Topic: physics

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Don’t extinguish a metal fire with water

How do you extinguish burning magnesium? In this video from the Royal Institution, science presenter Steve Mould demonstrates what happens when you try to extinguish a metal fire with a CO2 fire extinguisher or water—...

Why do geese fly in V formation?

Why do geese fly in a V formation? In this episode of World By Charlie, our friend Charlie Engelman observes some origami geese to better understand how the vortices of air behind their wings shape their signature V-f...

How to make a self-starting siphon

To move liquid from one container to another, you may need a siphon, a bent tube with one end that's lower than the first. Suction is one way to get the liquid moving through it, but if you don't have a pump and you d...

Denha’s Noisy Marble Machine

Toyoyama, Japan-based marble machine-maker Denha spends almost ten minutes documenting his complex and noisy marble machine. It's a mix of wooden lifts, brass wire ramps, and turning pieces powered by a motor. Though ...

How to make Reindeer Rockets

If you want to study the physics of flying reindeer (and make a super fun mess in the process), make Reindeer Rockets. Maddie Moate and Greg Foot combine small plastic bottles with sports caps, some Alka-Seltzer or fi...

How is black fire made?

This is not a special effect. This is black fire. When you mix a sodium street light or low-pressure sodium lamp with a flame, you'll see a dark flame thanks to the sodium and some excited electrons. "It's strange ...

Reconfigurable Ghostkube sculptures

Since we last saw Stockholm-based artist Erik Åberg's Ghostkube project, he's investigated the geometry, creativity, and organic qualities behind these interconnected cubes, building prototypes and exploring ways that...

Soap, water and corn syrup bubbles freezing

Over the course of two years, Barrie, Ontario-based photographer Don Komarechka filmed ice crystals forming across the thin walls of freezing bubbles. In Winter's Magic, he's collected the best clips from over 400 tak...

What is surface tension? Ask a water strider.

Modern technologies like high speed cameras can allow us to see what was previously 'invisible' to the naked eye. This clip from Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds provides two memorable slow motion examples: A speedy...

Line Riders ride to Beethoven’s 5th

Three Line Riders sled, skid, and sail across a choreography of lines. Written between 1804 and 1808, the accompanying music is from the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's '5th symphony'. It's "one of the best-k...

Shattering glass with the World’s Largest Horn

How do horns amplify sound? Why are they flared at the ends? And how do airhorns work? Mark Rober wanted to find out so he spent eight months building a massive air horn... perhaps the world's largest horn. In this...

Thermal expansion sphere and ring demonstrations

If you ever had trouble twisting open a jar lid that's stuck, try running it under some hot water. When you try again, it will most likely pop open with a twist thanks to thermal expansion. Most (but not all) matter w...

Float by Susi Sie

Bubbles and droplets of oil in water slowly float around as if in space until... plink! They pop together. Or pop apart? Float is an award-winning 2011 film by Susi Sie with music and sound design by Thomas Schuessler...

How far would you have to go to escape gravity?

Every star, black hole, human being, smartphone and atom are all constantly pulling on each other due to one force: gravity. So why don’t we feel pulled in billions of different directions? And is there anywhere in th...

The Beauty of Flames

The Beauty of Flames captures some extraordinary-looking flames, "the visible, gaseous part of a fire," in this video from Yan Liang's Envisioning Chemistry science and art series. The flames were created by Professor...

Airglow & the secrets behind Earth’s colorful ionosphere

What does our planet look like from space? Most are familiar with the beloved images of the blue marble or pale blue dot -- Earth from 18,000 and 3.7 billion miles away, respectively. But closer to home, within the ne...

The Universal Pattern Popping Up in Math, Physics, & Biology

Scientists have discovered a mysterious universal pattern that "connects a bus system in Mexico and chicken eyes to quantum physics and number theory." MentalFloss summarizes the formerly hidden phenomenon, known as u...

Is it impossible to skip a stone 89 times?

"Skipping a stone might seem like a simple thing, but it's actually this beautifully complex mix of skill, athleticism, and fascinating physics." And in what might be one of the more comprehensive stone skipping video...

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