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12 Mar 2011

Piezoelectric materials are about as close to magic as you can get. They turn physical pressure into electricity and can even turn electricity into physical pressure – an amazing sort of bidirectional converter for mechanical and electrical energies. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that you can easily ‘grow’ your own piezoelectric crystals overnight using just a couple of common ingredients – awesome.

Collin’s Lab: Homebrew Piezo - [Link]

25 Feb 2011

A new video made by TVUK gives everyone the chance to have a ten-minute tour of The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. [via]

National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park - [Link]

22 Feb 2011

A diode is a one way valve for electricity or current flow.

What is a diode? – [Link]

21 Feb 2011

A potentiometer is a variable resistor used to resist electrical current.

What is a potentiometer? - [Link]

17 Feb 2011

Here’s a half-hour video produced by Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1967 describing the integrated circuit (IC), its design and development process, and giving examples of late 1960s uses of IC technology. Serves to provide some perspective on how the industry started, and how far we’ve come. [via]

Retro integrated circuit video - [Link]

16 Feb 2011

Agilent 2000 X Series Infiniivision Oscilloscope Teardown – [Link]

25 Jan 2011

30-minute film by Errol Morris, commissioned by IBM. Music by Philip Glass

IBM Centennial Film – [Link]

8 Dec 2010

If you would like to know how the world’s first transistor works view the video above. It is made by Engineer Guy Bill Hammack’s. [via]

Bill uses a replica of the point contact transistor built by Walter Brattain and John Bardeen at Bell Labs. On December 23, 1947 they used this device to amplify the output of a microphone and thus started the microelectronics revolution that changed the world. He describes in detail why a transistor works by highlighting the uniqueness of semiconductors in being able to transfer charge by positive and negative carriers.

How the world’s first transistor works - [Link]

1 Dec 2010

Bill opens up a vintage “black box” from a Delta airlines jetliner. He describes how the box withstands high temperatures and crash velocities because it is made from Inconel: A superalloy steels that is used in furnaces and others extreme environments. The flight data recorder he shows is a Sundstrand FA-542 and was likely used on a DC-9 in the 1970s, although it could have been used as late as 1988 on a Boeing 727. [via]

Black box: Inside a flight data recorder - [Link]

26 Nov 2010

Jem Stansfield travels to the Solar Furnace Research Facility in Southern France. He witnesses the incredible power generated by highly concentrated sunlight. http://www.bbc.co.uk/bang [via]

Focused sunlight melts things – [Link]





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