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Physics

The Physics of the Theremin

The Physics of the Theremin

The theremin is one of the strangest musical instruments of all time. SciShow takes us inside the process that lets you play this retrofantastic electronic instrument without ever touching it. It’s all about using your body as part of a giant capacitor.

How Far Can We Go?

How Far Can We Go?

Our smarty pants friends at Kurzgesagt examines the idea of human exploration, and some of the currently known limitations of space travel, physics, and our own bodies which prevent us from traveling to an unfathomable portion of the great unknown.

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The Woosh Bottle

The Woosh Bottle

CrazyRussianHacker demonstrates a cool science experiment which uses a glass water bottle coated with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to create a totally cool flame which travels down the walls of the bottle. Kids, don’t try this at home.

Landing a Falling Helicopter

Landing a Falling Helicopter

Smarter Every Day’s Destin Sandlin takes on a tweet by Neil deGrasse Tyson in which he stated that a stalled helicopter would land like a brick. Destin and pilots Brad and Gerry Friesen not only put their lives on the line to test this, but prove that nobody is right 100% of the time.

How to Survive a Grenade Blast

How to Survive a Grenade Blast

While he was hanging out at the pool with The Backyard Scientist, engineer and YouTube celeb Mark Rober conducted a scientific experiment which demonstrates whether it’s better to be underwater or on land to escape a grenade blast. The results might surprise you.

How Strong is Oobleck?

How Strong is Oobleck?

The Backyard Scientist continues his literally and figuratively sloppy experiments by “testing” oobleck (cornstarch mixed with water). Like ketchup, quicksand and silly putty, oobleck is a Non-Newtonian fluid. It flows like a liquid but behaves differently when force is applied to it.

Why Airplane Wings Are Angled

Why Airplane Wings Are Angled

It used to be that most airplane wings were straight, but it turns out the design caused instability as flight speeds increased. Real Engineering takes a look at the science behind the swept wing design which is commonplace on today’s planes. Learn more here.

Printable Magnets

Printable Magnets

Destin of Smarter Every Day shows off a fascinating technology which allows magnetic fields to be printed into custom configurations. With this tech, engineers at Polymagnets can now “program” magnets that do exactly what they want them to do.

When Molten Salt Hits Water

When Molten Salt Hits Water

The Backyard Scientist shows off what happens when salt is melted (at ~1400ºF) and then poured into in an aquarium filled with room temperature water. The end result is a shockingly big boom that sends glass and water flying everywhere. (Thanks Paul!)

Concrete Does Not Dry Out

Concrete Does Not Dry Out

While that title might sound like hyperbole, it is the truth. If concrete truly did dry out, it could be reconstituted with water like dry pasta, and couldn’t be used to build things. MinutePhysics explains the not so subtle differences between something being “dry” and “set.”

The Endless Spring

The Endless Spring

The always charming Tim Rowett of Grand Illusions shows off a silly plaything he created that produces a very long (though not truly endless) stream of fabric-covered springs from a small container. We’d like a longer bazooka packed with 5x as many snake-springs.

Cutting Open Rubber Band Balls

Cutting Open Rubber Band Balls

What’s Inside took just a few minutes to cut open two large rubber band balls that took a number of months to make. Obviously there are only more rubber bands inside the balls, but the way they squirm, pop and crackle when opened is quite interesting.

Crushing Frozen Jello

Crushing Frozen Jello

Carsandwater takes a momentary break from his red hot nickel ball to drop an 83.5 pound weight on some lime gelatin, then repeats the “experiment” after deep-freezing some in liquid nitrogen. Why? Because YouTube.

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The Atomic Trampoline

The Atomic Trampoline

Grand Illusions shows off a physics plaything that demonstrates the differences between the shock absorbency of different metals, with one side coated with a special amorphous metal which allows a bearing to bounce like mad off its surface. More here. (Thanks Paul!)

Golf Ball vs. Wall

Golf Ball vs. Wall

If you’ve ever been clocked on the head by a golf ball, you’d be certain they’re hard as a rock. But they’re actually quite pliable. Here’s slow-mo footage of a golf ball as it hits a steel wall at 150mph. While it’s likely it was a practice ball, a regular ball still flexes quite a bit.

What is Something?

What is Something?

