How It Works Book of Did You Know?

3rd Edition

Did you know that there are caves in Mexico with that host the world’s largest crystals and that the elements that make up our bodies were forged inside ancient stars? Find out the hows and whys for how vinyl records were made and why Oliver Cromwell melted the Crown Jewels. Featuring: Science & Environment - Discover the truth behind science's biggest wonders Transport & Technology - Climb walls like Spider-Man and 3D print a car Space - Explore the outer reaches of our universe History - Step back in time and discover the past

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
6,04 €(TVA Incluse)

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4 min
there are 206 bones in the human body

The 206 bones of the adult human skeleton make up a strong, flexible framework that protects our vital organs and allows our bodies to move, as well as being a mineral store and stem-cell reserve. Bone is a composite material, constructed from three basic ingredients: collagen strands, a sugary protein glue and inorganic calcium salts. The collagen fibres are arranged in alternating layers, crossing over one another, providing a flexible scaffold, and calcium salts are glued in between for strength and rigidity. The outside of each bone is composed of plates, or hollow tubes, of dense cortical bone, supported on the inside by a honeycomb network of spongy trabecular bone. This network is slightly flexible and helps to distribute the load, curving the tensile and compressive forces across the ends of the…

2 min
caffeine is an alkaloid

Whether it’s a milky latte or a double shot of espresso, coffee has become an important morning ritual for many people all over the world. Its rich taste and aroma serves as a welcoming wake-up call and the caffeine helps keep you alert for the rest of the day, but did you know this is all down to the 1,000 different chemical compounds present in every cup? Acids, alkaloids, carbohydrates and proteins, either found in raw coffee beans or produced by the roasting process, work together to create a complex mixture of flavours and that distinctive coffee smell. WHAT’S IN YOUR CUP? ACIDS Coffee contains a variety of acids. Perhaps the most important is chlorogenic acid, which consists of two main compound groups. Dicaffeoyl acids impart a metallic, bitt er taste while monocaffeoyl…

1 min
identical twins don’t have identical fingerprints

Identical twins form when a single fertilised egg splits in two during the early stages of development, and as a result, the siblings share exactly the same genetic information. But our bodies are shaped not only by our genes, but also by our environment, and although the twins share the same womb, their environments are subtly different. Each twin is in a different position, and experience slight variations in contact with amniotic fluid. One might have a longer umbilical cord than the other, and one might receive more oxygen or nutrients. Fingerprints develop during the second trimester, and these small differences add up to produce noticeably different fingerprints.…

1 min
cold feet are caused by reduced blood circulation

Cold feet are typically caused by reduced blood circulation. When your body is cold, it constricts your blood vessels, reducing blood flow to your skin in order to conserve heat around your internal organs. In some people this reaction, called vasoconstriction, is triggered even at relatively warm temperatures, leading to cold feet and hands. Cold extremities are quite common in cooler weather and are unlikely to indicate any serious medical condition. However, if they go white you may be suffering from Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition where arteries cut offalmost all circulation to hands and feet in cold temperatures.…

1 min
the more oxygen there is the hotter a bunsen burns

German chemist Robert Bunsen invented the Bunsen burner in the mid-19th century as a means to an end. His work focused on emission spectra, which is the bright light produced by different elements when they are heated in a flame. To carry out this experiment he required a hot, clean flame, which gave him the idea for the Bunsen burner. A modern Bunsen burner consists of a straight metal tube, measuring about 13 centimetres (five inches) long, attached to a base stand. A thin rubber tube known as a gas hose connects to the bottom and supplies gas to the Bunsen. The metal collar works to adjust the amount of air that enters the tube by altering the size of the air hole at the base. By allowing oxygen to…

1 min
your body is made of stardust

The elements that make up our bodies were forged inside ancient stars. Hydrogen is the smallest element, and formed in vast quantities after the Big Bang, along with a less plentiful supply of helium, and even smaller amounts of lithium and beryllium. But making the heavier elements required more energy. Hydrogen and helium gas clumped together to form clouds, and these clouds collapsed to form stars with enough heat and pressure to trigger nuclear fusion; inside the stars, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms slammed together, fusing to form helium. As the stars aged, the helium atoms started to create even heavier elements, including carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Depending on the mass of the star, this process sometimes continued, producing the nuclei of most of the elements up to number 26, iron.…