characteristics of corn syrup?
180: How to identify the two differences between the properties of the material that has metallic bonds and the materials that have covalent bonds?
181: How does weather affect the clothes we wear?
182: Why is the Earth's -inner core a solid and the outer core a liquid?
183: How is the asthenosphere different from the lithosphere?
184: How is that water molecules(liquid that comes from two gases, hydrogen and oxygen)can make a reaction with iron at high temperature, and then form rust? And how is that this rust can be recovered by using the same oxygen? Please explain. Thanks
185: Does the strength of a magnet affect its pull?
186: Is nichrome used in electric heaters?
187: How do pigments absorb and reflect different wave lengths of light?
188: When you put water on clothing, why does the color look strong?
189: What things in a house are conductors?
190: Why do planets have different layers?
191: How does the type of surface affect the amount of heat absorbed or radiated?
192: Which colors absorb the most heat? Why is this? Does a bright color like yellow absorb a lot of heat?

1) In Ultramarin, Lapiz Lazuli, can there be traces found of Baryte(Barium)?

2) In smalt (ground blue glass), can there be traces found of Baryte(Barium)?

3) Why does the paint or color iron gallus ink fade after the years. Because of oxidation of the iron, which would make it brown?

Many thanks

194: What is the largest piece of gold ever found?
195: What evidence and experiments show the core of the Earth to be made of iron and nickel?
196: Why is there no magnetism in the middle of a magnet? Are there no electrons in the middle of the magnet or do they cancel each other out somehow? Thank you!
197: Old-time kitchen lore suggests that things cook better (evenly and without burning) in heavy cast-iron pots. What desirable characteristics do such pots have?
198: Let's say you have a magnet levitating off a metallic surface. Classically, there is no work done so there is no change in the energy state of the magnet. We can expect the magnet to float forever. Quantum mechanically, the electrical repulsion is produced by the exchange of virtual photons. A naive picture of this imagines the virtual photons to be like bullets: the magnet stays aloft by shooting these photons like bullets off the surface. We can't expect the magnet to have an infinite supply of bullets. However, unless somehow the magnet never runs out of bullets,(which makes you wonder about energy conservation), the magnet would eventually settle to the ground. So, what is the correct take on this situation? Thank you.
199: What effect does color have on heat?
200: Why do planets have different colors?

Hi, I have a question related to an already posted topic:"Why is tungsten used for filaments in light bulbs when nichrome's resistivity is so much higher?


I understood, after reading your answers, the importance of the high melting point of the material of the filament. In order to get visible electromagnetic waves (i.e. light), we need the material to be at a certain temperature and it is tungsten that can reach that temperature without melting. However I do\'t understand another thing. The power supply is given by a constant VOLTAGE supply, say 120 V (not constant current). Ohm's Law states V=I*R And Joule's effect states Q=I2R By combining these two equations, we get that Q=V2/R. Then, why we would want to have a material with a high resistivity? If V is fixed, then Q actually DECREASES with the higher R. The former equation, I2.R, might be confusing but the thing is that, as said before, I is not fixed, but V is.

So by increasing R, we are decreasing I and that's why I2.R will decrease. In conclusion, I understand that tungsten is a good material because of many of its properties, as the high melting point. But, why to increase the resistance of the filament by increasing its length and decreasing its cross-section since it seems to me that it should be the other way round? Were am I making the mistake? Sincerely

