Topic: air

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Raindrops: What do they really look like?

When you draw raindrops, how do you draw them? Are they tear-shaped with the point at their tops? Is that really what raindrops look like? Dr. Joe Hanson asked that very question. He then tested what happened to water...

Cooling without polluting: Two new green air conditioning innovations

The starry night sky seems remarkably distant from the topic of air conditioning, but it’s revolutionizing the field in quite an unexpected way. In this episode of "The Spark," watch how scientists from across the glo...

How to make a rocket

"What's the best scientific formula for a powerful rocket with oxidizer and fuel?" In this video clip from Bang Goes The Theory Series 5, via BBC Earth Lab, we get a quick peek at the mix of chemistry and physics that...

Hydrophytes, 4D-printed aquatic ‘plants’ for the future

Tentacles wiggle. Filaments expand. Tails spiral. Looking like coral polyps, sea pens, crustaceans, and other colorful aquatic lifeforms, these multi-material 3D printed 'plants' come alive. Triggered by air that's pu...

What happens to balloon animals in liquid nitrogen?

How can you fit a bunch of balloon animals into a small container? Add some liquid nitrogen into the mix, as demonstrated in this video by Real Physics Live, the YouTube channel for Texas A&M University's Department o...

A microburst drops heavy rain over Austria’s Lake Millstatt, a time lapse

See a microburst or downburst drop heavy rain in a thunderstorm over Austria's Lake Millstatt. The time lapse was captured by photographer Peter Maier from high above the scenery, allowing a clear view of the burst. F...

Liquid Printed Pneumatics: 3D printing stretchy silicone structures

Imagine 3D printing a balloon of sorts, a stretchy material that can expand or contract with the air that's pumped into it. MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory, in collaboration with BMW, has developed a new way to print s...

The SUSTAIN Lab’s Hurricane in a Box

Brian Haus watches as the still air stirs into over 150 mph winds. The flat turquoise water suddenly churns a series of endless crashing waves of white frothy foam. Thankfully, Haus does not have to actually weather t...

How Birds Get Oxygen Inside Their Eggs

"Look inside this incubator. These eggs were laid 21 days ago and this one is just about to hatch. If you listen you can hear the chick pecking at the inside of its shell. Soon it will break through and take its first...

How to make homemade slide whistles

Bamboo, PVC pipe, wood, or even a carrot! Slide whistles can be made from all sorts of materials, and are fun to make, play, and learn physics with. In this episode of Homemade Science, teacher Bruce Yeany shares his ...

The Exhale Bionic Chandelier: Microorganism-filled ‘leaves’ that ‘breathe’

An air purifier, an art object, and a piece of lighting design all in one living, 'breathing' chandelier. This is London-based inventor and bioengineer Julian Melchiorri's Exhale Bionic Chandelier, a microorganism-fil...

Rintaro Hara’s Projection Wall of bubbles

A large, soapy grid of netting rises up in front of eight small fans. Huge bubbles are blown into the room towards the person pulling the net up into place with a pulley. This is Rintaro Hara's Projection Wall, an int...

How does a penguin launch itself from the sea?

How do emperor penguins launch themselves out of the sea at twice their normal swimming speeds? A mix of biology and physics sends this flightless bird flying... at least briefly: Penguins trap microbubbles within the...

Liquid Sand Hot Tub: Making a giant fluidized bed of sand

When air is pumped through sand in just the right way, the sand begins to behave a lot like a fluid. As air escapes between the sand particles, items placed in the sand will begin to float. Others will sink. And when ...

An unexpected way to inflate a balloon – Numberphile

The kamifusen is a traditional Japanese paper (kami) balloon (fusen) toy that became popular in the 1890s and can still be found in a variety of designs or decorated as spherical koi, pufferfish, penguins, monkeys, ra...

Hand cranked mechanical singing birds by Bliss Kolb

This hand-cranked mechanical bird sings from a small leather bellows that whistles in two notes. A cam presses a lever that changes the pitch while other cams pull on strings that animate the bird's six movements as i...

How I made a lil “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man”

It's fun to see those attention-getting inflatable tube men that are wildly waving their arms in front of stores, car dealers, and even as scarecrows in farm fields. How fun would it be to have one dancing on your des...

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...

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