Awesome Physics

Pitch Black Room

Pitch Black Room

Musou Black is said the be the blackest paint you can buy at the moment, absorbing almost all visible light. After painting some small objects with the super-dark stuff, The Action Lab created a room just so he could paint it entirely black. The Rolling Stones would be proud.

Sloshing Simulation

Sloshing Simulation

Tanker trucks are a common sight on highways. This fascinating physics simulation created in SIMULIA XFlow gives us a look into what happens when a partially-filled truck hits its brakes and the fluid inside starts sloshing around. It also shows the impact that adding baffles can have on reducing the “slosh force.”

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Paper Airplane Aerodynamics

Paper Airplane Aerodynamics

If you want your paper airplanes to stay airborne for a long time, you could add motors to it, or you could watch this clip from Wired and paper airplane expert John Collins and learn a thing or two about the four main aerodynamic forces that that influence your folded paper’s flight.

How to Get to the Moon

How to Get to the Moon

Launching a rocket to the Moon isn’t quite as simple as just going straight up and into the sky. Exploring Space provides a great layperson’s explanation of the mechanics at play, starting with an orbit around Earth, a gradual transition to the Moon’s orbit, and descent to the lunar surface. Lear more about orbital mechanics here.

Making an Air-powered Airplane

Making an Air-powered Airplane

Most airplanes run on some kind of fossil fuel. But physics expert Tom Stanton recently built an airplane that runs entirely on compressed air. The model plane is based on the diaphragm air-powered engine that Tom previously built, and its fuel tank is an ordinary plastic soda bottle.

Fun with Baking Soda Rockets

Fun with Baking Soda Rockets

Combining vinegar and baking soda inside a soda bottle creates an explosive amount of pressure – enough to launch the bottle sky high. Nick Uhas wanted to see not only how far he could make a soda bottle fly horizontally using this method, but also what would happen if he super-sized the experiment using a 5-gallon water jug.

Trying to to Catch a 1000 MPH Baseball

Trying to to Catch a 1000 MPH Baseball

After building a supersonic baseball cannon, Devin from SmarterEveryDay and his friends turned their attention to the business end of the cannon. The goal of their latest experiments? To see how many leather baseball gloves it takes to stop a baseball moving at 1.3 times the speed of sound.

Magnetic Accelerators

Magnetic Accelerators

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.

Furry Tetris

Furry Tetris

C4D4U seems to have an obsession with Tetris. A while back, the CG artist showed us what the game might look like with puzzle pieces made from Jell-O, and now we get to see what happens when those same pieces get moldy and covered with hair. They remind us of Sully from Monsters, Inc.

How Strong Is Paper?

How Strong Is Paper?

The guys at the Hydraulic Press Channel have been causing paper to explode under pressure for quite some time now. In this clip they attempt to measure just how much force a stack of paper can endure before failing spectacularly.

Bursting Droplets

Bursting Droplets

Physics can be so much fun. The Lutetium Project shows how a dropper filled with a mixture of water, alcohol, and dye dripped into an oil bath can create beautiful and unexpected patterns thanks to their differences in surface tension. For more droplet fun, check this out.

Explosive Bat in Slow Motion

Explosive Bat in Slow Motion

Destin from Smarter Every Day and Shane from Stuff Made Here have had a little friendly competition going on to see who could hit a baseball furthest through engineering. Now, the two have teamed up to examine exactly how Shane’s explosively-charged home run bat works its magic, in glorious slow-motion.

The Levitating Liquid Pendulum

The Levitating Liquid Pendulum

Scientist Steve Mould shows us how, with the right conditions, you can make a viscous liquid like oil levitate by vigorously shaking it. The rapid vibrations end up stabilizing the equilibrium of the fluid as it rises and falls within a vessel.

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Blowing Underwater Fire Rings

Blowing Underwater Fire Rings

The Backyard Scientist has a penchant for dangerous, yet impressive experiments. In this clip, he takes to his swimming pool with a contraption that’s designed to blow perfect bubble rings, but instead of just filling them with oxygen, he introduces some propane, so when hit with an electric charge, they explode.

