Physics in Your World Archive - Page 4
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. To learn more about how the plant works, see this site from the University of Rochester.
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.
This is an Air Force F-22 Raptor producing a cloud as it breaks the sound barrier above an aircraft carrier.
Star Life Cycle - Jun 1, 2010
Our Sun is typical low-mass star in the galaxy, in the prime of its life, steadily fusing hydrogen as it will do for another five billion years. For an overview of our Sun's and other stars' lives, check out Star Life Cycle. For more details, see Main Sequence Stars and Sol.
image credit: University of Michigan Physics Department Lecture Demonstration Lab; image source; larger image
Physics in Action: Plasma Power - May 16, 2010
You've probably seen a plasma globe in class or at a novelty shop before. The glass is filled with a low-pressure, inert gas, which becomes ionized by the electric current from the central electrode to form tendrils of plasma.