As technology becomes more and more advanced, the science behind it can be baffling to some of us. This post is here to tell you how some of these things work.
Touch screens: Touch screens are actually picking up on an electrical current in your hand. That’s why you can use some touch-screen devices with the aid of a stylus, but you can’t change the song on your iPod while you are wearing gloves. One of those things conducts the electrical current and the other one blocks it.
Speakers: How does music come out of there? Speakers turn electricity into sound using magnets. Inside the speaker there is a permanent magnet and a coil that becomes and electromagnet when it picks up an electrical signal from, say, your iPod. The electromagnet attracts and repels the permanent magnet according to the electrical signal, vibrating the outer cone of the speaker, usually made of paper or fabric. This vibration creates the sound we hear.
Noise-canceling headphones: Noise-canceling headphones work by canceling out sound waves that they pick up around them. They are built with microphones on the outside, so they can pick up the sound outside and reverse it. The reversed sound is played over the headphone speakers and it effectively cancels out the noise around you, so that the speakers can then play music that is uninterrupted by crying babies and honking horns.
Global Positioning Systems: Ever wonder how the GPS lady knows exactly where to tell you to go? Your GPS device is communicating with three different satellites via radio waves. The GPS picks up signals from the satellites, which tell it the satellite’s position and the time that the signal was sent. By comparing this time to the time on the device’s internal clock, it can determine speed of travel. Then, by comparing intersections of three satellites, it can use geometry to figure out where you are.