Physics in Action by Topic
What could we accomplish with machines that draw power from the air around us?
A machine the size of a single molecule? This year's Nobel prize in chemistry went to the people who made it possible!
Lasers and nanoengineering team up to take on one of the deadliest diseases
A new software algorithm promises fast, sensitive detection of small seismic events
Lasers have enabled the creation of free-floating, interactive holograms!
By mimicking the structure of organisms like the Pollia condensata berry, researchers have invented an elastic fiber that changes color when stretched!
It’s flexible, fast, nontoxic, doesn’t catch on fire, and its materials are inexpensive.
Uncovering ancient, charred texts with physics.
A potential low-energy alternative to air conditioning.
Tracking how strongly water pushes on the Earth's crust.
Holograms' uses range from practical to purely aesthetic.
How scientists recently pushed closer to sustainable fusion
An unexpected application of the Coriolis effect
The Lycurgus Cup's optical mysteries inspire scientists
New research reveals the frictional nuances on the atomic scale
Ununpentium, the 115th element, has been confirmed
Scientists can now identify people by their breath — just like a fingerprint
Blurring the lines between man and machine with electronic implants
Scientists try to strike a balance with glass
Bullet-proof material absorbs bullets and reseals itself
Ladybug hairs inspire sensitive, flexible electronic sensors
A new bus route will feature electric buses that wirelessly charge while waiting for passengers.
During the Olympic Games, gold takes center stage. Gold was chosen for first place awards because it symbolized the Golden Age of Mankind in Greek mythology. According to Greek mythology, the Golden Age ended long ago for mankind, but new research on gold indicates that we may now be in the "Golden Age of Gold."
New developments in asphalt pavement could dramatically reduce fuel consumption, environmental pollution, and the frequency and cost of maintenance.
Spacesuits are being developed to allow humans to survive a fall from thousands of feet in the sky.
A new brain sensor developed by a team of researchers could represent a significant improvement in the ability to detect exactly where abnormal brain activity starts.
More than 100% efficient, these Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) put out more light energy than the electrical energy that they use!
Strong, springy, and ultralight, these lattices can sit atop a dandelion in seed without damaging it, and carry about 1000 times its weight without being damaged!
For a while carbon nanotubes have been a hot topic in science. Some of the latest research on nanotubes done at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, CO are fondly called Cupcakes,1,2 but you may only want a mental bite of these!
If you can dream it, you can print it! Learn how these 3D printers are changing the invention process.
It's been a year since Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their breakthroughs with graphene. What is graphene up to now?
How many ways can you think of to detect a single particle or atom? What uses would a tool that could do this have? The nanoantenna can! Read on to find out how and what uses it might have.
Cloaking makes things appear to be invisible. What may seem like science fiction is really just science.
Robert Frost concerned himself with which road to take, but in some cases the more important question may be which tires to use. Learn about the newest technology in tires.
In the wake of the Fukishima Nuclear Reactor incident, radiation is on the minds of many people, but did you know that people are exposed to radiation everyday? Ionizing radiation, like many things, isn’t bad unless a living organism is exposed to too much of it.
And the 2010 Nobel Prize goes to the André Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for graphene! Wait, isn’t that what’s in our pencils? Well, yes and no. See how the graphite in pencils and common adhesive tape lead these two to a Nobel Prize.
Lithium-ion batteries already power your cell phone and your laptop, and they may soon power your car. What makes these batteries so great?
Physicists are using sophisticated recording equipment and computer models to probe how a violin makes its sound. Could they be on the verge of discovering the "secret of Stradivari"?
How would you like to board a Maglev train and then speed off to your destination at more than 300 miles per hour? The magnets that levitate these trains are an application of superconductivity.
In 1959 the physicist Richard Feynman gave a talk called "There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom," on the possibility of microminiaturization. To encourage progress he offered a prize of $1,000 to anyone who could build an operating electric motor that fit into a 1/64th inch cube, and within months, someone had done it.
Nanotubes, discovered in 1991, are a new form of carbon. With four electrons available for bonding, the carbon atom can combine with others in a number ways and produce many useful materials.
We have all seen images, such as the one at the right, of astronauts floating inside a spacecraft. If these astronauts used a spring scale to weigh themselves, they would detect no weight at all. Does no weight mean no gravity?
We know about solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas —these are the well-known states of matter. But now there’s another, called the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), and it’s been predicted for a long time.
The thickness of a human hair is about 200 microns, 20 times the length of this guitar.
Physicists have created a new form of water, one that stays liquid at hundreds of degrees C below zero.
Have you ever seen a liquid magnet? If magnetic material is ground into an extremely fine powder, with a particle size of about 10 nanometers, and suspended in a liquid, the resulting magnetic suspension is called a ferrofluid.
Nobel-prize-winning research led to the MP3 player and HDTV-on-demand.
In our everyday world, matter is usually classified into solids, liquids, and gases. But what about dry sand?