Version 2.0

About This Product

This product is an archive, a slice of history, a gallery of uncommon ingenuity. But most of all, it is a tool. We have assembled what we believe to be the most useful and comprehensive body of information for anyone interested in using hands-on science to make real discoveries. In addition to over 1,000 projects from one of the most famous science-related columns in publishing history, "The Amateur Scientist" includes:

  • Tips and hints by other experienced amateur scientists
  • Extensive material on building science apparatus from vacuum technique to glass-blowing
  • A large database of chemicals, their properties, and safety requirements
  • Links to companies and organizations that can help you in your research
  • A select library of science-related demos, shareware, and public domain software
  • Full text search capability
  • Indexes for browsing by year or subject
  • Project ratings for cost, difficulty, possible hazards, and usefulness.

Our purpose in creating this archive is to put cutting-edge scientific tools in the hands of ordinary people. By using the information on this CD a persistent and dedicated person can actually make original scientific discoveries.

We consider this to be a "work in progress"; future editions will include more information and features. You will notice that many of the older columns use outdated or obsolete technology. If you can find a way to "update" some of these older projects, we'd like to hear about it and perhaps include it in future editions of this product—with full credit given to the inventor, of course. Send your suggestions, comments, complaints, and kudos to us at

This product is built to follow the organizational conventions found in most web sites. Navigate through this product as you would any other web site. Nearly all of the images can be enlarged by clicking on them. If possible, we strongly recommend you use "The Amateur Scientist" on a computer with a live internet connection.

The history of "The Amateur Scientst" has seen many changes in science and society. The editorial voice of this column was much different during its earlier years. Some parts of these articles contain humor or expressions that might be considered inappropriate for mainstream publishing today. We have elected to leave these passages intact for their historical interest, and as a reflection of how times have changed.

We invite you to open the articles and read through them. Let them tickle, suprise, and inspire you. It is our hope that this CD prompts you to start making discoveries on your own; there are few pleasures more satisfying than the search for new knowledge.

Good hunting!

Shwan Carlson, Ph.D.
Sheldon Greaves, Ph.D.