The Science of Sustainability

QUEST Lab

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Behind-the-scenes tours of local science, environment, and technology innovations.

QUEST Lab: Engineering Fire

QUEST Lab: Engineering Fire

In a dark lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, engineers and mathematicians are developing new burners and studying different flames in hopes of better understanding the power of fire and how to make the most efficient flame possible.

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QUEST Lab: The Shaking Table at UC Berkeley

QUEST Lab: The Shaking Table at UC Berkeley

Khalid Mosalam and his colleagues at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center's Shaking Table Laboratory are helping to make communities safer in an earthquake.

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QUEST Lab: Properties of Plastic

QUEST Lab: Properties of Plastic

Exploratorium Staff Scientist Julie Yu changes and manipulates the physical and chemical properties of plastic bottles by exposing them to heat. This is how plastic bags and bottles can be recycled and used over and over again.

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QUEST Lab: Bridge Thermometer

QUEST Lab: Bridge Thermometer

The roadway across the Golden Gate Bridge rises and falls as much as 16 feet depending on the temperature. When the sun hits the bridge, the metal expands and the bridge cables stretch. As the fog rolls in, the cables contract and the bridge goes up. Curators from the Outdoor Exploratorium in San Francisco have set up a scope two miles away so you can see how the bridge is moving up or down depending on the weather.

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QUEST Lab: Speed of Sound

QUEST Lab: Speed of Sound

Along with cable cars and seagulls, the Golden Gate Bridge foghorn is one of San Francisco's most iconic sounds. But did you know that if you hear that foghorn off in the distance, you can calculate how many miles you are from the bridge? Using the Speed of Sound exhibit at the Outdoor Exploratorium at Fort Mason, Shawn Lani shows us how sound perception is affected by distance.

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QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion

QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion

Paul Doherty of the Exploratorium performs a "sit-down" lecture on one of Sir Issac Newton's most famous laws.

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QUEST Lab: The Resonator

QUEST Lab: The Resonator

Quest goes to the Exploratorium to learn how and why helium changes the sound of your voice.

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QUEST Lab: Five-Cent Battery

QUEST Lab: Five-Cent Battery

How much electrical power will a nickel buy you? This week the Exploratorium shows us how to make an LED flashlight battery for only five cents.

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QUEST Lab: Aerogel

QUEST Lab: Aerogel

It looks like frozen smoke. And it's the lightest solid material on the planet. Aerogel insulates space suits, makes tennis rackets stronger and could be used one day to clean up oil spills.

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