202: Why glass breaks while tried to bend whereas an iron rod bends?
203: I would like to know how does it work the conductivity of electricity in metals and which are the units that scientists use in this process. I would also like to know the several ways for determining electrical conductivity of metals. Thank you.
204: How does moisture affect the rate of corrosion?
205: How long does it take for ice cream to melt in room temperature?
206: Why does carbon dioxide in a solid state sublime?
207: How much harder an aluminum bat would hit a ball compared to a wooden bat?
208: Is the core of the Earth solid?
209: If the bedrock of the oceanic plates is basalt and the bedrock of the continental plates is granite...how is the other bedrock formed. Ex. Connecticut bedrock map has lots of different rock types not only granite. Thank you, my students are bound to ask this. I know I'm not from your state but I love this concept.
210: Is there a metal which on conducting a small amount of electricity becomes a magnet?
211: How did the earth layers form?
212: My science fair project is Does the temperature of the ocean water affect how much Bisphenol A is found in the ocean water? I was wondering how do you measure Bisphenol A in the ocean water? Do I have to use a chemical or a machine?
213: At Ancient times, man used to rub stones together and produce fire through spark. How was spark produced? Was it Triboluminescence? Or Was it just due to positive and negative charge meeting?
214: What is the difference between a spark and Triboluminescence?
215: What minerals are in the myrtle beach sand?
216: What is the softest metal?
217: Why is the sand on India's beaches yellow, orange, and pink? Is it because the sand was in the sun for too long? Or was it just like that? Thanks!!!
218: What is tin foil made out of?
219: Does aluminum foil help ice melt faster with direct sunlight?
220: Thank you for your time. I live in Mexicali, Mexico. The temperature here goes from 30F to 70F in Winter, and from 80F to 124F in Summer. I want to install solar cells in my backyard, how does temperature affect the production of electricity?
221: After we add water to disposable diapers and the polymer absorbs water, what can we do with the gel to extend the discovery/experiment? Can the gel be used as a reactant to produce another product?
222: Was IRIDIUM ever found as a residue in ALABASTER or AGATE or CALCIUM from VOLTERRA, ITALY?
223: Does acrylic fabric have good thermal diffusivity?
224: Hi again, we are studying light energy and my question is why light does not shine through aluminum?
225: In the future, could people go in a machine into a volcano and go all of the way down to the mantle?
226: How can I compare between tensile strength of cotton, silk and nylon fibers?
227: How does gold get its color?
228: Why do rubber bands stretch?
229: What is cement made of?
230: Why do we need nuclear energy?
231: How do different temperature of water affect the size and color of fabric?
232: How does a compass work?
233: How do crystals get their shape?
234: How much water does a paper towel like Bounty brand absorb?
235: How are there tentacles so sticky, like the squid's?
236: Why do fishes die when they're removed from water? I realize they require oxygen like other aerobes, but (obviously) there's oxygen in the air. So what is it about the water itself that keeps them alive?
237: What is inside a magnet?
238: Hello, my name is Will and I am an AP Chemistry student at Milton High School in Massachusetts. For our final project, my partner and I are really interested in the explosive polymerization of 4-nitroaniline reaction that you had on your website click here. We have access to all the chemicals, yet we want to be as safe as possible. Since we are not exactly sure what the reaction produces, would a high school fume hood be sufficient protection? Also, how should we safely dispose of the product?

