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Physics

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.

How Copper Interacts with Magnets

How Copper Interacts with Magnets

Unlike steel, copper isn’t attracted to or repulsed by magnets. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some interaction. NightHawkInLight takes a look at some of the strange behaviors that occur between thick sheets of copper and strong neodymium magnets.

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Bullet vs. Bulletproof Window

Bullet vs. Bulletproof Window

Destin from Smarter Every Day teamed up with Gav and Dan from The Slow Mo Guys to see what exactly happens when a bullet hits a piece of bulletproof acrylic, both with a bullet that can’t make it through, and then with a .50 cal that can. Watch The Slow Mo Guys’ video here.

Humanity – Ver.0.3 Demo

Humanity – Ver.0.3 Demo

A brief, but amazing look at an upcoming crowd physics game being developed by tha ltd. which appears to be a modern take on the 1990s classic Lemmings, as you direct throngs of thousands of virtual tiny humans through its levels, many of whom to their demise.

Gang Beasts: Beasts of Rage

Gang Beasts: Beasts of Rage

(PG-13: Language) Videogamedunkey gives us a taste of the hilarity that is Gang Beasts. Almost anyone could upload their gameplay of the slapstick ragdoll fighting game and it would be funny. But no one does the “yes, yes, noooo” commentary quite like Dunk.

Simulating Burning Trees

Simulating Burning Trees

Part of how CGI has gotten so much better in recent years is the development of systems for specific types of physical realism. Here Soeren Pirk demonstrates an amazing system designed for simulating the motion of tree branches, and the way wood burns when set on fire.

Gyroscopic Box Trick

Gyroscopic Box Trick

If you’ve ever played with a gyroscope toy, you know it’s pretty cool how they balance when spun. But did you know that effect even continues when it’s placed back in the box? We want to go buy a gyroscope right now so we can try this trick for ourselves.

Smarter Every Day: Dominoes

Smarter Every Day: Dominoes

With the help of his fans around the globe, Destin Sandlin digs into a surprisingly deep and perplexing topic – measuring the steady state velocity of toppling dominoes. The slow-motion footage is fascinating to watch, and you’ll definitely feel smarter after this one.

Faster Than the Speed of Light

Faster Than the Speed of Light

It’s not too hard to travel faster than sound, but amping things up to the speed of light is a whole other level. Life Noggin pontificates on the what might happen if we could exceed 186,000 miles per second. The whole slowing down light thing seems like a cheat though.

Matereality

Matereality

Filmmaker Roman De Giuli used crisp macro photography of iron powder, magnets, pigments, and glitter to capture this visually spectacular short film, which despite its otherworldly looks was created without any CGI. Music by Son-J.

Simulating Molecules with Magnets

Simulating Molecules with Magnets

Science channel Cody’s Lab shows us how the interactions between magnets are similar to the way that molecules work, with the most fascinating bit being the glass and aluminum rig he built to simulate the way molecules work in a gaseous state.

Which Way Is Down?

Which Way Is Down?

Vsauce host Michael Stevens digs deep into the ever-changing concept of the direction “down,” what causes things to fall, and digs into how masses really, really want to pull towards each other in our universe, thanks to gravitational forces.

Levitating a Pumpkin

Levitating a Pumpkin

To celebrate Halloween a couple of years back, The Royal Institution filled a tiny pumpkin with a ceramic superconductor and liquid nitrogen, allowing it to float and glide above a special track made from neodymium magnets.

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Carnival Scam Science

Carnival Scam Science

As much fun as carnival games look, they’re designed to steal your dollars, and not to award you that giant stuffed bear. Engineer Mark Rober is here to explore the math and physics behind carny scams, which are the biggest rip-offs, and a few ways to improve your chances.

100 Speed Bump Simulation

100 Speed Bump Simulation

BeamNG.drive is an automotive physics simulator that behaves quite realistically. In this satisfying clip from DestructionNation, watch what happens when cars, trucks, and SUVs are subjected to 100 speed bumps in a row without any effort made to slow down.