The always thought-provoking Kurzgesagt looks at one of life’s fundamental questions: what makes a thing a thing? In other words, when do primitive particles become things we can actually define, and why do they do what they do? AKA: Particle Physics 101.

Collapsing Magnets in Slow-Mo

Collapsing Magnets in Slow-Mo

Beyond Slow Motion picked up a stack of colorful Magination magnets, then captured how dropping a single one into the mix causes them all to pull together toward each other. By adding some water and colored powder to the mix, the effect is even more impressive.

Why Flying West Isn’t Faster

Why Flying West Isn’t Faster

The Earth is constantly spinning to the East at about 1,000 mph, so you’d think that it would take basically no time to fly from East to West. Minute Physics explains why this isn’t the case, which is basically the same reason we’re not all constantly in motion.

Slow-Mo Water Spirals

Slow-Mo Water Spirals

Gav and Dan of The Slow-Mo Guys take something as simple as a foam ball soaked in water and turn it into a yet another fascinating subject in front of their 1600 fps camera lens. The spiraling water flying off the ball it look like a spinning planet with orbiting rings.

What are Dark Matter & Dark Energy?

What are Dark Matter & Dark Energy?

Our friends at Kurzgesagt are back with another informative animation – this time about the science of the perplexing stuff inside and around the stuff we know about, which we don’t have any good way of examining or measuring.

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Lexus Hoverboard

Lexus Hoverboard

After teasing us, Lexus has revealed their working hoverboard. It uses the superconductor tech we featured a few years back, and a custom-built magnetic hoverboard park, so it won’t be in stores anytime soon. Still, it’s pretty awesome.

Mini Black Hole

Mini Black Hole

“What would happen if a black hole the size of a coin suddenly appeared near you? Short answer: You’d die. Long answer: It depends.” Kurzgesagt asks this imponderable and leaves us with the sense that you wouldn’t want to be nearby.

GTA IV Frictionless Cars 2

GTA IV Frictionless Cars 2

The great thing about PC games is all the fun hacks that can be applied to them. Here, we yet again learn what happens when you dial the friction down to -9 on all of the car tires in GTA IV. Like all things, it’s better with Yakety Sax.

The Floating Screwdriver

The Floating Screwdriver

Thanks to the wonders of physics, this guy is able to make a screwdriver float in mid-air with the help of compressed air, and a little phenomenon known as the Coandă effect, which allows an object to remain aloft in a diagonal stream of air.

Spinning a Top in a Vacuum

Spinning a Top in a Vacuum

This brief, but eye-opening science experiment illustrates the way that even stagnant air creates resistance against objects. It’s incredible how much longer the top spins when the air is removed from its chamber. (Thanks Vers!)

The Jelly Baby Wave Machine

The Jelly Baby Wave Machine

To promote the UK’s National STEM Centre, science teacher Alom Shaha shows how to build a device which demonstrates the principles of wave physics using some duct tape, kebab sticks and Jelly Babies. The Doctor would be so proud.

10 Amazing Fire Tricks

10 Amazing Fire Tricks

Physics and illusion tinkerer Brusspup compiled this assortment of tricks, hacks, experiments and generally fun things you can do with fire. Proceed with great caution if you decide to try any of these yourself.

Flying Snickers Pass

Flying Snickers Pass

Two fighter pilots demonstrate one of the benefits of the extreme environment inside their F/A-18F Super Hornet jet, as they take advantage of a zero-G moment to gracefully pass a candy bar from the front to the rear of the cockpit.

World’s Simplest Electric Train 2

World’s Simplest Electric Train 2

After an earlier demonstration using copper wire, magnets and a battery to create a model railroad, YouTuber AmazingScience shows how to not only make a longer track, but to get the train to ride on the outside of the coil.

Domino Chain Reaction

Domino Chain Reaction

University of Toronto professor Stephen Morris shows how a domino has the potential energy to knock down a domino bigger than itself. String 13 dominoes together, and a 5mm-tall domino can ultimately topple a giant 100lb. slab.

Ball Balancing Machine

Ball Balancing Machine

A demonstration of a mechanized platform which can perfectly balance a ball in its center no matter how hard its human master attempts to defeat it. Its motion control system can also make the ball follow precise paths on demand.

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