Using high-precision digital models and laser etching techniques, CinkS labs is creating a series of glass cubes which display intricate 3D images of viruses, bacteria, and cells. The crystal cubes come in 3cm, 7cm, and 10cm sizes, as well as an 8cm sphere. And yes, they even have a COVID-19 model.
THE BEST Science
Most fire is orange, or maybe shades of yellow, white or blue. But it turns out if you spray sodium salts and ethanol into a flame and then view it in front of a sodium vapor lamp, it looks black. Natasha Simons of The Royal Institution explains the science behind this phenomenon.
Despite being one of the most common (and lifegiving) chemicals on Earth, water behaves in ways that it probably shouldn’t. This clip from Seeker dives into the deep end of the ocean as it explains some of the strange properties of H2O, and why scientists are still learning things about this theoretically simple compound.
This laser-engraved stainless steel card is packed with reference information for scientists and engineers. Its front side has the periodic table of the elements, along with rulers and a protractor, while its back offers up quick access to important constants, formulae, and conversions. There’s also a version for chemistry.
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.
Beyond the comfort issues, one of the reasons people don’t like wearing masks is that it covers their face. Engineers from EPFL’s EssentialTech Center and Empa have developed a mask that both acts as a filter and is transparent. The trick is the weave, made from incredibly thin nanofibers, woven together using electrospinning.
After watching one of Smarter Every Days‘ videos about the unique beauty of laminar flow, Derek Muller of Veritasium wanted to explore a much trickier kind of physics. When air, fluids, and gases experience turbulence, their chaos may be hard to explain and model, but it’s pretty amazing stuff when you dive in deep.
Solar flares and coronal mass ejections are frequent occurrences on the Sun. Some have been known to disrupt radio waves, but could they actually cause damage? Kurzgesagt stares directly into the Sun to educate us on solar storms, why they occur, and if a strong enough super storm could actually wipe out civilization.
Rising temperatures have been melting Earth’s glaciers, increasing sea levels, damaging precious habitats, and causing water shortages. But is it possible to create new, man-made glaciers? TED-Ed looks at ancient methods of stockpiling ice, and how these techniques could help battle at least one aspect of climate change.
The human body is an amazing organic machine that performs countless tasks every minute of every day. In this video from The Infographics Show, they tally up some of the things that your body will do in the next minute – or twice as much while you watch the entire 2 minute clip.
The core of the Scientific Method is the experiment. But not every hypothesis pans out, and failure is always an option. The Mental Floss List Show looks back at 14 times when tests failed spectacularly, including McDonald’s bubble gum flavored broccoli, which surprisingly isn’t the grossest thing on the list.
Scientist Steve Mould introduces us to one of the strangest insects we’ve seen. Like other caterpillars, the uraba lugens aka gum leaf skeletoniser gradually sheds its exoskeleton as it grows, but it keeps a stack of its old head shells stacked on its head like a crazy hat. And nobody seems to know why it does this.
The speed of light is pretty darned fast, but given just how far the Earth is away from the Sun, its light it doesn’t get here instantly. It’s Okay to Be Smart teaches us how it’s not just a simple math equation, but complex astrophysics that explain how sunlight is much older than you’d think.
Computers are pretty capable these days. And while most problems boil down to a series of mathematical computations, Tom Scott points out that there are some kinds of abstract problems that even the smartest programmers with the most powerful supercomputers can’t figure out.
Filmmaker Seán Doran processed about a week’s worth of data captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to create this awe-inspiring UHD video of the Sun’s activity. Max out the resolution, go full screen, dim the lights, and crank up the audio for a truly hypnotic journey to our Solar System’s number one life-giver.
Metamaterials are materials that are defined by their structure, rather than their composition. In 2017, researchers from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences designed a modular framework which can reconfigure as if by magic, resulting in entirely new structures when directional forces are applied.
This series of three jigsaw puzzles come together to form the major anatomical structures of a 5-foot-tall human being. Choose from head, thorax, or abdominal sections, each certified for accuracy by medical illustrator Mesa Schumacher. They make a great gift for biology students, or just anyone interested in science.
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.
Dive through the layers of the Earth when you sip from Cognitive Surplus‘ geeky glass tumbler. It works best with chocolate milk or iced coffee to really show off the fossilized lifeforms as you head deeper beneath our planet’s surface. It holds 15 oz and makes a great gift for geologists, archaeologists, or anyone into science.
Dr. James O’Donoghue posts all kinds of informative motion graphics on his YouTube channel. Here, he stacked slices of the Solar System’s planets to show how their rotational speeds vary. You can view it flat, or projected onto a sphere. He’s also got a version that accounts for for differences in rotational direction.
Real laser beams don’t behave like they do in science fiction. Instead of firing in short blasts, they appear as a single coherent beam of light. The Action Lab shows a simple way to achieve the sci-fi effect in camera using a spinning fan blade and by taking advantage of a digital camera’s rolling shutter effect.
Artificial intelligence is getting better at identifying objects in still images, and more recently in video. Now machine learning tech is getting smart enough to look at what’s happening in a video and answer questions about what it has seen. Two Minute Papers provides a brief overview of CLEVRER and its capabilities.
Warped Perception enjoys seeing how things look in slow-motion. He recently got the idea to launch a model rocket from inside of an aquarium, letting us see how it behaves both in and out of the water. We love the way its exhaust plume changes as it breaks the surface of the water.
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