Thank you very much for your time,
239: Why only silicon chip is used in computers? Does it have any special property?
240: What is the life of a rare earth magnet under normal conditions (heat, atmospheric temperature assumed to be constant at say 25 degrees)? What will be the life of the same magnet when kept in repelling state with another identical magnet at a distance of less then 1mm, will they lose their strength fast enough, say within a month (assuming the size of the magnet is about 50mm X 25mm X 2.5mm)?
241: Does the material the container is made of affect its ability to retain heat?
242: Why is diamond harder than coal if they are both made up of carbon?
243: How additives like antifreeze stop car radiators from freezing?
244: How does the type of fabric affect the ability to insulate?
245: What are the uses of crystals?
246: Why will Tungsten glow brighter than Nichrome though? I don't understand.
247: What kind of paper absorbs more heat? What color paper absorbs the most heat? Does paper absorb heat under a light bulb?
248: Can magnetic fields pass through glass?
249: How much insulation does a glass cup have? Is it better than a plastic cup? Why or why not?
250: What type of material keeps liquids hot for longer time?
251: What powers a battery? What is inside it?
252: When and where are lasers used?
253: How does the peacock flounder change color?
254: What is the earth's lithosphere made of?
255: How can the geometrical composition of a spider cobweb be effective enough to trap insects?
256: What makes ice melt?
257: I am in Big History at Grayslake North high school in Illinois. I am doing a project on how Silicon came about on Earth. I came upon your answer on to why that is. I want to use your answer in my project but I need to cite my work so I don't plagiarizer. When I used easybib they were not able to give me a publisher of a electronically published date. I was just wondering on if you can give me a name and a date so i will be able to use it in my project. If not that is fine, I can find a different article. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day!
258: What is the difference in between a copper wire and a coil wire when considering magnetic effect of electricity?
259: How are emeralds formed?
260: What is the principle of piezoelectric transducers?
261: What would happen if earth lost its magnetic field and could it be caused by humans?
262: How does Ferro fluid Work?
263: Which one is faster electricity or air?
264: Is it correct that if a substance does not hold one of its electrons tightly, then it will conduct electricity because flowing electrons create electrical current?
265: How does a moon rock look like?
266: Are scientists working on traveling to the sun? Is it possible to visit other planets with different kinds of space suits?
267: Through which materials does magnetism pass?
268: How and where minerals form?
269: What are Chemicals made out of and how are they made?
270: An element's properties are defined by the number of protons that it has, which also has the same number of electrons. Therefore, since if an atom loses/gains neutrons it becomes an isotope, which doesn't change its properties. Therefore, my questions are: Does the proton have particles within it, sort of like DNA, that define the properties of an element? Do these particles, if they exist, have a relationship with the electron?
271: Why does green light slow down more than orange light does when passing through an object?
272: I am a 9th grader in Souderton school District in PA. I stumbled upon your website while searching for BPA testing. I am interested in testing BPA content in receipts from several stores around my area for my 9th grade science project. I am also interested in finding out whether BPA leaches more after using hand sanitizers. I am having a hard time figuring out how to test for BPA . Is there a way I can test for BPA without using blood/urine samples ? Is it possible to test for BPA content directly on the thermal papers? Your help is deeply appreciated in this matter.
273: Given that many modern day containers, utensils, cookwear, clothing,...are coated or composed of types of plastic which are publically recognized as having the ability to transfer\'estrogeni\' chemicals to whatever they come in contact with, is it possible that these 'estrogenic' compounds may be a contributor to decreases in fertility, neurological conditions and obesity in the population as a whole? Could this also be a contributor to a decreased sex-drive in women, given that testosterone is the 'sex-drive hormone'? Thank you for your time.
274: Can rocks cause a magnet feeling like you might observe when putting two magnets together?
275: How is opal formed?
276: What are "materials"?
277: I am doing a school project for Science. It's a mineral report and my mineral is calcite. I've been looking on the Internet and I can't find how calcite was formed. My teacher said if I can't find something, I should ask UCSB. My report is due in Tuesday morning so if you can respond tomorrow I can have it done on time. Thanks.
278: What is a measure of energy?
279: I am researching the best material (and maybe a ranking of the different ones) used in clothing to repel stains. I also am trying to learn why they repel or resist stains best. I am having a difficult time finding this info.
280: Why do scientists believe the earth's outer core to be molten, or liquid metal?
281: What is Obsidian?
282: What are mineral properties?
283: Can petrified fossils form when the minerals in water make a copy of the organism?
284: What does it cause a magnet to move an object when the magnet moves?
285: What is the term that describes a focal point for formation of crystals? For example, the stick or string used to make rock candy, or the pine needles lying on top of my pond.
286: What is a mineral? What are minerals made up of?
287: Why does liquid magnet (ferro-fluid) spike up when it feels a magnet?
288: What is a ferro-fluid?
289: Why can mealworms eat Styrofoam?
290: What is the different between alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and their cycles?
291: What are steam engines made of?
292: How does thermal conductivity varies in different types of metals: copper, aluminum, steel wires?
293: What is a submarine made of. And how could we make it better?
294: Why does sand react to lighting?
295: Hello, I was reading the Q&A about how gold was formed. It seems there are "theories" of gold being formed in a supernova explosion. Is this theory or fact?
296: If you could somehow create a 'vacuum' around your home, would that stop the transfer of heat and cold in and out of the structure?
297: How and why does conductive ink conduct? Is it possible that some day this conductive ink will replace copper, gold or silver on board circuits?
298: How and why does conductive ink conduct? Is it possible that someday this conductive ink will replace copper, gold or silver on board circuits?
299: Why are dogs used to detect drugs or illegal substances at airports?
300: I am doing a science fair project on "Which waterproof mascara is most water proof?" What is a polymers? What does it mean hydrophobic? What is the chemical that makes the mascara water proof? I am having some trouble. Can you help me?
301: Why is glass so brittle?
302: Why are semi metals (conductors) used in making photo electric cells ,transistors and microchips in computers?
303: How much force does it take to hit a tennis ball? And if that is not good enough, how much force does it take to break a defective tennis ball?
304: How does temperature affect the growth of sugar crystals?
305: Where do the lithosphere and the asthenosphere do coposition?
306: Can you explain to me how a thermometer works in terms of molecules and conduction?
307: Where does sunlight fade paper first, in books or in magazines?
308: What makes lava hot?
309: What chemicals or materials are in lip gloss?
310: How and why does nail polish and vegetable oil form slime?
311: Why is blue hotter than purple?
312: Does a baseball go farther with a metal or wood bat?
313: Just asking a quick question for my science fair project. I was wondering what the other ingredients in disinfectant sprays do. Ex.(dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, water, propane, isobutane, sodium nitrate, sodium benzoate, and soyethyl morpholinium ethosulfate. If you could just send a rundown of each of the ingredients, that would be amazing. Thank you. Sincerely,
314: What things in the 1960's finally helped to give Wegener's theory the proof it needed?
315: How is sapphire formed?
316: Hello my name is Dylan and I have to write a essay about spiders and I was wondering if you could be my interview.
Where do spiders live?
How many types of spiders are there?
What are the most common spiders in Tennessee?
Any other fun facts about spiders?

