Stanford professor Manu Prakash and his students have developed a microscope that can be punched out and folded together from a sheet of paper, origami-style, for a cost of 50 cents each, lenses and LED lights included.
The microscope was created to address the problem of diagnosing diseased such as malaria in the developing world. In many cases, a diagnosis must wait, simply because no microscope is available. Prakash’s research team is field testing thousands of microscopes to help with the problem, and contributing to hands-on science education along the way. Learn more at foldscope.com or watch the TED talk below.
Did you know you can use your smartphone to create a hologram? You can replicate the mesmerizing hologram shown above, and many others, with nothing but your smartphone, an old CD case, and a YouTube video. Here is the simple three step process:
Step 1: Make a paper template
Draw and cut out a paper trapezoid 3.5 cm tall, 6 cm wide at the base, and 1 cm wide at the top. It can be larger if you like, as long as the proportions are the same. You may want to use graph paper.
Step 2: Cut and assemble an inverted pyramid
Use the template and a pen to outline four identical trapezoids on an old CD case. Then cut them out and tape them together so that they form an inverted pyramid. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Step 3: Place the pyramid on your phone and play the video
Turn out the lights, place your phone face up on a table or other elevated surface (it looks cooler if you are looking up at it), and play the video below, or other hologram videos that may be available on YouTube. It’s that simple!