Topic: shapes

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How many ways are there to prove the Pythagorean theorem?

What do Euclid, 12-year-old Einstein, and American President James Garfield have in common? They all came up with elegant proofs for the famous Pythagorean theorem, one of the most fundamental rules of geometry and th...

The footstep illusion & more optical tricks from Akiyoshi Kitaoka

Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka studies and makes visual illusions in the psychology department at Kyoto's Ritsumeikan University. In the illusion above, via Twitter, he demonstrates the footstep illusion. It's explained o...

Demonstrations of the Coanda Effect

Fluids flowing near a surface tend to follow the shape of the surface. Using Schlieren optics, we can see this behavior. It is known as the Coanda Effect and its explanation depends on viscosity, the frictional forces...

How to draw a floating / levitating cube

Amaze friends and family with your version of this anamorphic optical illusion: a floating/levitating cube. Though it may take some practice to get the proportions and shading right, this 3D quick trick tutorial by ar...

Three Gears are Possible

If you've ever seen an image of three gears all interlocking or an odd number of interconnecting gears, like those gears on some British two pound (£2) coins, you've seen a gear configuration that does not work. Howev...

A 3D printed mechanical laser show machine

Engineer, maker, and 3D printing enthusiast Evan Stanford has created a 3D printed, hand-cranked mechanical laser show machine that 'draws' with projected light. The drawn shapes are created with two rotating cams tha...

How to make a Hollow Mask Illusion

How do we perceive faces? With some balloons, newspaper, some paste for paper mâché, and paints, you can create a hollow mask that appears to follow you as you move back and forth around the room. Rachel and her child...

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps animated

When I listen to music I see colors and shapes and when I watch visual art I hear sounds. I wanted to express my sensing of shapes, colors and music in this short animation. I chose this piece because I’ve struggle...

Pearl Fryar’s world-renowned topiary garden of rescued plants

In Bishopville, South Carolina, Pearl Fryar is a local gardening legend. When he first moved to the small town in the 1980s, he was almost unable to build his house because neighbors feared that as an African American...

A woodworker creates ‘Fibonacci Spiral shavings’

With a freshly sharpened chisel, woodworker Paul Sellers creates what he calls 'Fibonacci spiral shavings,' shaved pieces of wood that resemble Fibonacci spirals, "an approximation of the golden spiral created by draw...

A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations

Twenty five years ago, physicist Robert Lang worked at NASA, where he researched lasers. He has also garnered 46 patents on optoelectronics and even wrote a Ph.D. thesis called "Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries an...

Calculating Pi (π) with Darts

Can you calculate Pi (π) by throwing darts at a square and circle target as randomly as possible? Physics Girl's Dianna Cowern and Veritasium's Derek Muller attempt the challenge, and when "randomly" doesn't happen, t...

A Circle Thief (まるどろぼう)

A subway rider diligently attempts to thwart the circle thief who is taking all of the useful round objects: A Circle Thief (まるどろぼう) by Tokyo-based art and design student Komoto.

Dance of Harmony, an animated synesthetic voyage

One day when I was sixteen, I realized that I could see music. The saxophone I played and the jazz I loved listening to came to life before my eyes, or perhaps behind my eyes, in shape and color — little animated char...

Magic Clay stop motion

Magic Clay, a stop motion short by Alexander Unger, a.k.a. Guldies. How do you make an animated short like this one? Unger writes: Shot with a Canon EOS 600D. 1800 still pictures, 24 FPS and animated in Dragonfram...

Feynman’s Building Blocks of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics — 'thermo' meaning heat and 'dynamics' referring to work —is the branch of physics that focuses on the relationship between heat and other kinds of energy. This video from The Royal Institution introduc...

ChainFORM, robot modules that can transform

Can one system of tiny robo-modules attached together in a line transform into multiple tools, interfaces, and creative opportunities? This is ChainFORM from a team at MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group, a hardware ...

The 3-million-year old Ningwu ice cave never thaws

White stalactites hang down from every surface, and the walls and floors are glazed with thick ice. The Ningwu ice cave, also referred to as Wannian Ice Cave in Ningwu County, China, is a unique phenomenon: The subter...

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