June 16, 2006 Issue

Physics To Go 3 - Kung fu/shockwave

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Physics in Your World

Kung Fu Science image
Copyright Institute of Physics; larger image

Kung Fu Science

This photo shows Chris, a Kung Fu expert, who has challenged Michelle to break through three pieces of two-centimeter thick pine board. Michelle is a committed physicist, so she's prepared to put her personal safety on the line, all in the name of science. To find out what happens, visit Kung Fu Science (text © Institute of Physics).

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Physics at Home

Sound Pitch

You can find activities on a variety of topics at Web Cité--hands-on.


From Physics Research

Bullet Shockwaves image

Bullet Shockwaves

image credit: Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology

In this technique, the bullet, its shockwaves, and its turbulent wake cast a shadow of a flash of light directly onto the photographic film (hi-res version). The duration of the flash was about one microsecond.

To learn more about shock waves, you can visit Sonic Shock at the American Physical Society's outreach website Physics Central. Also, you can visit Shock Waves to see wave patterns for objects moving at various speeds, including supersonic. Even better, you can try a simulation at Doppler Physlet, which is produced by Davidson College.

Worth a Look

Science Theater on Tour

This traveling theater troupe in southern California presents science concepts in lively theater shows for elementary school students.

To look for a physics roadshow in your region, click on "Physics on the Road" in the green navigation bar above.

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