October 1, 2006 Issue

Physics To Go 10 - Vomit Comet/chaos

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Physics in Your World

Reduced Gravity:  Vomit Comet Blog image

Reduced Gravity: Vomit Comet Blog

photo credit: NASA
hi-res version

The photo shows astronauts training in a NASA plane that flies a parabolic arc--the same path as a projectile follows--so they can experience simulated weightlessness. To find out what these flights are like, check out the Reduced Gravity: Vomit Comet Blog, from Physics Central, by the American Physical Society. To learn more, see the Weightlessness page in Hyperphysics and Fluids in Space, also from Physics Central. If you'd like to build a drop tower to investigate apparent weightlessness yourself, see the NASA site Reduced Gravity Demonstrator.

This feature was updated on July 4, 2013.

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Physics at Home

Try Science at Home

Check out Try Science at Home for activities you can do with materials you have right at home (to get to the activities, click on "Try this at home.") At the end of the descriptions of the activities, you'll find a paragraph about the science behind each activity.

(This feature was updated on August 15, 2020.)


From Physics Research

Chaos Rules image

Chaos Rules

Image credit: Paul Bourke, WASP, University of Western Australia
hi-res version

This image shows the "Lorentz attractor," a graph that represents the behavior of a simple model of Earth's weather. Weather is just one example of a chaotic system, in which seemingly irregular behavior does follow certain patterns.

To find out about chaos research, see Chaos Rules on the American Physical Society's outreach website Physics Central.

(This feature was updated on September 2, 2013.)

Worth a Look

The 50 Most Important Women in Science

The 50 Most Important Women in Science, from the November 2002 issue of Discover Magazine, identifies 50 of the most extraordinary women across all of the sciences. Of these, 16 are in physics or physics-related fields.

You might also be interested in Women of NASA and also Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics (that is, contributions through 1976).

Also, check out the American Physical Society's downloadable booklet Physics in Your Future, which presents the exciting possibilities of a career in physics to middle and high school girls. A four-color print version is available at no charge--to order a copy, go to the link just above.

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