603 posts tagged with physics.
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An Engineer's Delight

Friday Flash Fun [more inside]
posted by DU on Jul 18, 2008 - 60 comments

Universe Sandbox

An Interactive Space Simulator "Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with our solar system: the 8 planets,160+ moons, and hundereds of asteroids, the nearest 1000 stars to our Sun, and our local group of galaxies." [31Mb, Windows only, sorry, but see inside for similar Mac and Linux apps] [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jul 11, 2008 - 27 comments

Soft Science

If you like those giant plush microbes but maybe they're a little too life-sciencey for ya, perhaps you would like The Particle Zoo instead.
posted by sergeant sandwich on Jun 30, 2008 - 34 comments

728 ton pendulum

728 ton pendulum in action: Taipei 101's tuned mass damper during the Sichuan earthquake. [Via The Long Now Blog]
posted by homunculus on Jun 26, 2008 - 51 comments

KABOOM!

Jonathan Golob at Dear Science.org has a series of posts up about nuclear power. Topics include: The physics behind nuclear power, the inner workings of a reactor, nuclear radiation, nuclear waste, the disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and the future of nuclear power. Also in a truncated podcast form. [more inside]
posted by Weebot on Jun 19, 2008 - 2 comments

Reality

The Reality Tests. "A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it?"
posted by homunculus on Jun 4, 2008 - 82 comments

My eyes!

Paul Nylander's home page is garish and busy, but full of interesting tidbits about fractals, insects, physics, and other things.
posted by owhydididoit on May 29, 2008 - 16 comments

The laws of your world don't apply, mortals!

The 46 Anime Laws of Physics.
posted by msaleem on May 15, 2008 - 34 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Roller Coaster

This little game lets you learn about G Forces AND have fun. From the University of Cambridge's Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies. You must build a roller coaster that thrills the occupants, but be warned - if they throw up your score gets reset, and making them black out is also frowned upon.
posted by SciencePunk on May 2, 2008 - 12 comments

R.I.P. John Wheeler, physicist

R.I.P. John Wheeler, theoretical physicist. Famous for the Wheeler-Feynman equations and the term "black hole," which he coined to describe a singular point mass, he has died at age 96. The NYT usually gives pretty good obituary but they outdid themselves this time. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2 on Apr 13, 2008 - 64 comments

Let Me Just Roll Up My Sleeves to Make Sure You're Not Dying

Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium - "Underneath their sober lab coats and flannel shirts, scientists hide images of their scientific passions. Here they are revealed to all." From the science journalist and writer responsible for The Loom and numerous other published works.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 8, 2008 - 33 comments

Magic crayon Physics - now in online flash form

Online Crayon Physics Flash version of stuff from here and here. No download needed (vs. prior posts) and totally addicting.
posted by filmgeek on Apr 6, 2008 - 38 comments

100,000,000 years

The little windows in the walls of time amber provides aren't always open. Opaque amber is common and, until now, has hidden away many fossil creatures. 100,000,000 years.... via bbc [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Apr 1, 2008 - 7 comments

End-of-the-world Filter

Larry Niven warned everyone about it. MetaFilter, too: Try to escape. Quantum black holes is dangerous.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Mar 29, 2008 - 70 comments

She blinded me with science!

Gorgeous images, selected solely for their artistic appeal, from the pages of Physical Review B.
posted by dmd on Mar 22, 2008 - 15 comments

Somewhere, Richard Feynman is smiling.

Swinging from pendulums and facing down wrecking balls, MIT professor Walter Lewin shows students the zany beauty of science.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 14, 2008 - 10 comments

Watching Paint Dry

Prof Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan looks at the physics of wrinkles, creases and folds - from the small to the very large (video demos), feeds his venus flytrap, then rides on his magic carpet.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 5, 2008 - 3 comments

Liquid Bounce

At the University of Texas, researchers have produced some amazing videos and photos of liquid bouncing on liquid. This was one of nature.com's Images of the Year for 2007 (picture number 6, in the upper-right corner). The project report, along with pictures and videos, is found on their bouncing jet page, and it's quite extraordinary both for the counter-intuitive nature of the phenomenon and the extremely low-tech production methods. You can even do it at home with little more than a lazy Susan and some silicone oil. [more inside]
posted by math on Mar 3, 2008 - 12 comments

Physics milestones of the past 50 years

Physical Review Letters' 50th anniversary retrospective promises to be an interesting survey of the physics landscape for the past half-century.
posted by Wolfdog on Feb 27, 2008 - 6 comments

Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts

Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts (pdf), a recently-updated paper on the Cornell arXiv peer-review site. By Hrvoje Nikolić of the Rudjer Bošković Institute in Croatia. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 25, 2008 - 47 comments

phlatluigi?

