Why do smoke alarms keep going off even when there's no smoke?

An electrical engineer explains how smoke detectors work, and how to reduce the chances of a false positive.

MVS Chandrashekhar, Assistant professor of electrical engineering, University of South Carolina • conversation
Jan. 8, 2021 ~5 min

curiosity electrical-engineering curiosity-question multimedia fire-safety

Why do different countries have different electric outlet plugs?

There are 15 different kinds of electrical outlets around the world. One standard would be more convenient, but no one wants to change theirs.

Theodore J. Kury, Director of Energy Studies, University of Florida • conversation
Dec. 21, 2020 ~6 min

electricity electric-grid safety curious-kids curious-kids-us electrical-grid electrical-engineering voltage thomas-edison nikola-tesla building-standards

How sensors monitor and measure our bodies and the world around us

Sensors are everywhere, from your phone to your medicine cabinet. Here's how they turn events in the physical world into words and numbers.

Nicole McFarlane, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Tennessee • conversation
Dec. 7, 2020 ~4 min

engineering physics chemistry sensors biosensors curiosity electrical-engineering