From Physics Research Archive - Page 2
image credit: Zhong You and Kaori Kuribayashi; image source: image not available online; larger image
Fold Everything ` - Oct 1, 2012
This photo shows a stent, a small metal cylinder inserted into a diseased artery to open it up. To be inserted, the device must be collapsed, and origami folding provides a way to do that. The stent is shown in the photo above, both folded and unfolded.
Mars Science Laboratory Mission ` - Sep 1, 2012
The image above shows a view from Curiosity's landing site inside Gale Crater; the elevated area in the distance is the crater wall. For more information on this image, visit Wall of Gale Crater. To learn more about this crater, visit The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater.
The Apollo Program: Apollo 15 ` - Aug 1, 2012
You're looking at the vicinity of NASA's Apollo 15 landing site, located almost in the center of the image, on the lava surface at the eastern edge of Mare Imbrium (click for a lunar map to find it). Naturally a smooth impact basin would be the best place for the lunar lander to put down. You can also see part of the Apennine mountain range in the image above.
Radioisotope Power Systems ` - Jul 1, 2012
The glowing pellet is an oxide of plutonium, the fuel for a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). It is photographed in the light it emits, because its radioactive decay produces considerable heat. The RTG converts this heat into electricity.
The Invention of the Electric Guitar ` - Jun 1, 2012
The photo shows a modern electric guitar prototype developed in 1940 by a physicist at North Carolina State University. Check out this webpage to learn more.
Newton's 3rd Law ` - May 1, 2012
What is the purpose of the small rotor on the back of this helicopter? In fact, it's needed because of Newton's third law--for every action force there is an equal and opposite reaction. The helicopter puts a force on the main rotor shaft to make it turn, and the rotor shaft puts an equal and opposite force back on the helicopter. For an example of reaction forces, see this video.
X-rays from free electrons ` - Apr 1, 2012
The spiral track above was made by an electron moving in a magnetic field. Since motion along a curved path requires a force perpendicular to the direction of motion, the electron is accelerated. Accelerated charges radiate electromagnetic waves, so the electron loses energy and spirals inward. To learn more about this process, see X-rays from free electrons.
image credit: A. Mugarza, C. Krull, S. Stepanow, G. Ceballos, and P. Gambardella, CIN2; image source; larger image
Electronic Handedness in Copper-Silver Combo ` - Mar 1, 2012
Notice how the two images above have opposite handedness? These images show electronic properties of a small layer of copper on top of silver, but neither silver nor copper have any handedness themselves. To learn more, visit this American Physical Society webpage.
image credit: D. Lafreniere, R. Jayawardhana, M. van Kerkwijk (University of Toronto); image source; larger image
APOD: Companion of a Young, Sun-like Star Confirmed ` - Feb 1, 2012
You are looking at the first telescopic image of a confirmed planet in orbit around a Sun-like star. The young planet is still quite warm, and therefore radiating considerable energy, which makes it relatively easy to detect. To learn more, see APOD: Companion of a Young, Sun-like Star Confirmed.
Wing Vortices ` - Jan 1, 2012
This image from ONERA, the French aerospace lab, shows a simulation of the wake of an aircraft, looking along the direction the aircraft is moving. The spirals of moving air are called wingtip vortices. To learn more, visit this animation from the Smithsonian Institution's How Things Fly.