317: Why are minerals important?
318: Why do plants need nutrients?
319: If you could find a substance that repels oxygen and nitrogen to a certain degree, could you make that substance able to float? If you could stick it to stuff, could we have floating cars, amusement parks, and everything else you could imagine?
320: What things can change into three states of matter other than water?
321: How do acids affect the rate of corrosion?
322: What material makes ice melt?
323: Will a cork boat float?
324: Why is silver soft? And how would a model display this? Thanks.
325: How do materials scientists work in order to get new materials?
326: I am working on a research project with two other partners for a competition. Although my question won't be answered by then, I am still curious as to what more advanced researches will find out , if taken my question into consideration. Our project consist of the color black, Vantablack in particular. We'd like to know why the color black is so absorbent? What makes it more absorbent than any other color? what would be good substitutes for Vantablack? Could Vantablack be used to create energy similar to a solar panel given it absorbs 99.965% of light? I hope this questions gives interests to some great scientists out there and could be answered. Thank You!
327: If you drop a magnet, will it always fall on the same side?
328: How are molecules made?
329: Hello I am looking for someone who could you help me I am trying to find out what is the lowest temperature silver will melt ice? And also if any other metal or plastic has a lower melting point than silver to melt ice; thank you.
330: Which metal is not only dense and heavy like osmium, but is also most resilient? In other words, does osmium's density make it the metal with the strongest atom bonds, or will it crack if struck hard enough, like tungsten for instance?If weight, density, AND impact resilience are the criterion, what metal is strongest?
331: Invisible ink seems to work only on paper. Can you use it on real objects by coloring them thus making them invisible. Is there another way to hide something in plain sight and reveal it only if you have a special light?
332: Is it possible to magnetically levitate a human (or a frog or a tree or other things like that) without the assistance if any metal objects?
333: Why does steal rust?
334: What is a CPU made out of?
335: What color does a black paper turn into as it heats?
336: Will pouring water on fabric be safe? How will it affect the fabric? Will the fabric grow when I pour water on it?
337: Why are ores so rare?
338: I am a grade six student at Sir William Osler elementary, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This school term I will be conducting a scientific experiment for my class science fair. The topic I have selected is regarding the productivity of solar panels under different so-called “filters” of light. Such filters are transparent plastic sheets colored red, yellow, and blue. In my current project, I will be testing the productivity of my solar cells under such circumstances. The experiment will be carried out in 10 to 15 trials in the next three weeks.

I am writing this letter of inquiry in hope that I may have the opportunity to ask you several questions pertaining to my project as I have found it is in your area of expertise.

Is it possible that different silicon compositions could make two-axes oriented arrays more efficient? Possibly any theoretical work yourself may have done?

339: I am a grade six student at Sir William Osler elementary, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This school term I will be conducting a scientific experiment for my class science fair. The topic I have selected is regarding the productivity of solar panels under different so-called “filters” of light. Such filters are transparent plastic sheets colored red, yellow, and blue. In my current project, I will be testing the productivity of my solar cells under such circumstances. The experiment will be carried out in 10 to 15 trials in the next three weeks.

I am writing this letter of inquiry in hope that I may have the opportunity to ask you several questions pertaining to my project as I have found it is in your area of expertise.

Do you see any possible advances being made in the near future regarding different spectrums of light being most effective toward solar panel efficiency? Have you possibly made any advances in the topic yourself?


I am a grade six student at Sir William Osler elementary, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This school term I will be conducting a scientific experiment for my class science fair. The topic I have selected is regarding the productivity of solar panels under different so-called “filters” of light. Such filters are transparent plastic sheets colored red, yellow, and blue. In my current project, I will be testing the productivity of my solar cells under such circumstances. The experiment will be carried out in 10 to 15 trials in the next three weeks.

I am writing this letter of inquiry in hope that I may have the opportunity to ask you several questions pertaining to my project as I have found it is in your area of expertise.

It is public knowledge that numerous solar energy companies have been known to purchase power batteries from other energy companies such as hydro, wind, and even coal in periods where their arrays aren’t producing much. What is your stance on the topic? Do you see a solution to this crisis?


I am a grade six student at Sir William Osler elementary, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This school term I will be conducting a scientific experiment for my class science fair. The topic I have selected is regarding the productivity of solar panels under different so-called “filters” of light. Such filters are transparent plastic sheets colored red, yellow, and blue. In my current project, I will be testing the productivity of my solar cells under such circumstances. The experiment will be carried out in 10 to 15 trials in the next three weeks.

I am writing this letter of inquiry in hope that I may have the opportunity to ask you several questions pertaining to my project as I have found it is in your area of expertise.

What is your personal opinion on solar panel technology becoming a mainstream power option? Would you suggest a junction or hybrid between renewable energy industries or is that just a fantasy?

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use