Awesome Physics

Making an Unrideable Bicycle

Making an Unrideable Bicycle

A bicycle is a fairly simple vehicle, but the physics involved in keeping it from falling over are more complex than you might think. But as Veritasium demonstrates, get one critical mechanism wrong, and you end up with a bike that’s nearly impossible to keep upright – especially when turning.

LEGO Car vs. Road Gaps

LEGO Car vs. Road Gaps

After building LEGO cars that can climb obstacles, the Brick Experiment Channel is back with another vehicular test. This time, the goal was to build LEGO cars that can cross a gap in the road. There are many variables at play in making the most capable vehicle, from wheel size and count to frame length and weight distribution.

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Driving on Other Planets

Driving on Other Planets

BeamNG.drive is known for its ability to simulate vehicle dynamics and crashes with impressive accuracy. In addition to weather conditions, it can also replicate gravitational forces. In this clip from The Action Lab, he shows off what might happen if you tried to drive a pickup truck on the Moon, Jupiter, and even the Sun.

Does Time Exist?

Does Time Exist?

TED-Ed’s Andrew Zimmerman Jones provides a brief overview of the different ways in which physicists theorize how time and space relate, and ponders the question that time may not be a fundamental property of the universe, and only exists in our collective minds.

Making an Electromagnetic Launcher

Making an Electromagnetic Launcher

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.

Supersonic Baseball Physics

Supersonic Baseball Physics

A while back, Smarter Every Day showed off an air cannon that can launch a baseball at speeds over 1000 mph. This time, they used the cannon to observe the physics at work as the ball leaves the cannon and is obliterated. Stick around for some amazing 36,000 fps slow-motion footage of exploding sprinkles and mayonnaise.

Machining a Giant Euler’s Disk

Machining a Giant Euler’s Disk

A Euler’s Disk is a plaything that illustrates the physics at work between a spinning, rolling disc, and stationary surface. Beyond the Press supersized the experiment by machining medium- and giant-size versions of the toy. Both are incredibly loud as they spin, and you wouldn’t want to put your hand underneath the bigger one.

If You Fired a Gun in Space

If You Fired a Gun in Space

Imagine for a moment that humans have started to colonize space. Just like here on Earth, conflicts are likely to arise, and weapons may be drawn. The Infographics Show explores the physics at work in an outer space battle and how guns and bullets might work on asteroids, planets, and in the void of space.

The Place Where Time Flows Backwards

The Place Where Time Flows Backwards

You might think of the passage of time as something that moves in a particular direction – from left to right, front to back, or clockwise around a dial. As MinuteEarth explains, there’s no uniform way of looking at the direction of time, and how humans even represent it differently based on the way their language is written.

Making Inverted Soap Bubbles

Making Inverted Soap Bubbles

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.

Levitating Motors

Levitating Motors

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.

Slow-motion Water Droplet Collisions

Slow-motion Water Droplet Collisions

A splashing droplet of liquid may seem inconsequential when viewed in real-time, but slow that down to 7000 frames per second, and each frame becomes a work of art. Jens Heidler of Another Perspective demonstrates with a montage of hypnotic images he shot using a Photron Fastcam Nova S16 high-speed camera.

Self-Standing Dominoes

Self-Standing Dominoes

Normally, when you knock over dominoes, they stay down. But is it possible to create a domino that stands itself back up using the energy that toppled it? The Action Lab explores this very possibility with some unique 3D-printed dominoes. You can grab the 3D models on Thingiverse if you want to play with them for yourself.

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Magnetic Flywheel Generator

Magnetic Flywheel Generator

Aerospace engineer Tom Stanton has a thing for flywheels. Here, he first shows us how to build a flywheel that spins smoothly thanks to magnetic levitation, then how that spinning action can be used to generate a small amount of electricity and capture it via copper induction coils.

Crowd vs. Helicopter Simulation

Crowd vs. Helicopter Simulation

(Gore) The idea of dropping a crowd of people into a helicopter blade from above is some pretty warped stuff. But as we’ve seen before, CG animator atomic marvel isn’t squeamish about turning anatomical avatars into digital mincemeat. The guy standing over the middle of the rotor gets to take the longest ride.

The Object-Spawning Keyboard

The Object-Spawning Keyboard

DoodleChaos loves to create visualizations of music. While they usually use programs like Minecraft, Planet Coaster, and Line Rider, they made this video with a custom Unity program that reads MIDI files and drops an object each time a key is pressed. As the music progresses, the density of the falling Tetronimoes goes insane.

Burning Up a Satellite

Burning Up a Satellite

When space junk falls towards Earth, it’s supposed to burn up in the atmosphere. This video from the ESA simulates the conditions of re-entry on a satellite’s solar array plasma wind tunnel. Satellite operators are required to minimize the risk of casualties from falling debris, and this kind of testing can help reduce such risks.

Magnetic Gears

Magnetic Gears

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.

How Film Works

How Film Works

The vast majority of still and video images captured today are shot with digital equipment. But for more than 150 years, film was king. Destin from Smarter Every Day offers a deep dive into the physics and chemistry of film photography, along with some thoughts on the upsides of using the analog medium vs. digital.

Spider-Man vs. Magnetic Balls

Spider-Man vs. Magnetic Balls

While playing around with the physics capabilities of 3D graphics software Blender, Atomic Marvel decided to test its ability to simulate hundreds of thousands of magnetic balls. And the recipient of said balls? None other than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Now Magnetic Games needs to do this with real magnets.

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Driving a Wind-powered Car

Driving a Wind-powered Car

A sailboat sailing straight downwind can only match the speed of the wind and never exceed it. But is it possible that a vehicle powered by wind could defy this limitation of physics? Derek from Veritasium risked life and limb to test just that, as he took a ride in an experimental three-wheeler called Blackbird.

Levitating Hot Dog Cooker

Levitating Hot Dog Cooker

Inspired by science instructor Bruce Yeany, YouTuber NightHawkInLight wanted to see if he could cook a hot dog while it floated in the air. NightHawk improved on Yeany’s compressed air levitation, using a nichrome and copper coil to heat his wiener instead of a blowtorch.

Is Gravity an Illusion?

Is Gravity an Illusion?

Howdy, folks! It’s science time! Veritasium explains how gravity isn’t a force according to the General Theory of Relativity. He then demonstrates how the way we are moving through space-time while standing on Earth isn’t really any different from what an astronaut experiences as their rocket accelerates through space.

Multi Diamagnetic Levitation

Multi Diamagnetic Levitation

With the help of the guys at the Magnet Tricks channel, Magnetic Games shows off a neat effect that occurs when placing tiny magnets between a block of pyrolytic graphite and a strong magnet aimed at them from at a distance. These mini magnets spin, dance, and shuffle about, and can even levitate off of the surface.

Lightsaber vs. Hand

Lightsaber vs. Hand

A while back, Hacksmith Industries built a working lightsaber with a terrifying 4000º plasma blade. Now James is here to test whether there’s a safe way to put his hand into its beam, along with a lesson on the physics of heat transfer.

Longest Simple Electric Train

Longest Simple Electric Train

A while back, YouTuber Mr. Michal showed off a simple railway he built from coils of wire, batteries, and magnets. Now, he’s back with a much longer and more complex train set that still operates on the same electromagnetic principles. This time, the track measures in at over 20 meters long, or about 66 feet.

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