How Things Work
By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com Guide
Get answers to commonly asked science questions. Learn about the chemical elements, what is in the foods you eat, and how things work.
- Element FAQs
- How Things Work FAQs
- Food & Cooking Chemistry FAQs
- Chemistry Student FAQs
- Does eating turkey make you sleepy?
- Can you drink too much water?
- Can you use laundry detergent in the dishwasher?
- How do disposable diapers work?
- How does sunscreen work?
- How does bleach work?
- Can I turn lead into gold?
- Why do onions make you cry?
- What causes rigor mortis?
- How do mood rings work?
Get facts and explanations to help you understand the science behind how things work.
How the Chemical Elements Work
Become an element expert. Learn what a chemical element is, get facts about element properties, see what they look like, and learn how they are grouped.
- Periodic Table of the Elements
- Element Facts
- Element FAQs
- Element Quizzes
- Element Groups
- Other Types of Periodic Tables
- Alphabetical List of Elements
- See Photos of the Chemical Elements
- Elements in the Human Body
- Element Symbols
- Printable Periodic Tables
How Molecules & Compounds Work
Atoms join together to form molecules and compounds, making up all matter. Learn about important molecules and compounds. See what you need to know about metals and alloys, water, and chemical weapons.
How Crystals Work
It's fun and easy to grow your own crystals. Learn how crystals form, get recipes for crystals by shape and color, and get information about their properties and structures.
- Grow Your Own Crystals
- Find a Crystal Recipe
- See Pictures of Crystals
- What to Do if Things Go Wrong
- Basic Crystal Facts
- Choose Crystals By Color
- Do a Crystal Science Fair Project
- See the Bravais Crystal Lattices
- Grow Crystals FAST
How Toxic Chemicals Work
Can you name the most poisonous chemical? Learn about poisons and toxins. Get facts about chemical weapons and warfare agents. Learn what chemicals not to mix, to avoid poisoning yourself.
- What You Need to Know about Chemical Weapons
- How to Use Material Safety Data Sheets
- See Structures of Chemical Weapons
How the Periodic Table Works
You'd probably know the periodic table if you saw it, but do you know why it's organized the way it is? Did you know there are different types of periodic tables? Here's information about the history of the periodic table, how it is structured, and how you can use it to find facts for the chemical elements.