You’ve probably seen those experiments where scientists are able to levitate foam balls, or tiny drops of water, using nothing but ultrasonic sound waves. It’s utterly mesmerizing to watch something just float in mid-air, but magnitudes cooler when filmed with a camera recording at 20,000 frames per second.
When you have a balloon floating in a car and start driving, instead of getting thrown back, it actually flies forward. What? Are balloons immune to inertia? Is physics broken? Nope. As SmarterEveryDay explains, it actually makes perfect sense, as science always does.
The slapshot is the fastest shot in hockey. One satisfying thwack and the puck goes flying at incredible speeds. Except it's not really one thwack, it's two, and our buddy Destin at Smarter Every Day has both the science know-how and the super high-speed slow-motion cameras to show you exactly how it works.
Destin over at SmarterEveryDay wanted to take an up-close look at the nanostructure of a butterfly's wing, so he took a few samples to be looked at under a scanning electron microscope. The results are fascinatingly beautiful.
You may remember our friend Destin at Smarter Every Day shooting an AK-47 underwater. It was a cool experiment, but the pressure caused the aquarium to shatter, ruining what we now know would have been an amazing shot. To solve this problem, he built a sort of reverse-periscope for a Phantom camera and shot the AK-47…
The AK-47 can be considered the Timex watch of the gun world. It takes a licking, and keeps on ticking, except that by ticking we of course mean firing round after round of ammunition. The automatic machine gun is based on a gas recoil system that uses the hot expanding gases of a bullet being fired to automatically…
Most people don't take a trip to the Amazon looking for publicity opportunities, but if you stumble on one you have to run with it, right? At Smarter Every Day, Destin and his rainforest guides took advantage of the complicated process leafcutter ants go through to forage for salt and got the ants to carry a little …
Destin, our friend over at Smarter Every Day, has expanded our brains once again. Did you know that dragonfly wings work differently than nearly every other insect, utilizing a direct flight mechanism? Did you know that they can operate each wing independently, enabling them to glide like a bird? Even if you did know…
We all know about echolocation, but way more is happening when a bat takes flight, and some bats don't echolocate at all. So how do they have so much precision in their flying and what's different about bats and birds?
Making a Prince
Rupert's drop is easy; you just let some molten glass drip into a bucket of water. But the resulting structure is so much more complex than the process that made it. The guys over at SmarterEveryDay took an in-depth look to explain why part of it can't be destroyed with a hammer, while its…
We're big fans of the Smarter Every Day and Slingshot YouTube channels—so it's always nice when Destin and Joerg, their respective owners, get together. This time round, they use high-speed photography to take a close look at the physics of hand-held slingshots—and work out how to make them as destructive as possible.
This is not a screensaver. Nor is it what happens if something goes wrong at the LHC, or the result of too much LSD. In fact, it's what happens if you have an over-active imagination and go out light paining with a remote control helicopter.
Just because it's the weekend doesn't mean you have to switch your brain off completely. Smarter Every Day continues its video series on the physics behind helicopters with a look at how choppers use something called a swashplate to vary the pitch of its rotor blades to climb higher and fly in any direction.