Exploding Devil’s Toothpaste

Exploding Devil’s Toothpaste

There are numerous articles out there on how to make a messy concoction called elephant toothpaste. Engineer Mark Rober has even filled a swimming pool with the stuff. Now, he’s made something far more reactive and explosive, dubbed “devil’s toothpaste.” He then supersized the experiment for a very special fan.

Hearing Half-way Around the World

Hearing Half-way Around the World

Sound doesn’t travel all that far in the air or on the surface of the Earth. So how is it possible the sound of explosives detonated off the coast of Australia traveled half-way around the globe to be heard in Bermuda? MinuteEarth dives into the physics that allow sound to travel so much further at the bottom of the ocean.

World’s Fastest Baseball Pitch

World’s Fastest Baseball Pitch

An excellent MLB pitcher can throw a 100 mph fastball. But what would it take to pitch a ball faster than the speed of sound? Destin from Smarter Every Day set out to answer that question, and enlisted his engineering pals to build a high-pressure cannon that can launch a ball so fast that it explodes on contact.

Making a Vacuum-powered Dragster

Making a Vacuum-powered Dragster

Using large syringes, Tom Stanton shows us how the vacuum captured inside can be used to drive gears, a belt, and an axle. The result is a mini dragster that travels an impressive distance compared to the short distance that the syringe’s piston moves.

Endlessly Spinning Pasta

Endlessly Spinning Pasta

The guys at ViralVideoLab claim that you can make a penne noodle spin around endlessly on a hot plate. Supposedly, if you get the temperature exactly to 240°F +/-1°, then give the noodle a push, it will keep spinning. We need Captain Disillusion to check this one out, because we have serious doubts about the physics.

CD / Color

CD / Color

Captain Disillusion is back with another one of his great educational videos about imaging technology and terminology. This time, he explains how our brains and eyes perceive color, and how computers can be used to manipulate hue, saturation, and brightness to our every whim.

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Can Musicians Play Together Online?

Can Musicians Play Together Online?

With so many people staying at home and live concerts canceled all over the world, is it possible for musicians in remote locations to play in sync with each while in different locations? NPR’s Jazz Night in America explores this question and the physical and technological challenges that come with it.

Firehand vs. Water Balloons

Firehand vs. Water Balloons

There’s a classic physics experiment that shows how filling a balloon with water protects it from a lit match. Expanding on this idea, Beyond Slow Motion’s Darren Dyk wanted to see if the same would hold true if he held a ball of fire in his hand using butane and soap bubbles. Needless to say, don’t try this at home.

Bowling Ball Pendulum Wave

Bowling Ball Pendulum Wave

We’ve seen some pretty cool pendulum wave demonstrations before, but never one at this scale. Back in 2012, Appalachian State University teacher Jeff Goodman built this oversize physics demo rig using 16 bowling balls, and a series of chimes which play sounds as the balls brush across.

Microgravity Drop Tower

Microgravity Drop Tower

The lack of gravity in space can have strange effects on equipment and experiments. If you want to test in near zero-G conditions on Earth, you head to the Bremen Drop Tower, a 140-meter-tall chamber in which objects experience microgravity for up to 10 seconds at a time. Seeker explains how it works.

Fizzy Lifting Math

Fizzy Lifting Math

Among the many memorable scenes in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was the one where Charlie and Grandpa Joe steal Fizzy Lifting Drinks. While it’s impossible that sipping a little soda could lift a human, Kyle Hill of Because Science figured out how much gas it would have actually taken to send Charlie sky high.

Spinning Magnets

Spinning Magnets

Magnetic Games presents another wildly satisfying video. This time, he uses a bunch of spherical and tubular magnets to create a series of gradually more complex spinning kinetic sculptures. It’s equal parts ASMR, physics experiment, and visual fun.

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