I’ve recently re-discovered the joy of the Slinky – one of the simplest of all children’s toys and yet, so beguiling, as it seems to defy the laws of physics by hinting at some sort of perpetual motion. So how on earth does this work?
It took over 300 years of experimentation and refinement to arrive at the figure for the speed of light which we use as standard today. That being the case, the method proposed in this article for determining that speed yourself might seem more than a little surprising.
The renowned soprano Dame Nellie Melba is reputed to have performed this trick and in 1971 the audio-tape maker Memorex based a very successful advertising campaign around Ella Fitzgerald shattering glass both when singing live and when recorded on its tape cassettes (a claim the company still stands by today).
Magnetism is a manifestation of some very fundamental physics, ultimately linked to the orbital motion and spin of the electrons in atoms.
Toy magnets sometimes come with warnings not to drop them or heat them up, lest they lose their magnetic power. But is that true can magnetic substances really lose their magnetism ?.
It seems simple enough – you flip a switch, and in the blink of an eye the room has gone completely dark. But where exactly did all of the light go ? What actually makes the room dark?
Water is one of the strangest chemicals in the universe, and many of its strangest features turn out to be essential for life as we know it, particularly the almost unique property of water related to freezing. So why does it float when it becomes a solid?
E=MC2 must be one of the most well known equations. But what does it mean? What is E amd why is it equal to MC2 ?
Viewed from space the sun is supposedly a ‘peach pinkish’ colour, while the sunlight that hits the Earth is white. So why is the sky seen as being blue? In a Nutshell : The sky is blue because air scatters blue light but lets other colours pass straight through. In scientific terms, colour corresponds to a particular wavelength of light and so white is a mixture of all wavelengths of the different colours. The...
How Did Something Come From Nothing? : Questions do not come much deeper than this and until the 1970s only theologians and philosophers felt able to take it on (plus physics students still in the bar at closing time)
Cosmic Questions : How big is the universe? ; How fast is it expanding? ; Where is the force coming from? ; Where is the centre of the universe?
We consider some BIG questions in this article, however beware, not all the questions have what you might consider satisfactory answers.
That matter is composed of atoms we take for granted … but can we hope to unravel what they actually look like ?
The simplest of experiences can hatch eureka moments. Legend has it that despite all his inherited wealth and global travels, the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus hit upon one of the most fundamental of ideas in physics while sitting in the comfort of his own home.
One of the most common and baffling science questions is “how does gravity work?”. If you too find yourself confused then rest assured you’re in good company … even Sir Isaac Newton admitted he was baffled by gravity. In this article we look at Einsteins solution to this conundrum.
It’s often said that water draining out of a sink or bath swirls down the plughole anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere .. but is that really true ?