Contrary to popular belief, one horse is said to produce about 15 horsepower. But that number is disputed because there’s some question about the accuracy of the original measurements. With the help of Motivo, the guys from Donut came up with a new test: connecting a horse to a dynamometer to measure its true pulling power.
Medical professionals use a special power saw to cut through casts when it’s time to remove them. While the high-speed saw blade slices effortlessly through a hardened cast, it does nothing to your body if it makes contact with your skin. Steve Mould investigates the physics that allows this ingenious device to work without causing bodily harm.
The vehicle physics simulator BeamNG.drive has given us countless hours of entertainment. In this crazy video from wecrashgames, they pitted various cars, trucks, and vans against a trio of massive baseball bats. Side impacts appear to be easier to escape. Play ball!
No matter how much we’ve wanted one, Mattel never made a real-world Hoverboard like the one in Back to the Future II. JLaserVideo built a working hoverboard that can float a couple of inches off the ground. After exploring various kinds of levitation technology and their limitations, he settled on a design that works like an upside-down air hockey table.
When you apply a curve to a mirror, it distorts the image it reflects. In these two videos, Dr. Boyd F. Edwards shows some of the strange visual effects that happen when an object is placed in front of a large concave mirror. Objects can appear upright, inverted, magnified, or minified depending on their distance relative to the mirror’s focal point.
If you set off an explosion next to a bullet, would the shockwaves affect its path? That’s the question that The Slow Mo Guys and the Colorado School of Mines sought to answer in this fascinating experiment. It took several tries to get the timing right between the explosion and the passing bullet, but it gave them an excuse for more explosions.
How colors work can be quite fascinating – especially when it comes to light and shadow. Instagrammer art.pete.repeat offers a simple yet effective demonstration of how additive colors behave by aiming red, green, and blue flashlights at card stock. Pete posted another video explaining the setup. (Thanks, Rob!)
Florian “Venom” Kohler is one of the world’s best pool trick shot artists. As he’s perfected his craft, he has developed over 10,000 tricks and techniques to make billiard balls do his bidding. WIRED met with Florian to demonstrate some of his wildly inventive trick shots. His mastery of ball physics is truly something to behold.
An assassin’s teapot is a trick vessel that was designed to let its user serve a safe drink to themselves and a deadly one to their victim. And while you should never do such a thing, it’s fascinating to see how one works. Science educator Steve Mould shows us the physics at work, and inspired us to use one of these to serve drinks at cocktail parties.
The opposing forces of magnets can produce a tremendous amount of energy, and can even be used to levitate and move trains along a track. In this clip from Magnetic Games, he demonstrates these physics at work, though on a smaller scale using a bunch off-the-shelf neodymium magnets he got from Supermagnete.
Did you know that putting ink from a ballpoint pen on the tail of a leaf turns it into a tiny, self-propelled boat? Science educator Steve Mould digs into this phenomenon and explores the chemistry and physics at work to make these leaf boats move and leave a trail of ink on the surface.
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.
Dip My Car already painted a car in the world’s blackest paint. Now, there’s something even blacker than that – Musou Black Fabric Kiwami. This unique textile is made with special dyes and an arrangement of fibers that absorb 99.9% of visible light. James from The Action Lab got a spool of the fabric and turned his black car into a really black car.
If you place a vehicle on a slope without any brakes, it’s destined to roll downhill. But what if that slope was an upward-moving treadmill? Brick Technology’s latest experiment was to see if he could keep a LEGO car from rolling downhill by making various modifications to compensate for an increasingly steep slope.
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.
If you stand under an umbrella-shaped fountain, you can stay dry from the water over your head. But the idea of an umbrella made out of water seems ridiculous. James from The Action Lab tested the idea to see if the laminar flow of water coming from the umbrella would deflect raindrops away, or if they’d still get wet.
From a flaming bubble vortex to manipulating water with sound waves to balancing coins on a strand of thread, Mr. Hacker is here to show us more than 30 simple yet effective tricks and illusions enabled by the power of physics. Kids, don’t try that balloon-swallowing trick at home.
You might think magnets aren’t particularly scary. But once you get a look at the attractive forces between two strong neodymium magnets, you’ll have a new respect for magnetic fields. The Slow Mo Guys show us how energetic they can be, capturing magnetic collisions at up to 187,500 FPS. You definitely wouldn’t want your hand in between those.
During a visit to 3M’s Innovation Center, James from The Action Lab checked out two very different rooms they use to test sound waves. The first is an anechoic chamber that deadens sound reflections, while the reverberation chamber is designed to reflect sounds. Then, he tested various sounds to see how differently they behave in each space.
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.
There’s data out there that helps scientists simulate what happens after an explosion gets going, but they still don’t fully understand how to simulate the genesis of a blast. Tom Scott visited a team at the UK’s University of Sheffield working on solving this problem, which could improve the safety of handling explosives and bomb disposal.
Hitting a flying baseball or wiffle ball takes practice, but you can do it with time. With a game against a team of professional wiffle ball players on the line, Mark Rober engineered a cheat to give him a chance. He started by studying the physics that enable curveballs and created mechanical balls that change trajectory as they approach the batter.