Let's have some physics phun! [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Feb 20, 2008 - 26 comments

Oh, the humanity!

Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen. Thomas E. Mallouk and W. Justin Youngblood, postdoctoral fellow in chemistry, together with collaborators at Arizona State University, developed a catalyst system that, combined with a dye, can mimic the electron transfer and water oxidation processes that occur in plants during photosynthesis. They reported the results of their experiments at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science today in Boston.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Feb 18, 2008 - 48 comments

Adventures in Balrog Math

Some Thoughts On Balrogs.
posted by homunculus on Feb 15, 2008 - 45 comments

At The End Of The World, No One Can Hear You Scream.

10 Disasters That Could Cause The End The World At Any Given Second. [Via, via].
posted by amyms on Feb 11, 2008 - 92 comments

The Mechanical Universe on Demand

The Mechanical Universe...and Beyond is a critically-acclaimed series of 52 thirty-minute videotape programs covering the basic topics of an introductory university physics course. This well produced and highly informative 52 episode series, hosted by David Goodstein of Caltech, is available as Video on Demand (Note: simple registration required to view videos). [more inside]
posted by FuturisticDragon on Feb 6, 2008 - 28 comments

free Yale courses online

Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to seven introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University:Astronomy, English, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies: a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video, syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 14, 2007 - 30 comments

If he'd patented the idea, DC Comics would never have existed

Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives: Maybe you know e from eels. Most people (other than Sticherbeast) probably did not know his father was once a rock star physicist who first conceived of parallel universes (not that Neils Bohr was impressed). Last night, BBC4 aired a documentary on the trails both men followed.
posted by yerfatma on Nov 27, 2007 - 26 comments

Symmetry. Shakespeare. Islamic medicine. Creative writing challenges.

Symmetry. Shakespeare. Islamic medicine. Creative writing challenges. Four podcast series from University of Warwick.
posted by Wolfdog on Nov 18, 2007 - 2 comments

Man wins physics (maybe)

An exceptionally simple theory of everything has been released by a snow and surfboarding physicist. String theorists are grumpy feeling it doesn't have enough dimensions to be a proper theory. Others question and discuss. In it's favour - it's pretty! 10 Mb Quicktime
posted by Sparx on Nov 15, 2007 - 113 comments

Vibrations make the world

String Theory in two minutes or less, or if the Reader's Digest Condensed version of string theory is too terse, spend an hour with Dr. Michio Kaku and Brian Greene. (previously) (via /. and WBAI)
posted by caddis on Oct 25, 2007 - 40 comments

Physics 101 stumper

Here's a seemingly simple physics problem: an airplane taxis in one direction on a moving conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Can the plane take off? The debate rages on and on and on....
posted by zardoz on Sep 29, 2007 - 248 comments

My name is Legion. You collapsed my probability distribution, prepare to die!

The Crossing is a new FPS game where single-player and multiplayer modes meld in one. At any point, any Non-Player-Character might not be an NPC at all, but another Player. It is likely that, as in a game of tag, players will just take turns to be "it" like Agents in the Matrix, but... wouldn't it be great if we could all be "it" at the same time? Quantum Gaming might just be the way to model such a swarm of gamers. [more inside]
posted by kandinski on Sep 23, 2007 - 30 comments

Neutron = negative exterior + positive middle + negative core

Particle accelerator experiments show that the neutron has a negatively charged exterior, a positively charged middle, and a negative core. Abstract from Physical Review Letters.
posted by russilwvong on Sep 20, 2007 - 44 comments

A Map of the Cat

Richard P. Feynman { Information Junkie PhD Atomic Bomber Professor/Lecturer on Physics + Mathematical Artist [DIY] + Nanotech Knowledgist 33.3% Nobel laureate + QEDynamic Speaker + Tiny Machinist + Challenger of Conclusions + Best-Selling WriterXBusted [outside Tuva] Star Trek TNG Shuttlecraft Pepsi Black/Blue U.S. Postage Stamp }
posted by Poolio on Sep 16, 2007 - 51 comments

How to win the Nobel Prize 101

"It so often happens that I receive mail - well-intended but totally useless - by amateur physicists who believe to have solved the world. They believe this, only because they understand totally nothing about the real way problems are solved in Modern Physics...It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet... I know exactly what should be taught to the beginning student...I can tell you of my own experiences. It helped me all the way to earn a Nobel Prize. But I didn't have internet. I am going to try to be your teacher. It is a formidable task."
posted by vacapinta on Aug 29, 2007 - 47 comments

Can't Hurt To Ask!

