Heart transplant illustration
Science

How does a heart transplant work?

Replacing a heart is obviously a complicated procedure, but how is it done? Find out in just 30 seconds with our simple explanation, complete with illustrations! Find the answer to more baffling questions in How It Works magazine. Order it in print, download it onto … Continued

Time
Science

How is time measured?

Our measurement of time is determined by the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, and the Moon around the Earth. In the western world we use what is known as the Gregorian calendar, as described here. However there are … Continued

compass_rev2
Science

How do we calculate where magnetic north is?

Rather than calculating the magnetic poles, they must be found by expedition. They are defined as the points on Earth’s surface where the magnetic field points vertically down, so you need to be on top of them to really know. … Continued

Skin illustration
Science

Top 5 Facts: Skin

1) Bacteria thrive on human skin Every square inch of skin has an average of 32 million bacteria on it… no matter how many baths or showers you have a day! 2) You shed skin every day Every 24 hours, you … Continued

Clock
Science

How to cope with the clock change

On Sunday 29 March the clocks go forward by an hour, meaning we lose an hour of sleep. This can throw the circadian rhythms that control your body clock out of sync, making it difficult to get up at your usual … Continued

vaccine
Science

How do inoculations work?

The term inoculation and vaccination are used interchangeably. They involve introducing a foreign substance (antigens) into the body, causing antibody production. These can either be dead, made less harmful, or just contain certain bits that cause disease. White blood cells … Continued

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Science

Home science experiments: how to create a rainbow

It’s British Science Week, and here at How It Works we’re celebrating by showing you some of our favourite science experiments that you can try at home. Here’s what you’ll need to make a rainbow for yourself. Checklist: Glass of water Cardboard Scissors … Continued

DIY crystals
Science

Home science experiments: Grow your own crystals

It’s British Science Week, and here at How It Works we’re celebrating by showing you some of our favourite science experiments that you can try at home. Here’s how you can grow your own crystals using just salt and water! You will need: 75g … Continued

RS50875_Comb3-hpr
Science

Home science experiments: How to bend water

It’s British Science Week, and here at How It Works we’re celebrating by showing you some of our favourite science experiments that you can try at home. Here’s how you can bend water with a clever experiment you can easily in … Continued

RS53911_Catapult3-hpr
Science

Home science experiments: How to make a catapult

It’s British Science Week, and here at How It Works we’re celebrating by showing you some of our favourite science experiments that you can try at home. Here’s how you can make your very own home made catapult with four simple … Continued

Home made magnet
Science

Home science experiments: How to make a magnet

It’s British Science Week, and here at How It Works we’re celebrating by showing you some of our favourite science experiments that you can try at home. Here’s how you can create your own electromagnet from the contents of a toolbox! … Continued

001_BOE_RE_1 US
Science

Learn how life’s building blocks shape our world

Every one of us is made up of a number of different elements. They are responsible for the construction of all matter, not just our bodies. Whether you want to learn more about fundamental elements such as carbon and hydrogen, … Continued

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Science

What is a ‘red-out’ and how is it caused?

Red-outs and black-outs usually happen to pilots making rather tight manoeuvres. If the plane makes a tight turn in a certain direction, blood is ‘left behind’ and rushes to the lower parts of the body. Without enough oxygen in the … Continued

Stained glass window in Siena
Science

How is glass able to block infrared light?

Infrared light is a form of electromagnetic wave consisting of longer wavelengths than that of visible light. How any light interacts with materials depends on the arrangement of atoms – specifically the arrangement of the electrons – in the material, … Continued

Tiny-Bubbles-4f7a3b33db254_hires
Science

Why are bubbles spherical?

The skin of a bubble is composed of a thin layer of water molecules sandwiched between two layers of soap molecules. Water on its own has a high surface tension due to intermolecular forces causing molecules to pull on one … Continued

Sugar on a spoon
Science

How is man-made sugar produced?

Several different chemicals are used as artificial sweeteners. The very first was sugar of lead, used by the Romans. It was made by boiling grape juice in lead pots, but it’s quite toxic and was banned in the 18th century … Continued

Mountain peak in the Andes
Science

Why does air pressure alter at different altitudes?

Although it’s easy to forget, air molecules all weigh something, and their combined weight pressing down is what causes this pressure. At sea level, the column of air above you weighs about a ton. As you gain altitude, the number … Continued

Loaf of brown bread
Science

Why is brown bread ‘better’ than white?

Some brown breads are merely white breads with added sugars and colourings – and therefore no better for you at all. The key word to look for is ‘wholegrain’, which means the bread, or flour, contains the germ and bran portion … Continued

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