What is more iconic & associated with Sir Isaac Newton, a falling apple or glass prism? One reminds us his work on gravity held sway for centuries until Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The other informs us of his discovery that white sunlight is made up of a rainbow of colours.
These simple devices still anchor basic physics lab experiments but have found new, unrelated uses as gifts and trade show promotional items.
Fossil identification is central to paleontology which is the study of living things now long dead & preserved in sedimentary rock. Most of these plants, animals and microbes are extinct but some have descendants that are alive today. Comparing the past and the present puts paleontology at the intersection of biology and the study of rocks and minerals typically associated with geology. Both require magnifiers for field work and the requirements are discussed below.
What is a Litmus Test?
A litmus test originally meant a simple method to determine whether something was acidic or basic. It then morphed into an expression meaning a test that gives a simple yes or no answer. It turns out that a real litmus test isn’t always so “black and white”.
What is an Erlenmeyer Flask?
Erlenmeyer flasks, also known as conical flasks, are among the most recognized types of lab glassware and are routinely associated with science themed TV shows and movies. Its conical shape and narrow neck are its distinguishing features. The rimmed mouth acts as a lip for easy pouring and long neck allows for airtight storage when used with a stopper. These features make them useful both in the lab and as novel kitchenware. Continue reading
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is the death of retinal cells responsible for fine detail and color. It is perceived as a black spot in the middle of your visual field, a sort of reverse tunnel vision. As the condition worsens, you lose your ability to read or recognize faces.
There is no cure for this affliction at present. In its early stages you can compensate with magnifiers that are stronger than simple handheld round readers.
Just looking for magnifiers? See: Macular degeneration pocket magnifiers.
What is Water Hardness & What Causes It?
Water hardness is simply a measure of dissolved minerals in your water. The most common are calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). Rainwater is inherently soft but if it encounters limestone or chalk as it seeps into the ground, it can dissolve some of the rock which is made up of those minerals. The rate of dissolution is even greater if the pH of the rainwater is high (acid rain dissolves limestone even more). Continue reading