Discovering the Hidden Science of Everyday Wonders

By Sophia Maddox | March 28, 2024

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

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Epic Records

Popcorn's explosive transformation from kernel to fluffy delight has a scientific explanation that's as fascinating as it is tasty. It all starts with a tiny water droplet inside each kernel. When heated, this water turns into steam, building up pressure until the kernel can no longer contain it. With a satisfying "pop," the kernel bursts open, releasing starches that instantly solidify into the crunchy snack we love. This explosive phenomenon is a perfect blend of physics, chemistry, and snack-time satisfaction.

What The Heck Are Rainbows?

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Cammie Czuchnicki via Royal Meteorological Society / Natural History Museum

Rainbows are nature's enchanting light shows, created by a delightful interplay of sunlight and raindrops. The science behind this colorful phenomenon is all about the refraction, dispersion, and reflection of light. When sunlight enters a raindrop, it slows down, bends, and then reflects off the inside surface of the drop. As it exits, the light is refracted again, separating into its various colors due to their different wavelengths. This mesmerizing separation of light creates the arching spectrum of colors we know as a rainbow, reminding us that even everyday rain can hide a vibrant splash of science and beauty in the sky.