March 1, 2007 Issue

Physics To Go 20 - Aurora/superconductor

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Physics in Your World

Physics in Action: Space Weather image
photo credit: Jan Curtis

Physics in Action: Space Weather

This photo (hi-res version) shows the Aurora--the Northern Lights--over Alaska. The green color comes from the spectral lines of oxygen. For an image of the Southern Lights, taken from space, see NASA's Earth Observatory.

Auroras are produced by magnetic storms in space. To learn about space weather, you can visit Physics in Action: Space Weather, from the American Physical Society's Physics Central, and NASA's Space Weather Center.

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Physics at Home

My Cup Runneth Down

Try My Cup Runneth Down, from Physics Central, by the American Physical Society, to see what happens at the surface between two fluids when the higher-density fluid is on top. You can do this experiment right in your own kitchen. To learn more, about this phenomenon, see the archived Physics in Your World feature from June 28, 2006.

This feature was updated January 3, 2010.


From Physics Research

Physics in Action: Superconductors image
image credit: Darren Peets, UBC Superconductivity group

Physics in Action: Superconductors

This photo (hi-res version) shows a small magnet levitating above a superconducting material, which is at the temperature of liquid nitrogen--77 degrees above absolute zero.  To learn about superconductivity, visit Physics in Action: Superconductors from Physics Central, the American Physical Society's outreach website. You'll find more at Superconductors (don't miss the section called The History of Superconductors) and Hyperphysics, which has movies of the levitating magnet.

Worth a Look

Cosmic Journey: A History of Scientific Cosmology

The Physics to Go collection contains a number of interesting sites on cosmology--the study of the history and future of the universe.  Here are a few:

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