Where does aluminum come from?02/20/15
Aluminum is both lightweight and strong, so it's no wonder that space stations, airplanes and thousands of other products use this metal. But where does it come from, and what makes it so special? Tune in to learn more.
Is it possible to turn coal into oil?
As the demand for dwindling oil supplies rises, scientists across the world search for new ways to generate energy. In this episode, Marshall looks at a new attempt to stave off the looming fossil fuel crisis: Turning coal into oil. Tune in to learn...
How do thirty pounds of air in your tires hold up two tons of car?
Cars are heavy machines, so how can a few small, pressurized tires support their weight? Marshall Brain explains how tire pressure and contact patches work in this episode.
Why don't they use normal air in race car tires?
Race car tires are often filled with nitrogen because nitrogen pressure is more consistent than air pressure. In this episode, Marshall explains why nitrogen is better for race cars -- but not for regular vehicles.
How do plastics work? What is actually in a plastic?
Plastics have become so ubiquitous that we often take them for granted, but have you ever wondered where these popular materials come from? In this episode, Marshall explains what plastics are made of.
How does your stomach keep from digesting itself?
The stomach is a hollow, many-layered organ that produces powerful acids to break down food -- and another substance to protect the stomach from being digested. Find out what this substance is, and learn more about the stomach, in this episode.
How does a speedometer in an airplane work?
Most people are familiar with speedometers in cars, but do you know how air speed is determined? In this episode, Marshall explains how devices called pitot tubes gauge the speed of moving aircraft.
How does CCC, the new form of CPR, work?
Continuous chest compression is an updated form of CPR that's much easier to administer -- and, studies suggest, more effective. In this episode, Marshall Brain explains how CCC works.
What is the difference between a hardwood and a softwood?
When it comes to differentiating between hardwoods and softwoods, it's not a matter of hardness or density -- it's all about plant reproduction. Marshall explains what angiosperms and gymnosperms are in this episode.
Why does your computer need a battery?
Computers have a small battery that's important because it keeps the machine's clock running -- and sometimes, your computer. Get the goods on computer batteries in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
How does nitrous oxide help an engine perform better?
Nitrous oxide boosts engine power in two significant ways. Find out exactly how nitrous works its magic in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
How does an oxygen canister on an airplane work?
When you think of storing oxygen, metal tanks full of gas might come to mind. There's also a chemical method -- tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to learn about how oxygen canisters work.
How is olive oil made?
People across the planet love olive oil, and it's not hard to see why: This tasty liquid lends flavor to hundreds of dishes, and it's been used for thousands of years. But how does it get from the tree to the bottle? Tune in to find out.
In baseball, how does a pitcher throw a curveball?
A curveball is a pitcher's secret weapon for striking out batters. Discover the physics behind a great curveball in this episode of BrainStuff.
How do retractable roofs in convertible stadiums work?
Retractable roofs are the latest trend in sports stadium design. Marshall highlights multiple examples of convertible stadiums in the United States and explains how they work in this episode.
How do strokes work?
In a stroke, something disrupts the normal blood supply to parts of the brain. Without oxygen, affected brain cells will begin to die. Tune in as Marshall explains the causes of -- and treatments for -- strokes.
Can people really build missiles from scratch?
In the film Salt, Angelina Jolie's character creates a missile from handy household ingredients -- but could this happen in real life? Tune in as Marshall breaks down the science behind improvised explosives.
There's a reason that most submarines are owned by governments - they're incredibly expensive. So what's a sub-loving consumer to do? Tune in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind semi subs (and why it makes them so much less expensive).
How can an electric toothbrush recharge its batteries?
An electric toothbrush gets power from its base without the help of metal contacts. Find out how this sealed system works in the following podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
How do neon and fluorescent lights differ?
Neon and fluorescent lights differ in several ways, including bulb shape, color of light emitted and substances used to produce that light. Find out how neon and fluorescent lights work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
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