Showing 33 posts tagged air

From the Ri Channel's View the Tales from the Prep Room series, this is how you make a fluidized bed of sand: Making Sand Swim. Watch how these solids suddenly behave a lot like a fluid as air escapes between the sand particles, causing them to float. It’s definitely one of the more strange and fascinating demonstrations that we’ve seen. 

Related watching:, and at, a video list that I put together for The Royal Institution that has our favorite STEM videos for kids… well, at least some of our favorites. There are so many.

Seen at science museums, maker faires, and all over the internet, Singing Tesla Coils combine science and music in the most fantastical and memorable of ways. But how do they work? From Physics Buzz

Sound waves are vibrations of the air around us, which you can make just by clapping your hands or talking. Pitch is just the number of times the air vibrates per second. Higher frequency, higher pitch. Tesla coils are a combination of circuits that output thousands to millions of volts. That high electric field arcs up and out of the coil, filling the air with sparks and making it possible to light up fluorescent lights wirelessly. Certain types of Tesla coils, like the one used here, are putting out hundreds of sparks per second, with a rest between each spark. That’s already a lot like a sound wave. Each spark is pushing on the air and can create a sound. Change the frequency of the sparks and you get an equal frequency wave, hitting your ears like a note of music. The creators had to find a way to move seamlessly between frequencies to make the notes sound distinct, instead of just playing the whole scale.

Above, tesla coils “sing” the Inspector Gadget theme by ArcAttack, who were the first to use this technology in a live performance in late 2005. Watch more singing tesla coil videos at Know Your Meme. Related links: the tesla coil and Nikola Tesla, who invented it around 1891.

In the archives: more electricity, more instruments, and things that glow.

Thanks, @bittelmethis.

This is something that we’d like to see and hear in person: The Singing, Ringing Tree was designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu in 2006. It sits on a hill in Lancashire, England, and as the winds blow, the discordant steel pipes “play” the wind. From Wikipedia

Some of the pipes are primarily structural and aesthetic elements, while others have been cut across their width enabling the sound. The harmonic and singing qualities of the tree were produced by tuning the pipes according to their length by adding holes to the underside of each.

There’s more wind and more sound in the archives, including the similar Aeolus, an Acoustic Wind Pavilion, some a whale song-filled diving encounter, and the Sesame Street classic How a Saxophone is Made

Thanks, @benjohnbarnes.

With three wheels, pneumatic motors, and driven by a joystick, this ladybug of a car is compelling for both its unusual form and its power source: compressed air. The AIRPod was developed as a sustainable, zero-emission solution for urban commuting, airport vehicles, messenger services, and more. Initially conceived of in 1991 and promised for production since 2000, the car is finally expected to be on sale for around 7,000 euros sometime in 2014. Via Core77:

One tank lasts over 125 miles (200 km) and takes only two minutes to fill up again at an average price of just one euro per fill.

Bonus: the eco-friendly engine technology can be built into boats, backup generators, farm machines, and more.

In the archives, more cars and more sustainability videos, including these two jaw-dropping favorites: an air-powered LEGO carbehind-the-scenes at the Tesla factory and the Moser Lamp.

Updated video link.

This is what 20-year-old Romanian Raul Oaida (above) and Melbourne entrepreneur Steve Sammartino did with more than 500,000 LEGO pieces and four orbital enginesThe Super Awesome Micro Project — a full sized LEGO car with an air-powered engine, and 256 pistons that also appear to be made from LEGO. It goes around 20mph and they don’t go much faster than that because they really don’t want to crash it.

More LEGO videos, including this awesome DIY project: build your own LEGO microscope.

via Devour.