This maglev quadcopter hints at transportation's future

Hyperloop One engineers demonstrate the power of maglev using spinning arrays atop a copper plate. Despite weighing over 100 pounds, the gadget floats and could hold considerably more weight. Read the rest

Why we have kneecaps

Do you ever wonder why we need kneecaps?

The demonstration shows how kneecaps provide leverage. I'm happy the Flying Spaghetti Monster built us this way. Read the rest

Timelapse of curly icicles being extruded from pipes

YouTuber KittyPouncer created this terrific timelapse video of curly icicles extruding from pipes. Here's how it happens: Read the rest

Magnets and Marbles

This isn't your usual kinetic pachinko balls-in-a-gravity-maze toy, but a mindbending demonstration of magnets. It starts getting really crazy at about 2m in but one should enjoy the subtle pleasures too. Read the rest

Seriously elaborate, steampunked coffee siphon

Diguo's Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon Coffee Maker is an amazingly elaborate coffee siphon, a brewing method dating to the 1830s which is said to produce "a delicate, tea-like cup of coffee," albeit with the caveat that it is "quite persnickety." Read the rest

Watch things flying in compressed air

Volume warning! YouTuber Latheman666 demonstrates how an air compressor with the right nozzle can make all sorts of things float. Looking forward to a "Will It Float?" channel! Read the rest

Geodesic art installation explores themes of particle physics

Istanbul-based Ouchhh created AVA, a geodesic surface installation that serves as a convex screen for physics-inspired moving images. The stark black-and-white pulsing forms look especially impressive with one lone spectator in silhouette against AVA. Read the rest

3D print a baby universe at home!

Dave from Imperial College sez, "We've taken observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background from the Planck mission and turned them into a 3D printed map of the temperature of the universe when it was just a few hundred thousand years old. Download the files and print your own baby universe!" Read the rest

Marvelous 360 degree ring of Pringles

Jane Espenson is not only a talented TV writer who has worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, and Once Upon A Time, she is also quite adept at constructing impressive Pringles structures.

"I did it!" she tweeted. "I did it! I built a Pringles ringle! No glue, just physics."

Most impressive to me is how Espenson managed to complete the ring before eating them all, as I most certainly would have done. Read the rest

Watch an object levitating atop another levitating object

YouTuber Latheman666 takes maglev to the next level by adding nine neodymium magnet cubes to a levitating magnet and then floating a pyrolytic graphite disc about 1mm above the neodymium. Hypnotic! Read the rest

Why swirling spheres shift rotation at a certain number

Swirling a ball in a cup gets it spinning in the direction of the swirl, but adding six more starts them swirling in the opposite direction.

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When science intersected with the counterculture, things got wonderfully weird

In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O'Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, Innovation, and American Counterculture is a new book of essays about this heady time! The book was co-edited by MIT's David Kaiser, who wrote the fantastic 2011 book How the Hippies Saved Physics, and UC Santa Barbara historian W. Patrick McCray. I can't wait to read it!

From an MIT News interview with Kaiser:

We want to address a common stereotype that dates from the time period itself, which is that the American youth movement, the hippies or counterculture, was reacting strongly against science and technology, or even the entire Western intellectual tradition of reason, as a symbol of all that should be overturned. In fact, many of them were enamored of science and technology, some of them were working scientists, and some were patrons of science. This picture of fear and revulsion is wrong.

We also see things that have a surprisingly psychedelic past. This includes certain strains of sustainability, design, and manufacture, notions of socially responsible engineering, and artisanal food. This stuff didn’t start from scratch in 1968 and didn’t end on a dime in 1982...

These folks were rejecting not science itself but what many had come to consider a depersonalized, militarized approach to the control of nature.

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Watch 32 out-of-sync metronomes magically synchronize

The magic of physics.

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The "rising chimp" problem

The new book, Einstein's Puzzle Universe, by Tim Dedopulos, is a compendium of good physics and logic problems. Here's one for you to solve:

Imagine that there is an even rope of negligible weight draped over a wheel, which permits it to slide perfectly freely. Equal lengths of the rope descend from either side. On the left side, the rope ends in a 10 kg weight. On the other side, perfectly level with the weight, is a young chimp, also weighing 10 kg.

When you give a signal, the chimp will start climbing the rope. Which of the two, the chimp or the weight, will reach the top first?

Image: Shutterstock Read the rest

CERN scientists release 300 terabytes of Large Hadron Collider data, free and open

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, has been releasing portions of its research to the public for years. This week's massive 300 terabyte dump of Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data is the biggest yet by a long shot -- and it's all out there, open source, free for the exploration.

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Here's how teleportation could actually work (theoretically)

MinutePhysics responds to CGP Grey's video "The Trouble with Transporters," below.

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Einstein was right about ripples in spacetime!

Gravitational waves are real, and scientists have detected them. In the video above, PBS Space Time explains the discovery by researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). From the New York Times:

A team of physicists who can now count themselves as astronomers announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prophecy of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago (Listen to it here.). And it is a ringing (pun intended) confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.

More generally, it means that scientists have finally tapped into the deepest register of physical reality, where the weirdest and wildest implications of Einstein’s universe become manifest.

Below, NASA's animated simulation of the black holes merging and releasing the gravitational radiation (background here):

above image credits: R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL Read the rest

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