Category Archives: Experimentation

Using good technique and experimental design to tease the facts from nature.

Borax Bead And Flame Tests

You can perform simple qualitative analysis to detect certain metals in various substances using borax bead, and flame tests. The inoculating loop for these tests is very easy to make. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, Experimentation, Geology, Research Tools, Tools | 1 Comment

Sky Temperature Sensor

The first sensor to go on my instrument platform may be an infrared sky temperature sensor. The sky temperature can be used to determine if the sky is clear or cloudy and when the sky is clear the temperature is a measure of the total column water vapor above the sensor. The sensor electronics consists of two modules from SparkFun Electronics,  an evaluation … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Climate, DIY, Electronics, Experimentation, Imbedded Software, Instrumentation, Measurement, Programming, Sensors, Software, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Simply Constructed Gas Generator

Figure 3. Completely assembled gas generator and wash bottle. (click image to enlarge)

Among the automatic gas generators on the market there are few within reach of the average experimenter. To meet this condition, Prof. C. D. Dilts has recently developed a generator which may be easily and cheaply constructed. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, DIY, Experimentation, History of Science, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Projects, Safety, Tools, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Magnetic Fields and How to Measure Them

Figure 2. Circuit diagram for a simple magnetic field readout.

There aren’t a lot of fields in physics to study beyond gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Since the last two are essentially impossible for an amateur to study, that only leaves gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Electricity, Electronics, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Magnetism, Measurement, Physics, Sensors | Leave a comment

The Doppler Shift

Most of us have used the Doppler effect unconsciously to estimate the speed of a car that approached quickly from behind. The sound of the approaching car has a higher pitch than the sound as the car leaves you behind. Continue reading…

Posted in Acoustics, Experimentation, History of Science, Physics, Science Education, Tools | Leave a comment

DIY Titration Lab Ware

Titration is the process of determining the unknown concentration of a solution by adding a known amount of a solution with a known concentration. For example, in an acid-base titration, you can determine the unknown concentration of an acid in a solution by adding a base solution of known concentration. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, Education, Experimentation, Measurement, Research Tools, Safety | Leave a comment

Upcoming Radio Astronomy Conference

This purpose of this conference is to bring researchers and educators together to explore the importance of education in the area related to Radio Astronomy and the related sciences. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Astronomy, Community, Electronics, Events, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Invention, Measurement, Physics, Radio Astronomy, Space | Leave a comment

The Economist: How Science Goes Wrong


A SIMPLE idea underpins science: “trust, but verify”. Results should always be subject to challenge from experiment. That simple but powerful idea has generated a vast body of knowledge. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Community, Ethics, Experimentation, General Interest, History of Science, Open Science, Publishing, Statistics | Leave a comment

Guardian: Citizens and Science in Greener China

Farmers dig ditches to run water from a polluted stream into farm fields in Yunnan province, China. Photograph: Reuters

Sensible collaboration with China in science, technology and innovation is not only in Britain’s economic interests but can also help to address environmental challenges shared by the entire international community. Continue reading…

Posted in Activism, Best Practices, Breaking News, Community, Environment, Experimentation, General Interest, Open Science, Stories | Leave a comment

Airship Hindenburg: Experimental study of the involvement of the outer covering paint (dope) in the disastrous final fire

A theory that has gained wide popular acceptance proposes that the paint on the fabric covering of the Hindenburg, rather than its highly flammable hydrogen gas, was both the source of ignition and the driving force behind the conflagration. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Aviation, Chemistry, Engineering, Experimentation, General Interest, History of Science, Pyrotechnics | Leave a comment