Get to Know Maxwell's Equations—You're Using Them Right Now

Get to Know Maxwell's Equations—You're Using Them Right Now

Get to Know Maxwell's Equations—You're Using Them Right Now. The behavior of magnets can be explained with Maxwell's equations, which also describe the behavior of light and everyday objects like electric motors.

Let's Break Down the Physics of a Wickedly Curving Baseball

Let's Break Down the Physics of a Wickedly Curving Baseball

This change in momentum of the air produces a force on the ball in the other direction. The magnitude of the force depends on the velocity, the angular velocity, the area of the ball, the density of air and a Magnus coefficient (CM).

How Long Would It Take to Bicycle to the Moon?

How Long Would It Take to Bicycle to the Moon?

If instead you pedaled for six hours a day, it would take four times as long—so that's almost three years, and it's not even all the way to the moon.

Estimate the Energy of an Utterly Massive Wind Turbine

Estimate the Energy of an Utterly Massive Wind Turbine

They claim that just one turn of these giant wind turbines can generate enough energy to power a house for a whole day. That works with a different method .That's great and all, but how do you estimate the power (and then the energy) from a wind turbine?

Post-Apocalyptic Survival Skills: How to Measure Acceleration

Post-Apocalyptic Survival Skills: How to Measure Acceleration

With that, I can find a force-acceleration equation for both masses. With an accelerating mass, the net force is NOT zero. Notice that if the two masses have the same value, the acceleration would be zero meters per second squared (that's good).

The Secret to Soap Bubbles' Iridescent Rainbows

The Secret to Soap Bubbles' Iridescent Rainbows

When it comes to reflected light, you get a half wavelength phase shift if it reflects off a material with a higher index of refraction. As the film thickness changes, different wavelengths of light achieve constructive interference.

Why a Golf Ball Compresses Like a Spring—Until It Shatters

Why a Golf Ball Compresses Like a Spring—Until It Shatters

An experiment with a paperclip reveals both its elastic and plastic properties, a distinction that's key to how any material compresses or deforms. plastic properties of a paperclip with a graph that looks something like this.

Why a (Very Bad and Unsafe!) Playground Stunt Sends Folks Flying

Why a (Very Bad and Unsafe!) Playground Stunt Sends Folks Flying

This says that the farther you are from the center of the rotating merry-go-round, the greater the acceleration.

The Loopy Secrets of How Charging Cables Work

The Loopy Secrets of How Charging Cables Work

To light the bulb, I just need to pick two of these wires so that I can make a complete circuit with the battery and let current flow through the filament. The voltmeter, like just about every electrical measuring device, needs to have a complete circuit.

Simple Experiments Show How Motion Is Equivalent to Heat

Simple Experiments Show How Motion Is Equivalent to Heat

The change in thermal energy of an object depends on three things: the object's mass, the change in temperature, and the specific heat capacity (which depends on the material). In order to calculate the change in thermal energy, I need the specific heat capacity for the two materials (water and copper).

You Can Play With Escape Velocity—Without Leaving the Planet

You Can Play With Escape Velocity—Without Leaving the Planet

In this case, the force depends on the mass of the ball (m) and the local gravitational field (g) with a value of around 9.8 Newtons per kilogram.

Need an Ohm's Law Party Trick? Take a Light Bulb's Temperature

Need an Ohm's Law Party Trick? Take a Light Bulb's Temperature

Finally, the resistance is really just a proportionality constant between the voltage and the current measured in units of ohms (often using the symbol Ω). Let's measure current and voltage to determine the temperature of a light bulb.

How to Figure Out a Drone's Angular Field of View

How to Figure Out a Drone's Angular Field of View

How to Figure Out a Drone's Angular Field of View DJI; Wired You know what happens when I get a new toy? But with this new toy, I am going to determine the angular field of view for the Spark camera.

The Way Superman Picks Up a Building Is a Physics Travesty

The Way Superman Picks Up a Building Is a Physics Travesty

Rhett Allain Let's start with a rough estimate of the pressure between Superman's hands and the building. Now that I have the force that Superman pushes up on the building, I can also calculate the pressure.

Thank the Old-Timey Telegraph for Your Garage Door Opener

Thank the Old-Timey Telegraph for Your Garage Door Opener

Rhett Allain Using this relay, you don't have to have a huge current going through both your low-power thingy and your high-power lightbulb. Also, if I wanted to use some microcontroller (like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi) to turn this light on and off, the controller only needs a small output current rather than almost 2 amps.

A Strange Kind of Data Tracks the Weather—and Pirate Ships

A Strange Kind of Data Tracks the Weather—and Pirate Ships

A Strange Kind of Data Tracks the Weather—and Pirate Ships Spire A group of apes is called a shrewdness; a group of ferrets is called a business; a group of small satellites is called a constellation.

A Magic Wand? Nope, Just Good Ol’ Fashioned Physics

A Magic Wand? Nope, Just Good Ol’ Fashioned Physics

What happens if I hang a neutral object from the string and bring the positively charged PVC pipe? These moving electrons experience an attractive force from the positive charges on the PVC and thus move to the right side of the metal (as seen in the diagram).