55,000 Plank Physics Simulation

55,000 Plank Physics Simulation

Digital physics engines are fun. You can make all kinds of things happen in the virtual world that would be difficult to achieve in the real world. Take, for example, this stack of 55,000 Jenga-like planks which Xepher let his system render over the course of 12 days.

Gravitational Waves

Gravitational Waves

Animator Eoin Duffy and Amber L. Stuver of TED Ed explain how the gravity of every object affects every other object in the cosmos, and the technology that researchers use to detect and track these waves so they can better understand our universe.

See-through Gun Suppressors

See-through Gun Suppressors

Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day teamed up with the folks at Soteria Suppressors to create special gun silencers wrapped in transparent cast acrylic, then captured amazing slow-mo footage of them in action using a high-speed camera at a whopping 110,000 fps.

Fluidizing Sand

Fluidizing Sand

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.

Quantum Levitation Möbius Strip

Quantum Levitation Möbius Strip

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.

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Hydrodynamic Levitation

Hydrodynamic Levitation

Veritasium takes a look at a neat physical property – the ability to levitate a lightweight ball or disc atop a jet of water. The trick involves getting the water to flow along one side, runs up and over the object, creating a state of equilibrium which allows it to spin.

Solids of Constant Width

Solids of Constant Width
~$32/set  Buy Link Comment

These oddly shaped objects have a truly unusual property – despite not being spherical, they’re always the exact same diameter no matter how they’re positioned, so they roll smoothly. This set of three 35mm solids is machined from solid aluminum.

On “Free Energy” Devices

On “Free Energy” Devices

ElectroBOOM’s Mehdi Sadaghdar expresses his disdain for “perpetual motion” devices which are claimed to produce more energy than is put into them, thus defying the basic laws of physics. The only thing these guys seem to be able to actually generate are YouTube views.

Controlling Mercury with Magnets

Controlling Mercury with Magnets

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.

Quantum Mechanics in 5 Minutes

Quantum Mechanics in 5 Minutes

(PG-13: Language) exurb1a does his best to explain quantum entaglement, quantum superposition, the quantum zeno effect, and other elusive theoretical concepts in the only way he knows how – with ducks.

Earthquake Damper Demo

Earthquake Damper Demo

Engineering firm Teratec uses a shake table to demonstrate how hydraulic dampers can be used to offset forces on a structure, reducing the likelihood of the sort of resonant frequency disasters which can happen from earthquakes, wind, or other vibrations.

Walk vs. Run When It’s Cold

Walk vs. Run When It’s Cold

Fortunately, it’s starting to gradually warm up in most of the Northern Hemisphere, but when it is cold out, you just want to get somewhere warm as quickly as possible. Minute Physics ponders whether or not it’s better to proceed slowly when you’re freezing your butt off.

7 Amazing Optical Illusions

7 Amazing Optical Illusions

Quirkology shares a handful of visual illusions sure to mess with your brain. We understand how most of them work, but the color changing ring in the mirror is still a totally nifty trick.

Multi Magnetic Levitation

Multi Magnetic Levitation

Magnetic Games demonstrates a neat effect that happens when placing tiny magnets between larger magnets and a surface made from pyrolytic graphite, a material which is weakly repelled by them. Think that spinning bit is cool? Check out more maglev magic here.

Glowing Pendulum

Glowing Pendulum

Make Anything rigged up a double pendulum with a lighted tip, then spun it over a photoluminescent surface. The result is a cool demo of how chaos quickly takes over from order thanks to those pesky laws of physics. No need to watch the entire video to get the point.

Mag Lev Quadcopter

Mag Lev Quadcopter

What happens if you spin an array of super strong electromagnets at crazy speeds over a sheet of copper? Veritasium checks out a magnetic levitation device being developed to help understand how to build Elon Musk’s much talked about Hyperloop transportation system.

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