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ARTICLE

Solids, liquids and gases

Water is the only common substance that is naturally found as a solid, liquid or gas. Solids, liquids and gases are known as states of matter. Before we look at why things are called solids ...

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ARTICLE

Melting and freezing

Water can exist as a solid (ice), liquid (water) or gas (vapour or gas). Adding heat can cause ice (a solid) to melt to form water (a liquid). Removing heat causes water (a liquid) to freeze to ...

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ARTICLE

What are ceramics?

A ceramic is an inorganic non-metallic solid made up of either metal or non-metal compounds that have been shaped and then hardened by heating to high temperatures. In general, they are hard ...

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ARTICLE

History of microscopy – timeline

Microscopes let us view an invisible world – the objects around us that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. This timeline provides a look at some of the key advances in microscopy. ~710 ...

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ARTICLE

What is clay?

Since the earliest times, humankind has had a close association with clay. From use as a building material, in pottery, for treating human digestive ailments to a multitude of industrial uses ...

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ARTICLE

Wool fibre properties

Wool’s range of desirable properties make it a valuable material for many different purposes, from high-end fashion to fire-resistant products and heavy-duty carpet. Discover how wool’s unique ...

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ARTICLE

Light and telescopes

The universe is full of amazing things, but we need help to see most of them. There are many types of light that our eyes cannot see, so we use instruments, such as telescopes, that can detect ...

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ARTICLE

Seeing atoms

Nanotechnology is possible partly because tools have been developed to ‘see’ particles of matter a nanometre (nm) across, or smaller. That’s less than a billionth of a metre. When the idea of ...

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ARTICLE

Energy sources through time – timeline

Use this timeline to explore how humans have relied on fossil fuels in the past and how we are looking for, and using, new energy sources. 200,000 BC - Fire used Records of the first controlled ...

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ARTICLE

Distances in space

Distances in space are really, really big. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is heading out of our Solar System at 62,000 km per hour, but even at that speed, it would take it 77,000 years to reach the ...

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ARTICLE

Exploring with microscopes – introduction

We live in a beautiful world – and that beauty and complexity extends far beyond what humans can see unaided. From plant and animal anatomy to cells and proteins and even down to the level of ...

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ARTICLE

The Sun and white dwarfs

Professor Denis Sullivan studies white dwarfs – small and dense stars that are cooling down after being red giants. Our Sun, and most other stars, will eventually become a white dwarf. The life ...

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ARTICLE

Composite materials

Composite materials (composites) are made when two or more materials with different properties are combined to produce a new material. The physical and chemical properties of each of the ...

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ARTICLE

Electricity and sensors

All materials are made up of tiny particles called atoms. Atoms are made up of even smaller particles called protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons found in the atom have a positive charge ...

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ACTIVITY

Carbon dioxide emissions calculator

This activity requires access to two Internet sites: a carbon emissions calculator and a school emissions calculator. Students can use the online calculator to calculate and compare the amount of ...

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Renewable energy sources

Renewable energy is fuel that comes from a source that can be replenished in a short amount of time. This includes solar, wind, water, geothermal power and bioenergy. While renewable energy ...

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Bioplastics

Bioplastics are plastic materials that are either biodegradable or derived from renewable resources or both. Currently, petrochemical-based plastics make up 99% of the plastics market. However ...

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