A while back, The Backyard Scientist built a massive mousetrap and used it to smash things. He decided to take all of the energy stored up in that giant spring and use it to drive an axle. Unfortunately, it seems as if its power should be measured in mousepower, not horsepower.
Schlieren imaging is a method of visualization which plays with light refraction to capture images of normally invisible fluid patterns like air movement. Here, Veritasium walks us through a variant which uses colored filters to produce some astounding images.
Kyle Hill from Nerdist recently posted a brief clip that shows the crazy stuff that happens when you inject compressed air into a bed filled with sand. We spotted this 2012 video from The Royal Institution that shows much more, and provides an explanation of the physics at work.
Students from the Ithaca College Low Temperature Physics Lab created a neat version of a quantum levitation track. It still uses supercooling and magnets to work its magic, but adds a fun (and literal) twist to by running its course around a triple-twist Möbius Strip.
Every time we think we’re done with the fidget spinner fad, somebody comes along and amps these silly playthings up to the next level. The Backyard Scientist decided that he couldn’t spin his fast enough, so he added a propulsion system, and upping the danger factor by 100x.
The process of sandwiching oil and ferrofluid between sheets of glass is messy to say the least, but the result is amazing – the ability actually view the radiating fields created by magnets placed on the surface of the glass. Magnetic Games shows us how its done.
For Inventables’ fidget spinner challenge, Giaco Whatever decided to see if he could make one that could float in mid air. After a bunch of experimentation, he was able to get it to work by placing it between two opposing magnetic fields, and spinning it for stabilization.
Beyond its liquid properties, the other cool thing about mercury is that it’s magnetic. Roobert33 shows how electromagnets can be used to change the direction that mercury flows in. It would be cool to build an Escher-style fountain that flows uphill with this method.
Grant “The King of Random” Thompson previously tested the myth that mixing propane and Coca-Cola would turn it into a pressure-packed rocket, and failed. He tried it again with butane, and the highly-flammable stuff works brilliantly. Definitely don’t try this one at home.
That acid green stuff in your car’s radiator not only helps keep your engine cool, it keeps it from freezing. Grant Thompson wanted to know if it’s possible to freeze the stuff with liquid nitrogen. The slow-mo of the nitrogen hitting the table is literally super cool.
The Slow-Mo Guys ignore all the warning labels on a bunch of small lithium batteries, exposing them to fire, and turning them into tiny rocket ships and bombs in front of their Phantom high-speed camera. We can only imagine how nasty large batteries would be if they blew up.
We’ve seen the fire tornado trick before, but if you know Colin Furze, you know he’s always got to go to 11. Now, the British madman has gone and built himself a 20-foot-tall spinning fire rig that’s every bit as terrifying as an actual tornado. Oh, and it shoots fireworks.
The Science Channel’s series Street Science presents a neat experiment, mixing bulk quantities of the nasty goo inside of glowsticks to produce a variety of vibrant colors. The result is a new abstract painting medium. Needless to say, don’t play with these chemicals at home.
We’ve seen the strange properties of these hardened glass drops before. Now see how one handles the deadly hydraulic press. It’s so strong that it damages the press tools before violently exploding. Hopefully these guys can buy a better high-speed camera soon.