August 16, 2006 Issue

Physics To Go 7 - Welding/eddy trail

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Physics in Your World

Plasmas for Welding image

Plasmas for Welding

U.S. Air Force photo by William M. Plate Jr.
(hi-res version)

The welding arc is a plasma, and is part of an electric circuit that includes the torch and the metal to be welded. To learn about the physics of welding, see Plasmas for Welding by the Coalition for Plasma Science. For information about welding radiation and its hazards, including "arc eye," check out Radiation and the Effects On Eyes and Skin from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

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Physics at Home

Strange Matter

At Strange Matter from the Ontario Science Center, complete with lively graphics and sound, you can explore the science of materials. To get started, zoom in on a soda can, all the way down to the atomic level. Then see how special materials can be transformed and how they are used in a variety of applications.


From Physics Research

EROS Image Gallery: Earth as Art 2 image
Left image, from Fluid Motion Gallery, courtesy of Walter Goldburg; Right image, from EROS Image Gallery: Earth as Art 2, courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

EROS Image Gallery: Earth as Art 2

These two images (hi-res version) show the same effect--the trail of vortices that can occur when a fluid flows past an object--at vastly different scales. The left image is a photograph of a flowing soap film in a laboratory. The right image was captured by a Landsat satellite and shows winds sweeping past Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

To learn more about these vortices, visit Karman vortex streets.

This feature was updated on July 3, 2013.

Worth a Look

Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth

Visit Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth to find out how hurricanes form. Don't miss the animation showing how a kink in the jet of moving air from Africa turned into hurricane Irene 2005.

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