physics

Watch This Reflected Laser Pulse's Entire Flight Path At 20 Billion FPS

The technology available to image light as it moves through space continues to advance. Recently, we saw a new high-speed camera capture a small pulse reflected from a mirror; now, it’s possible to image the entire flight path of a laser as it bounces around a laboratory.


CERN Wants Artists And Architects Working Alongside Its Physicists

What do art and high-energy physics have in common? Quite a bit, if you think about it: Space, time and the structure of the visible and invisible world, for starters. That’s why CERN has spent the past four years inviting artists into its headquarters, and why, for the first time, it’s now inviting an architect to stay.


Sub-Atomic Particles Could Accelerate Themselves

At school, we all learned from Isaac Newton that no object can change its speed unless an external force acts upon it. For the most part he’s right — but now a team of physicists has demonstrated that sub-atomic particles could, in fact, accelerate themselves, without any force applied whatsoever.


Why Snow Is White Even Though Snowflakes Are Clear

When you look at pictures of individual snowflakes, the snowflakes are clear. So why is snow white and not clear?


Can You Shoot A Gun In Space? 

Space is full of potential dangers — rogue comets, Martians, bags full of astronaut poop, you name it. But if it really came down to it, and you did have to defend yourself against an interstellar attacker, would a traditional gun actually be able to do the trick?


Scientists Have Worked Out What The Mysterious White Mist On Coffee Is

If you’ve noticed a thin white mist clinging to the surface of your coffee — not the crema, nor the steam, but a ghostly white layer just on the surface — you’re not alone. Now, Japanese scientists are beginning to understand where it comes from.


How Small Is An Atom, Really? (Or How To Make Your Head Explode)

Video: Kurzgesagt has a neat new explainer: “How small is an atom?” I watched it. It does a great job at giving you an idea of how small atoms are and how they work. But it doesn’t matter, because my brain just plainly refuses to believe any of this. Hulk head hurt. Hulk smash atoms. Oops, Hulk make nuclear detonation.


A Cargo Of Birds Weighs Nothing When They Take Flight, And Then Double

If you’re driving a truck full of birds, can you bang the truck and lighten your load as the birds launch into the air? Mythbusters concluded “no” when they tackled this question several years ago — but that’s because they didn’t have equipment as high-tech as these Stanford engineers’. The real answer, it appears, is a bit more complicated.


If You Threw Cookie Dough At The Sun, How Long Would It Take To Bake?

First, let’s assume you are in orbit around the Earth’s atmosphere, and you threw the cookie sunward at 25 mph (40km/h). The most delicious of speeds.


Why Raw Spaghetti Always Snaps In More Than Two Pieces

Smarter Every Day has found out a solution to a mystery that even a Nobel Prize in Physics like Richard Feynman couldn’t solve: Why spaghetti never breaks in half, but in three or four parts. To find out he filmed the break at 250,000 frames per second — it’s a fascinating answer to a question I never had.