Look How Much the Earth's Magnetic Field Is Changing

When the Earth's magnetic field switches, strange things happen. Now, the European Space Agency's Swarm satellite system has revealed exactly how our planets magnetism is changing. » 6/20/14 4:30am 6/20/14 4:30am

This Is the Milky Way's Magnetic Fingerprint

The swirls, loops and arches in this image may look like a new artwork—but they are in fact the results of the first ever all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way, and they represent the galaxy's magnetic fingerprint. » 5/06/14 8:00am 5/06/14 8:00am

What Will Happen When the Earth’s Magnetic Field Switches

The Earth's magnetic field protects life on Earth, shielding it from damaging radiation and moderating our climate. So the idea that it could completely flip around, or collapse altogether, should cause us to worry, right? Well, yes and no. » 4/17/14 6:00am 4/17/14 6:00am

Robins Can Actually See Magnetic Fields (But Only in One Eye)

Despite its unassuming looks and gentle temperament, the humble red breasted robin (Erithacus rubecula) boasts a superhero-like ability. They can see magnetic fields, giving them an almost perfect sense of direction. » 1/08/14 6:00am 1/08/14 6:00am

Where the Hell Is the True North Pole?

The North Pole is just at the top of the Earth, right? Well, not really: there isn't really a 'top' of a sphere spheroid and, anyway, depending on how you measure things the pole can be in one of many different spots. So which one's right? » 7/01/13 6:24am 7/01/13 6:24am

This Perpetual Motion Machine May Not Be Perpetual, But It's Awesome…

This guy claims that this invention is a perpetual motion machine, the Philosopher's Stone of physics, the Holy Grail of power. Play the video and check it out for yourself. » 2/06/13 10:40am 2/06/13 10:40am

The World's Fastest Train Will Float on a Cushion of Electromagnetism

The fastest train in America, the Amtrak Acela line running from Boston and DC tops out at 110MPH. Sure, that's way faster than taking a Greyhound, but pathetically pokey compared to the 311MPH bullet of the Mag-Lev train currently being developed by Japan's JR Tokai. » 11/28/12 11:40am 11/28/12 11:40am

Bits Stored on a Single Molecule Could Lead to Petabyte SSDs

If there's one fact of computing life, it's that there's never enough damn storage, and if you think it's bad now, just wait 'til you're downloading 4K movies. Still, research is at least keeping up, and now scientists can store bits of information on single molecules—which could pave the way for petabyte SSDs. » 7/11/12 8:33am 7/11/12 8:33am

The Tiltpod Magnetic Tripod Will Fit in Even the Skinniest of Jeans

Sometimes lugging your full DSLR around is more trouble than it's worth, so you bring a smaller point-and-shoot. But what about when you don't want to lug a full tripod around just to hold your compact digital camera? The Tiltpod could be the answer. » 10/24/11 10:00pm 10/24/11 10:00pm

This Cello Plays Sweet Music With the Power of Magnetism

I haven't played a stringed instrument for half a decade, but something as magical as this could bring me back. See, hacker (and admitted non-musician) [magnetovore] crafted a cello that plays music with invisible magnetism instead of a traditional bow. » 9/26/11 9:20am 9/26/11 9:20am

Magnetism Has Never Been This Mesmerizing

Kim Pimmel is no stranger to time-lapse photography. In his latest video, the versatile San Francisco filmmaker pits ferrofluid and food coloring in a pulsating race across an expanse of soap suds. » 8/29/11 11:00pm 8/29/11 11:00pm

Surfing Earth's Magnetic Field With a Giant Space Ribbon

A Japanese rocket unfurled a 300-metre-long ribbon in space on Monday, testing technology that could one day allow spacecraft to navigate by surfing Earth's magnetic field. » 9/04/10 10:00am 9/04/10 10:00am

A Real, Working Hoverboard Exists

I cannot overstate the significance of this news. French artist Nils Guadagnin has done the semi-possible: He's recreated the hoverboard from Back to the Future II. And it totally works...so long as no one stands on it. » 5/27/10 3:20pm 5/27/10 3:20pm

The 2010 Illusion of the Year Is Gloriously Mind-Melting

This simple yet confounding model was named the Illusion of the Year by the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, Japan. Watch the clip, allowing yourself the thrill of confusion before seeing how it works 25 seconds in. » 5/12/10 12:40pm 5/12/10 12:40pm

What Is This?

Some people are masters of this item, while others are—willingly or unwillingly—its slaves. With a little bit of dust, we can see its inner workings laid bare. What oh what could it be? » 5/09/10 1:00pm 5/09/10 1:00pm

Compass Table Is the Most Fun You'll Ever Have With Coasters

OK, I'll admit it: it's rare that I come across a do-it-yourself project that even for a moment makes me consider getting off my lazy ass to actually make something. But this compass-inlaid table points me in that direction. » 3/04/10 12:00am 3/04/10 12:00am

Nails! Magnet! Magnetism!

Science visualization doesn't get much awesomerer and old school than this. We should put a bunch of these together near the North Pole, to keep the Russians from stealing it. [Caleb Charland courtesy of Michael Mazzeo Gallery—Thanks David ] » 1/14/10 2:20am 1/14/10 2:20am

Mysterious Earth's Core Plume Shifting the Magnetic North Pole

The north magnetic pole is moving at 37 miles-a-year toward Russia, which means they're stealing it. Or the Earth's core is fluxing. Actually, nobody really knows what's happening. I just hope it's not a prelude to a catastrophic magnetic shift. » 12/27/09 12:00pm 12/27/09 12:00pm

Fiat Lux Lamp Actually Runs On Magic

I rarely get truly impressed by gadgets. They may be beautiful. They may do nice tricks. But very rarely they make me smile out of pure wonderment. That's exactly what happened when I watched the Fiat Lux Lamp in action. » 11/13/09 11:20am 11/13/09 11:20am