Bill takes apart a household smoke detector, showing how it uses a radioactive source to determine the presence of smoke. He also discusses the MOSFET used in the detection circuit.
Bill Hammack takes a humanistic approach: from the trial, tribulations, and triumphs of inventors and scientists to the effect of technology on our daily lives.
Bill tears down an LCD monitor to show how it works. He describes how liquid crystals are used, the structure of the glass panes, and the thin film transistor that allow for active matrix addressing.
Bill tears down a hard drive to show how it stores data. He explains how smooth the disk surface must be for the device to work, and he outlines the mathematical technique used to increase data storage.
Bill takes apart an incandescent light bulb to how the filament is made. He shows extreme close-ups of the filament, and he discusses the materials processing need to make the ductile tungsten used.
Bill introduces queueing theory and uses it to design the most efficient check out line.
Bill takes apart a cheap watch to show how it works. He describes how a tiny quartz tuning fork keeps the time.
Bill takes apart a smartphone and explains how its accelerometer works. He also shares the essential idea underlying the MEMS production of these devices.
Bill uses a laser pointer and a bucket of glycol to show how fiber optic cables works, and how engineers use them to transmit signals across the ocean.
What are the basic constraints used in engineering cell phones?
How the water gets from the bottom of a coffee maker to the top with almost no moving parts
How the first transistor worked and, eventually, revolutionized microelectronics
The ingenious engineering design of the pop can stay-on tab
The inner workings of the flight data recorder