Willa Larsen, MS

Willa Larsen writes on a wide array of topics for ScienceIQ. Willa received a BS in physics from University of Colorado and a MS in materials science and engineering from UCLA. She previously worked making infrared detectors for the Hubble, missiles and surveillance equipment. Willia is the publisher of which helps fund animal rescue.

Willa Larsen

Science Facts Written by Willa Larsen, MS


Does Earth Have Its Own Neon Sign?

You might wonder what the Northern Lights and neon signs have in common. Actually, a lot! What makes luminous colors shimmer across the Northern sky? The answer is in the Sun. Charged particles ... Continue reading

Northern Lights

Luminol; Trick-or-Treat or Terrible Feat

What does trick-or-treating and crime scene investigation have in common? Hopefully, they don't have much in common, unless the trick-or-treater is wearing a safety glow stick. Glow sticks contain ... Continue reading


Is It Sexism or Racism?

Can you judge a cat by the color of its coat? Well, you can judge the gender by the color of its coat! Only 1 in 27 orange cats are girls, and more surprisingly, only 1 in 3000 calico cats are males! ... Continue reading

Calico cat.

Your Own Personal Rainbow?

Did you know that no two people ever see the very same rainbow? It's true. Rainbows are formed when light enters a water droplet, reflects once inside the droplet, and is reflected back to our eyes ... Continue reading

Rainbow Ark

The Ants Go Marching One by One, Hurrah!

Have you ever wondered how ants know the way from one place to another? Even when you remove them all, they are right back to the trail they were on before as if there were an invisible road telling ... Continue reading

Ants walking the pheromones trail

Can You Miss the Earth?

Have you ever wondered why astronauts float in space? Well, it isn't because there is no gravity in space. Astronauts float because they are in constant free fall. If a baseball pitcher throws a ... Continue reading

Astronaut in free fall

Can Wint-O-Green Lifesavers® Light up Your Life?

Next time you're bored, grab a pack of Wint-O-Green Lifesavers® and lock yourself in the bathroom. Shut the blinds and make sure the room is pitch black. Allow your eyes to adjust and open the pack ... Continue reading

Candy that glows?

Your Nose Knows!

Would you like spearmint or caraway flavor? That's a strange choice, but believe it or not, they are the same thing. Well, almost. Spearmint and caraway both contain a molecule called carvone with the ... Continue reading

Caraway and Spearmint flavor molecules

Does Your Brain Do Flips?

You may not be aware of it, but when you look at the world, the image projected on your retina is upside down. This is due to the optics used by our eyes. Our brain compensates for this upside down ... Continue reading

Normal Sight: Normal ray tracing of light to the retina. Shows image will 'flip'.

With Pinhole: Ray tracing of pin through pinhole; a shadow is cast on the retina.

Is Your Immune System Educated?

When spring comes, do you hide indoors because your eyes and nose water, and you can't stop sneezing? Do cats or dogs cause you the same symptoms? Have you wondered why you have allergies and other ... Continue reading

Ragweed pollen grains magnified under a microscope

How a Horse Can Save Your Life?

Most people who have been vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine never really question what exactly was injected into their body. If they did, they might be surprised, and maybe thank a horse or two. ... Continue reading


Let Go, Gecko!

Geckos are small, insect-eating, noisy lizards that live in many parts of the world. While geckos have become common pets, the way that they manage to stick to smooth ceilings has remained a mystery. ... Continue reading

Image of gecko feet

Nature's Exceptions to Our Rules

We all learned in grade school that animals are classified into different categories: Mammals have fur, are warm blooded, give birth to their young and feed their babies milk. Birds have feathers, ... Continue reading


Somewhere Over Which Rainbow?

How many rainbows are there really when we only see one during a rainstorm? The answer isn't as simple as you might think! Rainbows are formed when light enters a water droplet, reflects once inside ... Continue reading

Double rainbow, note the color reversal in the faint, secondary rainbow.

How Do Cats See in the Dark?

Cats are nocturnal; therefore they need good night vision. Their eyes are able to function with 1/6 the light humans require. During the day, their eyes must be able to function without being ... Continue reading

Cat eye