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Science and Technology Trivia

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A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber. A ball of solid steel will bounce higher than one made entirely of glass.

A chip of silicon a quarter-inch square has the capacity of the original 1949 ENIAC computer, which occupied a city block.

An ordinary TNT bomb involves atomic reaction, and could be called an atomic bomb. What we call an A-bomb involves nuclear reactions and should be called a nuclear bomb.

At a glance, the Celsius scale makes more sense than the Fahrenheit scale for temperature measuring. But its creator, Anders Celsius, was an oddball scientist. When he first developed his scale, he made freezing 100 degrees and boiling 0 degrees, or upside down. No one dared point this out to him, so fellow scientists waited until Celsius died to change the scale.

At a jet plane's speed of 1,000 km (620mi) per hour, the length of the plane becomes one atom shorter than its original length.

The first full moon to occur on the winter solstice, Dec. 22, commonly called the first day of winter, happened in 1999. Since a full moon on the winter solstice occurred in conjunction with a lunar perigee (point in the moon's orbit that is closest to Earth), the moon appeared about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the point in it's elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth). Since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at that time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking the moon was about 7% stronger making it brighter. Also, this was the closest perigee of the Moon of the year since the moon's orbit is constantly deforming. In places where the weather was clear and there was a snow cover, even car headlights were superfluous.

According to security equipment specialists, security systems that utilize motion detectors won't function properly if walls and floors are too hot. When an infrared beam is used in a motion detector, it will pick up a person's body temperature of 98.6 degrees compared to the cooler walls and floor. If the room is too hot, the motion detector won't register a change in the radiated heat of that person's body when it enters the room and breaks the infrared beam. Your home's safety might be compromised if you turn your air conditioning off or set the thermostat too high while on summer vacation.

Western Electric successfully brought sound to motion pictures and introduced systems of mobile communications which culminated in the cellular telephone.

On December 23, 1947, Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., held a secret demonstration of the transistor which marked the foundation of modern electronics.

The wick of a trick candle has small amounts of magnesium in them. When you light the candle, you are also lighting the magnesium. When someone tries to blow out the flame, the magnesium inside the wick continues to burn and, in just a split second (or two or three), relights the wick.

Time slows down near a black hole; inside it stops completely.

Tiny dust particles surround a comet. They are swept into a long tail by the solar wind, which consists of subatomic particles speeding from the sum at speed of hundred of miles per second.

To an observer standing on Pluto, the sun would appear no brighter than Venus appears in our evening sky.

Traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, light take 6 hours to travel from Pluto to the earth.

A brown dwarf is a very small, dark object, with a mass less than 1/10 that of the Sun. They are 'failed stars', globules of gas that have shrunk under gravity, but failed to ignite and shine as stars.

A bucket filled with earth would weigh about 5 time more than the same bucket filled with the substance of the sun. However, the force of gravity is so much greater on the sun that the man weighing 150 pounds on our planet would weigh 2 tons on the sun.

A car traveling at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour would take over 48 million years to reach the nearest star (other than our sun), Proxima Centauri. This is about 685,000 average human lifetimes.

A cosmic year is the amount of time it takes the sun to revolve around the center of the Milky Way, about 225 million years.

A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but revolves around the sun in slightly less than 88 days.

A dog was killed by a meteor at Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911. The unlucky canine is the only creature known to have been killed by a meteor.

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