If you place a billiard ball on a spinning turntable, you’d think it would quickly slide off its edge. But as science educator Steve Mould shows us, the ball hangs on much longer than you’d expect. The physics at work here are truly fascinating, especially given how other objects leave the surface so quickly.
For his latest experiment, rocket scientist and entertainer Mark Rober teamed up with Joe Barnard of BPS Space to launch an egg into space to see if they could catch it safely a mattress when it dropped back to earth. But the project proved far more challenging than they thought and required huge amounts of trial and error.
Those fancy Dyson fans are called “bladeless,” but they really just hide their fan blades in the base. Integza wanted to see if it would be possible to build a fan that actually has no blades. His theory was that he could harness and direct the ionic wind created by high-voltage electricity.
Magnets have some very interesting physical properties. Magnetic Games previously showed us how they can make each other vibrate. They’re back with three more minutes of neodymium magnets interacting with each other’s fields. That separator machine that works like a paper cutter is a cool idea.
Could a penny dropped from a skyscraper kill someone? Derek Muller from Veritasium teamed up with Adam Savage to revisit this urban myth by dropping a bucketful of pennies on Muller from a helicopter. After surviving the experiment, he explains how gravity and air resistance affect the terminal velocity of objects.
Engineering geeks will get a kick out of this video from the Brick Experiment Channel. Using LEGO Technic components, they demonstrated various mechanical principles, including a Schmidt coupling, a Scotch yoke, and a Chebyshev lambda linkage. Even if you don’t know what any of that means, it’s fun to watch.
Mark Rober likes to use his engineering skills to help the little guy get a fair shake. After showing us how to improve our chances at carnival games, he built a series of portable devices that help him cheat and score the most at skill-based arcade games, and also shows us which ones are complete scams.
Places… numbers… the future… all of these things seem limitless, but are they? This documentary explores the nature of infinity through interviews with prominent mathematicians, physicists, and cosmologists. Is the universe genuinely boundless, or is that just human wishful thinking? Drops 9.26.22 on Netflix.
The idea that our bodies make more heat than the sun seems outlandish. In this video from minutephysics and XKCD, we learn how – going strictly by volume – a human radiates more heat than an equivalent amount of the sun. You’ll also find out what might happen if planets were made out of their corresponding element.
It’s pretty easy to toss something into a spinning fan and watch it get smashed. But how feasible is it to send an object flying through multiple fan blades and have it emerge from the other end? Leave it to the guys from How Ridiculous to find out.
The idea of a portal that leads to another place is science fiction at this point, so any analysis of portal physics is strictly theoretical. But we still enjoyed MinutePhysics’ exploration of the what might happen if one portal passed through another. They need to try something like this on Rick and Morty.
Engineers need to simulate earthquakes to make buildings and other structures safer. Tom Scott headed to the University of Texas to check out the T-Rex, a mobile test rig that can produce massive vibrations in the ground. Combined with sensors, it can measure the stiffness of soil thousands of feet beneath the surface without digging.
If you spin a fluid-filled vessel fast enough, you can get the liquid to form a vortex. Brick Technology wanted to see if they could produce such an effect using LEGO mechanisms, so they created a series of machines to experiment with fluid dynamics. The one at the end is impressively stable for how fast it spins.
Cars in racing games don’t have the most realistic-sounding engine sounds. AngeTheGreat’s Engine Simulator not only can replicate the mechanisms and physics of a car engine, but it also produces realistic procedurally-generated sounds. You can grab the source code for Windows on GitHub.
Electromagnets can be very powerful. They’ve even been used to get roller coasters and trains rolling and to launch fighter jets. Tom Stanton made a miniature system of homebrew linear synchronous motors which use electromagnetism to propel a small sled and launch various items including a hot dog and a paper airplane.
Released in 1952, the de Havilland Comet was the world’s first commercial jetliner. Sadly, engineers did not know at that point that a seemingly innocuous feature – square windows – would doom the pioneering plane and many people’s lives. Real Engineering explains the physics, and how we ended up with oval windows.
Normally the only hole on a soap bubble is the one that you blow through to fill it with air. But science vlogger and teacher Steve Mould shows us how it’s easy to make a perfectly circular hole in a film of soap using a loop of thread. He goes on to explain how it’s a useful metaphor for the way cell membranes work.
Previously, CGP Grey explained the surprisingly simple numbering scheme for U.S. interstates. Now he’s back to teach us how the numbers on airport runways work. You’ll also learn how airports decide which way to run their runways and what the North Pole has to do with everything. Oh, and this is not a physics video.
LEGO enthusiast Dr. Engine shows off a Technic machine that demonstrates how magnets can transmit energy through walls. Each of its spinning blades can turn without connecting to a central drivetrain thanks to magnetic fields. A gear-drive mechanism places each section in its precise sweet spot.
You can do all kinds of fun things with magnets, but we never thought of them as musical instruments. The guys from Magnet Tricks and Magnetic Games teamed up to create a series of sounds from magnetic vibrations, sampled them, then turned them into a synthwave track.
We always had it in our minds that all matter was a solid, a liquid, or a gas. But as PBS Space Time explains, there are numerous other states of matter – some of which are understandable like plasma – and others that require a PhD in physics to fully comprehend. And then there’s sand.
After showing us it was possible to ride a bike with its rear wheel split in half, Sergii from The Q came up with an even more radical build. Starting with the split rear wheel, he modified the front of a bicycle with an extension arm and split the wheel into thirds. He had to experiment with configurations to make it work, though.
Magnetic fields can be pretty amazing. Given the right conditions, they can be turned into motors and even levitate. Magnetic Games shows off three different setups, each of which results in magnets floating and spinning with just a small boost of human or battery power.
We normally think of water as being clear or maybe having a slight green or blue tint reflected from its surroundings. But Posy reveals a full rainbow of colors hiding in H20 in both steam and liquid forms when the temperature conditions and lighting are just right.
Mechanical gears can change the speed or force by using different sizes and spacing of their teeth. But we had no idea that a similar result could be achieved by spinning discs embedded with different quantities and sizes of magnets. Magnetic Games shows off this surprising behavior in this neat physics demonstration.