As I watched this miniature world self-assemble on my windshield like an alien landscape, I wondered about the physics behind these patterns. I learned later that these patterns of ice are related to a rich and very active current area of research in math and physics known as universality. The key mathematical principles that belie these intricate patterns lead us to some unexpected places…
Showing 20 posts tagged weather
Revolution is an animated short by photographer Chris Turner, paper engineer Helen Friel and animator Jess Deacon that explores the life cycle of a single drop of water through the pages of an elaborate pop-up book. The book contains nine scenes that were animated using 1,000 photographic stills shot over the course of a year.
via This Is Colossal.
For this experiment, you can use a bicycle pump with a rubber stopper attachment, rubbing alcohol and a clear 1 liter bottle. Don’t forget goggles and some adult supervision! Steve Spangler’s Science has more:
The reason the rubbing alcohol forms a more visible cloud is because alcohol evaporates more quickly than water. Alcohol molecules have weaker bonds than water molecules, so they let go of each other more easily. Since there are more evaporated alcohol molecules in the bottle, there are also more molecules able to condense. This is why you can see the alcohol cloud more clearly than the water cloud.
Clouds on Earth form when warm air rises and its pressure is reduced. The air expands and cools, and clouds form as the temperature drops below the dew point. Invisible particles in the air in the form of pollution, smoke, dust or even tiny particles of dirt help form a nucleus on which the water molecules can attach.
Sesame Street explains the hurricane to kids in an episode originally created for Hurricane Katrina and set to air again this weekend in the aftermath of Sandy.
If you or your kids would like to help people who are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy (or for any reason), there are many things you can do:
Hold a bake sale, wash cars and bikes, offer to rake the neighbors’ leaves, make holiday cards and sell them, or collect sponsors to pledge money for a walk/run/bike/skate/bowl/sled/etc-a-thon. Any of these activities are great ways to raise money for The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, City Harvest, or Citymeals-on-Wheels, an organization that prepares and delivers meals to elderly New Yorkers. Donors Choose also has a special page to help teachers and classrooms effected by the hurricane: donorschoose.org/hurricane-sandy.
Featuring the incredible power of nature, this intense clip from Oceans, a French documentary film by Jacques Perrin (released in the US by Disneynature), shows dramatic footage of several kinds of ships (and a lighthouse) handling some seriously rough seas.