Need advice? Ask a Theoretical Physicist. Ask A Gay Man. Ask A Dork. Ask A Ninja (previously). Ask Great Granny. Ask Poop Report. Ask a Hill Staffer (if you can have a job writing Ask A Hill Staffer). Ask A Nun. Ask the Dalai Lama. Ask the Magic 8 Ball. Or I suppose you could always just Ask Mefi.
posted by haricotvert on Aug 26, 2007 - 20 comments

Hey batter batter batter batter SWING!

The four greatest home run hitters of all-time: A video analysis of their swings. The top ten swings of 2006 and more from swingtraining.net. More on the mechanics of crushing baseballs from The Batter's Eye. The Physics of Baseball highlights an academic paper studying "optimum baseball bat swing parameters for maximum range trajectories", or more to the point, "How to Hit Home Runs" (warning, last link is PDF).
posted by edverb on Aug 4, 2007 - 42 comments

Level 50 is evil

[Friday Flash Fun] Gravity Pods, a physics-based shooter/puzzle where you use special gravity pods and repellers to alter the course of a projectile and avoid barriers to hit a target.
posted by aerotive on Jul 27, 2007 - 25 comments

The New Physics - An Exam

The wave equation is v = ƒλ. How does that make you feel?
posted by ikebowen on Jul 24, 2007 - 50 comments

I've got moves you haven't even seen yet

What is the relationship between the optical groove in a record or wax cylinder and sound, and how can we use this to recover analog recordings from the past? Dr. Carl Haber explains IRENE (.pdf; begin at slide 44 for audio samples).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 16, 2007 - 25 comments

This Should be Played at High Voltage

Steve Ward's Singing Tesla Coil video. Previously.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2007 - 22 comments

Metafilter and the Purple Crayon

Crayon Physics, the delightful latest game from independent game developer Petri Purho at Kloonigames, a sort of finnish Ferry Halim. Draw objects with your crayon to get the ball to the star. The site is also home to other made-in-a-week games such as Cacodemon, which is as frustrating as it is addictive. If Crayon Physics seems too short, check out the small level pack or hack the xml to make your own. Windows only, works in Wine too
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 29, 2007 - 20 comments

Fire! Water! Triangle hotter!

An interesting set of videos demonstrating the state of liquid and particle systems simulation for use in movies, games, etc. It's the work of Ron Fedkiw, a computational physicist and consultant for ILM^ , who worked with his students to create all sorts of other interesting CG creations.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 14, 2007 - 10 comments

UniverseNewsFilter: Scientists claim to have detected dark matter

UniverseNewsFilter: Scientists claim to have detected dark matter! Here are NASA's press release, feature page and multimedia presentation. For an explanation what dark matter is, I refer you to this page. After all that excitement, you can sit down and work out how much dark matter is in the Milky Way.
posted by Kattullus on May 15, 2007 - 30 comments

Super-supernova

New supernova is bright. Too bright, in fact.
posted by Citizen Premier on May 7, 2007 - 21 comments

Particles and waves in your basement

Demonstrate one of the weirdest quantum effects in your home using a laser pointer, some tinfoil, a piece of wire, and a $7 polarizer. The device, called a quantum eraser, operates in a way very similar to the famously mind-blowing double slit experiment that was voted the most beautiful experiment in physics.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 30, 2007 - 49 comments

96k of hilarity

The demo scene is alive and well. Showing off just what can be done with your computer with tiny programs (serious hardware required, video link included). The point of this post? Sumotori Dreams. A physics based game packed into 96k. It's not the gameplay itself which is so great, it's the stumbling drunk AI characters. Play a round, then sit back and watch them stumble (youtube). Safe for work, if gales of laughter don't draw suspicion.
posted by tomble on Apr 25, 2007 - 49 comments

People have long asked, "What is the world made of?" and "What holds it together?"

The Particle Adventure.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 21, 2007 - 14 comments

Impossible Crystals

"This is a story of how the impossible became possible. How, for centuries, scientists were absolutely sure that solids (as well as decorative patterns like tiling and quilts) could only have certain symmetries - such as square, hexagonal and triangular - and that most symmetries, including five-fold symmetry in the plane and icosahedral symmetry in three dimensions (the symmetry of a soccer ball), were strictly forbidden. Then, about twenty years ago, a new kind of pattern, known as a "quasicrystal," was envisaged that shatters the symmetry restrictions and allows for an infinite number of new patterns and structures that had never been seen before, suggesting a whole new class of materials...."

Physicist Paul J. Steinhardt delivers a fascinating lecture (WMV) on tilings and quasicrystals. However, it turns out science was beaten to the punch: a recent paper (PDF) suggests Islamic architecture developed similar tilings centuries earlier.
posted by parudox on Mar 18, 2007 - 11 comments

Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics

Contributions of 20th Century Women to Physics
posted by chrismear on Mar 8, 2007 - 21 comments

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