Physics in Your World Archive - Page 4
Image credit: Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology
Wikipedia: Shadowgraph - Dec 1, 2010
This is a Schlieren image, which reveals differences in the density of air above the candles. To find out more about these images, visit Wikipedia: Shadowgraph, and to learn how to make one, visit Schlieren Photography Principles.
Physics 2000: Lasers - Nov 1, 2010
Lasers don't come only in red: you can buy handheld lasers that produce light in various wavelengths in the visible spectrum. Remember, lasers can be dangerous--so get adult supervision for any laser experiment you try.
image credit: Eurico Zimbres, Wikimedia Commons (taken at the San Diego Natural History Museum); image source; larger image
What Really Killed the Dinosaurs? - Oct 16, 2010
Dig into rocks around the globe at the right depth and you may find a thin layer like the one pictured above, a geological hint about our planet's past. This sedimentary layer contains much more iridium than the surrounding layers, and the element iridium is rarely found on Earth but plentiful in rocks in space. For this reason, some scientists believe that there was an enormous meteorite impact that covered the planet in its dust.
The Geothermal Power Plant - Oct 1, 2010
The above photo shows the Nesjavellir geothermal plant in Iceland, which produces power and hot water for the towns surrounding it.
Laser Applications - Sep 16, 2010
This laser cutting machine can cut metal up to 16 mm thick. Laser cutting is just one of many laser applications--lasers can cool atoms, bring stars into focus, and transmit information. To learn about many more applications, see this Hyperphysics webpage.
Why Leaves Aren't Trees - Sep 1, 2010
This is a lemon leaf that was wounded to interfere with its circulation. Note how the network of veins enabled nutrients to flow beyond the wound.
High speed photography - Aug 16, 2010
Look at the cavity behind the falling object that made this splash--you can learn how this cavity collapses if you check out From Physics Research.
Ocean Waves - Aug 1, 2010
The side-view photo above shows how the back of a breaking wave spills over the front.
Tensile Structure - Jul 16, 2010
The roof of the Denver International Airport terminal (above) is a tensioned fabric structure designed by Horst Berger, a civil engineer famous for his large-scale fabric projects. This roof employs double-curved "minimal surfaces" that are characteristic of soap films (see From Physics Research).
The Mystery of the Racing Rocks - Jul 1, 2010
What could cause rocks like this--of various sizes--to slide across the desert of Death Valley and leave these long tracks? The force of the wind... the force of moving ice sheets? To find out about these possibilities, visit The Mystery of the Racing Rocks.