Tuesday 06 May 1997
Q What is antimatter?
A Antimatter is matter that is in all respects the opposite to "ordinary" matter except mass. The charges of antimatter particles are the opposite of ordinary matter - so the equivalent of our negatively charged electron is positively charged (called the positron). An antihydrogen atom (one of which has been made on Earth) consists of a positron and an antiproton. Matter and antimatter interact through the same forces as matter and matter, but when they meet, the result is total annihilation.
Q Why don't woodpeckers get headaches?
A Woodpeckers have fluid surrounding their brains. They also have very large skulls and comparatively small brains, meaning their brain tissue doesn't have much momentum on impact - unlike, say, a human boxer. They also have shock absorbers in the beak and skull.
QHow do the widgets in beer cans work?
A Widgets - devices in the bottom of beer cans to give a frothy head - consist of a plastic container of nitrogen with a closed valve. The widget is placed in the can; then beer is added along with a small amount of nitrogen to fill the small gap between the top of the beer and the can. The beer is pasteurised, and the heat expands the widget and increases pressure in the can. When it's opened, the pressure bursts the valve in the widget and lets out the nitrogen. This gives smaller bubbles that last longer and look whiter.
QHow many slices of bread could you toast in a lightning strike?
A One lightning strike is a billion kW - the power of about 800 million toasters; it could toast 1.6 billion pieces of bread. Of course, lining up all those bits of bread and turning them over after five milliseconds could be tricky.
You can also visit the technoquest World Wide Web site at http://www.campus.bt. com/CampusWorld/pub/ScienceNet
Questions for this column can be submitted by email to email@example.com
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...