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Physics

The Physics of Surfing

The Physics of Surfing

If you’re into surfing, you’re actually using your body and mind to take on the interactions between fluid mechanics, tectonic geography, weather patterns, and more. TED-Ed’s Nick Pizzo provides a brief explanation of how these systems of nature work together.

Randall Munroe: How To

Randall Munroe: How To

xkcd creator Randall Munroe’s latest book offers solutions to real-world problems. But don’t expect to get advice you can actually use. Instead, you’ll receive overly-complicated and impractical methods, in what he calls “world’s least useful self-help book.” Drops 9/3/19.

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Magnetic Fields in Slow-motion

Magnetic Fields in Slow-motion

To show how easy it is to visualize magnetic fields, Magnetic Games tossed a super-strong neodymium magnet into a pile of magnetite sand sitting on an impromptu trampoline. As the magnet and particles fly through the air, the patterns emerge.

The Spoke Blur Effect

The Spoke Blur Effect

Have you ever noticed how when a bicycle wheel rolls along the ground that its top spokes appear to be much more blurred than the bottom ones? Michael of DONG explains the physical and optical properties that bring this effect to life.

Shock Absorbed

Shock Absorbed

A wonderfully satisfying video of a 100kg (~220 lb) weight being dropped directly onto a TEIN shock absorber to show not only how well it can cushion such force, but how smoothly it can do it. It’s a pretty magical effect.

The Mystery at the Bottom of Physics

The Mystery at the Bottom of Physics

(PG-13: Language) “The universe is as mad as a bucket of coked-up ferrets.” Exurb1a looks at universal constants and laws of physics which provide us with context for everything, and help us make sense out of the seemingly random nature of things.

The Coupled Pendulum

The Coupled Pendulum

A simple, but fascinating construction that demonstrates the energy transfer that occurs when two pendulums are placed along the same string. Each one almost completely stops as its momentum moves to the other one like some kind of a seductive dance. (Thanks Kate!)

Viscoelastic Cocktail

Viscoelastic Cocktail

A hypnotic video of a martini glass filled with some kind of black fluid that is both thick and viscous, and exhibits elastic properties as well. This unspillable gunk looks like the lifeblood of some sort of demonic creature.

The Brazil Nut Effect

The Brazil Nut Effect

We know there are always crumbs and debris at the bottom of containers of chips, cereals, nuts and other solid mixtures. What’s strange is that shaking the container doesn’t solve the problem – it makes it worse. Scientists call it the Brazil Nut effect.

Coffee Cup Sounds Explained

Coffee Cup Sounds Explained

Stanford mathematician Tadashi Tokieda explains a strange phenonmenon which occurs when tapping the inside of a coffee mug with a spoon – as it creates differently-pitched tones depending on where you place the spoon. More from Quanta Magazine. (Thanks Susan!)

Mendocino Levitating Motor

Mendocino Levitating Motor

Physicsfun presents a brief demonstration of one of the more interesting motors we’ve seen – the Mendocino motor uses magnets and a solar energy source to levitate as it spins. You can pick up a similar version for your own desk over on Amazon.

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.

The Science of Snow Driving

The Science of Snow Driving

If you live somewhere that snow coats roads in the wintertime, you’ll want to check out Engineering Explained’s latest clip, as Jason walks us through the variables at work when driving on slippery surfaces, and provides some tips on how to maintain control on the snow.

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Is a Rocket Gun Possible?

Is a Rocket Gun Possible?

Getting spaceships and satellites into orbit requires powerful rockets and all of the challenges that come with them. But would it be possible to use a giant cannon of sorts to shoot these objects safely into orbit instead? Curious Droid explores the possibilities.

Debunking the Flying Phone

Debunking the Flying Phone

A while back, a video made the rounds showing what was supposedly a flying phone case. We figured it was fake, but as Mark Rober and Captain Disillusion point out, it also scammed people out of cash. Keep an eye on Peter Sripol’s channel for his WORKING version.

Emergence: Preview

Emergence: Preview

A look at Universal Everything’s latest interactive visual experiment, in which you control a character standing in the midst of thousands, each of whom reacts to your movements while you remain an individual. We’re dying to try a real-time version of this.

