Monthly Archives: November 2014
Appliance Science: The Illuminating Physics of LED Lights

In my Appliance Science column for CNet, I look into the fascinating physics of LED lights. It’s all about electrons, quantum physics, energy levels and water flowing downhill.

AS2-LED-P1-smlAnd, like a waterfall, interesting things happen at this point where the flow is controlled. Whereas a waterfall makes noise, electrons flowing across the pn-junction of an LED release light. As the electrons flow from the n to the p layer, the energy level of the electrons falls, dropping from the higher energy level of the p-type layer to the lower one of the n-type. This energy is released as a photon, which we see as light.

Hi/Low: Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are beloved of serious typists everywhere (including me) for their click-clacky goodness. So what’s the difference between a cheap one and an expensive one? I found out for my latest Wired column

keyboards1Sometimes a family runabout is all you need, though, and the Rosewill is far superior to laptop keyboards or the cheap rubber dome keyboards that come with desktop computers. So, it’s not a bad investment for those who write a lot or play games…. If, like me, you spend every day clacking through thousands of words, I’d recommend spending the extra money on the Das Keyboard Ultimate S. The cost is much higher, but it pays off in typing speed, comfort, and the satisfaction you get from using a tool with superior build quality.

Appliance Science: How Your Refrigerator Works

I am very pleased to announce that I am now writing a column for CNet, called Appliance Science. Illustrated by the awesome Colin McDonald, this column will look at the science behind an appliance, revelaing the mysteries of… Appliance Science! First up in this twice-monthly column is the refrigerator.

refrigerator-anim1-smlWelcome to Appliance Science, a new column all about the science behind your home appliances. You may not realize it, but your appliances are hotbeds of scientific progress, made possible by moon-shot class engineering and technology that would make your ancestors cry with joy. In this column, we’ll take you through the science and technology behind the appliances in your home…