Sunday, November 29, 2015

How anti-theft tags work - magnetostriction

Anti-theft tags contain a tiny mechanical oscillator that is activated by a magnetic field.  The detectors at a shop's doorway can detect the oscillation magnetically. The tag can be activated and deactivated by magnetizing or demagnetizing it, respectively.

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Special thanks for your support:
Matthew Hill
Erik Saathoff
Max Loutzenheiser
(better credits titlescreen in the next video!)


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Your toothbrush is worn-out!

See how your trusty toothbrush becomes worn out.

Special thanks to Harri Lähteenmäki  and Johannes S. Zwilling for sending me the smooth zoom footage of the tungsten filament, and showing me how to use After Effects to get a much better effect.  I really appreciate it!

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Macrophotgraphy with a microscope objective:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ruby laser (and other projects) follow-up

The 8KJ ruby laser in action!  Also, see some other Applied Science projects and what is coming next.

NightHawkInLight on youtube:

Ben on

Ruby Laser design process:

Cookie Perfection machine:


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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Smooth zoom video from SEM

I manually interpolated the sequence from about 15 single frames from the SEM.  Smooth zooming is not possible on the instrument natively.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to choose a cleaning solution

A general overview of cleaning solvents and techniques.

Solvent selection and effectiveness:

Dan Gelbart on coatings and surface cleaning:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Drill Bit in Electron Microscope

This video shows a microcontroller-based image capture system that makes it easier for me to record animations with my scanning electron microscope.

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The Teensy microcontroller:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Control light with magnets and olive oil?! (Faraday effect)

See how olive oil and magnets can control the brightness of light via the Faraday effect.
Get your iron-on Applied Science logo here:

Measure Verdet constant of olive oil:

Plastic film polarizers:

Faraday effect:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Liquid Nitrogen Generator - Overview

This liquid nitrogen generator uses a Stirling-cycle cryocooler that was pulled from a cellular phone tower.  It was used to cool a superconducting RF filter that aids cell communications.  The cryocooler is able to pump enough heat away from its cold end that air will liquify and drip into a vacuum flask for storage.

Jeri's video at Maker Faire 2010:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tools and Tips #2 from Applied Science

Check out the iron-on Applied Science logos and support the channel:

High-res CD, DVD, Blu-ray image:

Digital angle gauge:

Pipe thread sealants:


Surebonder hot glue gun:
Black hot glue:

Magnetic viewer film -

Electrical outlet tester:

Tube cutter shears:

Switch contact burnisher:

Pin vise for drill chuck:

Gray lab coat:

Support Applied Science on Patron, and receive your own iron-on logo

I'd like to thank my Pateron supporters by offering a reward for those who donate at the $3/video level or higher.  I'll send you an iron-on Applied Science logo that you can apply to your own lab coat or other clothing.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Electron microscope slow-motion video of vinyl LP

I describe how I made a stop motion animation of a phonograph needle in an LP groove using an electron microscope.  I also show electron micrographs of other recording media.
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Monday, May 25, 2015

The physics of floating screwdrivers

I explain how a jet of air can float a common screwdriver.

Plans to make your own fluid turbulence disc:

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Nighthawkinlight's video about floating screwdrivers:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Shrinking paper money with ammonia

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As a follow-up to my previous video on bending wood, I show how ammonia can shrink paper money.  The money is dipped into liquid anhydrous ammonia, then dried, and the process is repeated about a dozen times.  As the money dries, it shrinks due to the surface tension of the boiling/evaporating ammonia.

Video on bending wood:
Making aerogel:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Extreme wood bending with ammonia

Bending wood with ammonia is not really DIY, but I show the process, which is extremely effective.  There is also a commercial product that is pre-treated flexible wood, which hardens after being clamped in the desired shape.
Hmm, it seems the product may no longer be available -- I can't find it at Inventables.

Pre-treated flexible wood product patent:

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Distilling pure anhydrous ammonia

I have a few upcoming projects that require anhydrous ammonia. In this video, I show how to distill it from "ammonia water" similar to common glass cleaner.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Magnetic Propulsion

This is a neat little demo that shows how permanent magnets can be used to create propulsion along a conductive copper track

Sunday, March 8, 2015

How Digital Light Processing (DLP) works

Digital Light Processing projectors use a chip that is covered with tiny mirrors that tilt back and forth. When the mirror is tilted one way, it reflects light out through the front of the projector, creating a bright pixel. When the mirror is tilted the other way, the pixel is dark. In this video, I explain how DLP works and show a macro-scale model.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Review of National Instruments VirtualBench

The VirtualBench is an all-in-one piece of electronic test gear that combines an oscilloscope, logic analyzer, function generator, DMM, triple output programmable power supply, and an 8-channel digital I/O bus.  It can be controlled with a dedicated NI app, or programmatically controlled with LabView or C.  I show the device's usage and duggest which situations may benefit from using this device.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The science of wineglass tears (or wine legs)

The surface tension of water and the evaporation of ethanol produce an interesting effect in a wineglass known as "tears" or "legs".  The process is caused by the Marangoni effect, which explains how toy soap boats work among other interesting things.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tools and Tips #1 from Applied Science

I present some of my favorite tools and techniques from the workshop. - Support Applied Science

Cable tie gun - 5401T11

Devcon plastic welder -

E6000 adhesive -

3M DP-8005 - 7467A32

Ikea lamp -

Well nuts - 93495A130

Irwin tap wrench sockets -

Double-sided tape -

Gaffers tape -

Drill bits for plastic -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Covert radio pen with bone conduction speaker ---- Donate here!
I built a tiny radio into a ballpoint pen that allows the user to hear audio by casually biting the pen.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How a horn amplifies sound (hint: Impedance matching)

A horn-shaped speaker is louder than an equivalent speaker without the horn.  This fact doesn't violate physics because the horn is acting as a matching device between the speaker and the air around it.

Photo Credit for phonograph: Norman Bruderhofer,  Collection of John Lampert-Hopkins