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Listed under:  Science  >  Scientific inquiry  >  Observations (Data)
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A jar of electricity?

In the 1700s, Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek discovered a way of storing electrical energy in a glass jar, known as a Leyden jar. Today, we call energy-storing devices 'capacitors', and they have many uses in electrical systems. Find out how experimentation (and a mistake) led to this important invention.

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Solvent extraction of copper

Carry out an experimental investigation like those used in industrial laboratories. This is a fact sheet giving information and instructions for an experiment investigating the recovery of copper metal from ore using solvent extraction. It includes background information on the industrial process and chemistry involved, ...

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Metal reactivity

Identify metals based on their reactivity with metal ions in solution. This is an activity sheet providing instructions for an experiment based on the 'Metal reactivity' series. It includes a blank data table and a photograph of the experimental set-up.

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Floating froth

Find out how to use froth to separate minerals from unwanted rock. This is an activity sheet giving instructions for a simple experiment that demonstrates how froth flotation works. It includes a blank data table.

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Decoding the platypus genome

Find out what scientists have discovered from decoding the platypus genome. Learn how these discoveries provide some surprising insights into this unusual animal's underwater feeding, number of sex chromosomes, protection of its young and evolution of the male platypus's venomous spur.

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Sound waves measure ocean temperatures

View how scientists use underwater sound waves to measure ocean temperature changes in the Indian Ocean. The animations show how the technology called acoustic thermometry works. Australian scientists are working with a global network of 'listening posts' to monitor the long-term effects of climate change on ocean temperatures.

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Birth of radio astronomy

Did you know that some of the most ground-breaking scientific discoveries were made by chance (serendipity)? Discover the link between static on a telephone line and the invention of the radio telescope that has helped scientists find new clues to the origin of the universe.

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Rockets, Mars, Space Shuttles and Space Stations

<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Discover how space exploration has developed over the years. Find out about different space missions and experiments, and a range of spacecraft from the early probes to more complex shuttles. Where do you think space exploration might take us in the future?</span>

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Meteorites, asteroids, orbiting and gravity

Learn how Galileo Galilei's work overturned Aristotle's ideas about falling objects and led to an understanding that Earth revolves around the sun. Find out how Isaac Newton showed that the laws of motion on Earth and in space are the same, and that he discovered that the gravitational force of attraction between any two ...

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The biggest radio telescope in the world

In the past, astronomers explored the universe with their eyes and optical telescopes, but what they could see was limited. Find out how radio telescopes have revolutionised the way astronomers 'see' the universe, allowing us to explore deeper into space than ever before.Watch this clip to learn about Australia's contribution ...

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Large Hadron Collider discovery, 2012

Have you heard of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)? Watch this clip to find out about a scientific discovery at the LHC that left physicists uncharacteristically emotional. Catalyst's Dr Derek Muller takes you inside the LHC and talks to scientists there about the discovery of the Higgs boson and what it means for our understanding ...

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Making a mobile phone disco

Have you ever wondered how sound travels? Watch Ruben Meerman, the Surfing Scientist, as he makes a mini disco using his mobile phone to discover the answer.

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Nordenskj&ouml;ld, Antarctica and two long winters

Early in the 1900s, several long expeditions set out to delve into the mysteries of Antarctica. One of them made some remarkable scientific discoveries about life that existed long ago on the continent. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. This 1901-1903 Swedish expedition was plagued with problems. Watch this clip to find out more.

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Re-creation of Shackleton's Antarctic survival

In 1914 Ernest Shackleton and his crew set out on an expedition to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. But things went horribly wrong when their ship was crushed by ice on the way. In this news clip, witness an Australian scientist about to set out with five others to re-create Shackleton's remarkable journey of survival, ...

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Organic compounds and substitution theory

Discover how the burning of candles at a Royal Ball in Paris in 1834 led to a scientific discovery vital to our understanding of chemical reactions. Watch this clip to find out about substitution theory and how a diverse array of compounds can be created from an organic starting point of hydrogen and carbon.

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Parkes telescope

The Parkes telescope, is a large radio telescope located in Parkes, New South Wales. It has played a role in assisting international space missions including Apollo 11. This audio clip features Neil Armstrong describing his first step on to the moon. Listen to the benefits of linking radio telescopes into an array.

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Using genes to unlock the secrets of Tutankhamen

Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh who ascended to the throne in 1333 BC, at the age or nine or ten. His fame in modern times is due to the discovery of his virtually intact tomb in 1922. Since then, many questions have been asked about his life and ancestry. Listen to this audio clip to find out how genetic technology ...

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How big are extremely small objects?

Imagine how big you might be compared to an ant, a speck of dust, a molecule or an atom. Explore the world of the very small, and find out just what units scientists use to measure extremely small objects.

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Polymers: explosives and celluloid

Imagine if modern explosives were still based on the smoky gunpowder used in the 19th century! Watch a re-enactment of the accidental discovery of cellulose nitrate, an explosive polymer. Find out how a scarcity of elephants launched chemists into a new world of polymer science.

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Scientists in Antarctica

Explore the driest, windiest, coldest place on Earth. Discover why scientists flock to Antarctica every year. This clip explains how studying the tiny bubbles buried in the Antarctic ice can teach us about what the Earth was like long ago.