The Meisner Effect

The Meisner Effect

Harvard Natural Sciences presents a nifty experiment that shows how a liquid nitrogen-cooled metal substance (YBCO) can cause a neodymium magnet to levitate. As the disc cools, it becomes a superconductor, causing the Meissner effect to kick in.

Marble Machine Simulation

Marble Machine Simulation

We’ve seen some pretty slick wooden marble machines over the years, but we’ve got to hand it to CG motion designer Moby Motion for this purely digital rendition which manages to capture all of the textures and physics in an extremely convincing way.

Wormholes Explained

Wormholes Explained

Portholes that can instantly transport us between different areas of space and time are a staple of science fiction and fantasy. But are wormholes really a thing, and if they are, how might they work, and where could we find one? Kurzgesagt explores.

The Aerodynamics of Star Wars

The Aerodynamics of Star Wars

While we’re certain there’s way more at play in the physics of space flight than EC Henry’s video mentions, it’s still interesting to learn about the relative speeds of various ships from the Star Wars universe, and what sort of drag coefficient their designs would result in.

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Are Electric Planes Possible?

Are Electric Planes Possible?

More cars than ever are relying on electricity for propulsion, but using electric motors and batteries for aircraft poses challenges. Real Engineering explores whether a pure electric flyer would be possible, and why it’s so difficult to achieve. Caution, physics equations ahead.

States of Matter

States of Matter

Motion designer Peter Tomaszewicz’s animated short film messes with our expectations, transforming what should be solid surfaces into sand, fluids, fabrics, gas, and bendy materials using CGI physics simulations.

DIY Supersonic NERF Cannon

DIY Supersonic NERF Cannon

By using an air pump and a burst disc to pressurize and release helium gas, The Backyard Scientist shows off an insanely powerful NERF gun that can fire darts faster than the speed of sound. Watch, and you might even learn a thing or two about physics.

The Black Hole Bomb

The Black Hole Bomb

In theory, energy consumed by a black hole is trapped forever. But it turns out it might be possible to harness the rotational energy of a spinning black hole to do everything from powering civilization to creating the biggest explosive device ever. Kurzgesagt explains.

How Could You Walk Through Walls?

How Could You Walk Through Walls?

Life Noggin explores another one of life’s imponderables – what would have to happen for it to be possible for humans to move through solid objects? Even though there’s lots of empty space between the atoms everything is made of, it’s highly unlikely.

Magnus Effect R/C Plane

Magnus Effect R/C Plane

Most of the aircraft have traditional wings or helicopter-style blades to take flight. But this contraption works very differently. Watch as an ingenious kid named Finley shows Essential RC his plane that takes advantage of the spinning Magnus Effect to stay airborne.

Mousetrap Car Physics

Mousetrap Car Physics

Engineer Mark Rober and teacher Al “Doc Fizzix” Balmer explain the physics of these primitive race cars that get their power solely from the energy stored in a mousetrap’s spring. Along the way, you’ll learn about the principles of mechanical advantage, levers, and wheels.

String Theory Explained

String Theory Explained

Kurzgesagt explores string theory, and how it attempts to explain the nature of the universe. It’s supposed to solve the incompatibilities between quantum and gravitational physics by describing particles as “strings” rather than points. Yeah, we’re still confused.

Can Copper Stop a Magnetic Bullet?

Can Copper Stop a Magnetic Bullet?

After seeing the unusual way in which magnets interact with copper, NightHawkInLight explores whether an electromagnetically-generated force field in copper could stop or slow a magnetic projectile in mid-flight.

Ragdoll Man

Ragdoll Man

Nukazooka pokes fun at the wonky ragdoll physics of games like Goat Simulator with this live-action VFX clip about a young man whose body behaves just like the characters in those video games. Fortunately, he’s got the power of invincibility too.

Fastest Car vs. Fastest Helicopter

Fastest Car vs. Fastest Helicopter

Real Engineering ponders a question that you’d think would have an obvious answer: Which is faster: the world’s fastest production car or the world’s fastest helicopter? The answer might surprise you, and the physics at play are pretty fascinating.

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