There’s an eerie and incredibly rare phenomenon witnessed by few that has long puzzled scientists: ball lightning. These flashes, which typically appear in the evenings during thunderstorms and look like small, bright spheres, have gone mostly unexplained aside from some theories. But now, using some of the most…
Scientists have experimentally observed a physical concept that was first theorized in 1931 for the first time—one that could result in important applications in quantum computing and even the study of string theory. Maybe.
MRI machines use a powerful magnetic field to produce internal images of the human body. The magnetic fields are so powerful that hospitals take great care to ensure no iron-containing metals come near the machines while they are in use. In rare cases, however, mistakes happen. This past weekend, an Indian man…
Earth’s magnetic field does way more than guide our compasses and cause occasional worry. It’s part of the reason there’s life at all on this planet—it protects us from harmful solar radiation that might otherwise blow our ozone layer away.
Over the past couple of hundred years, the strength of the Earth’s geomagnetic field has been waning, leading scientists to wonder if our planet’s polarity is on the verge of flipping. A new study suggests this won’t happen in the near future—and that the intensity of today’s field is uncharacteristically strong.
If you love a magnet, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s due to a temperature called Curie. Look, I’m not a poet. Just read this.
Physicists have created a wormhole device that can tunnel a magnetic field through space. It sounds like Star Trek, but we won’t be zapping humans across the universe anytime soon. Still, the breakthrough could revolutionize certain magnet-based technologies, including MRIs.
Measuring magnetic fields with accuracy is important, whether it’s for geological exploration or medical imaging. Now, a team from MIT has developed a new laser-based magnetic field detector that’s 1,000 times more efficient than previous examples.
More than a hundred years ago, physicists discovered that heat is simply the energy stored in the vibrations of atoms. This meant that heat and sound are related. Now, for the first time ever, scientists have experimentally shown that these atomic vibrations have magnetic properties, too.
C-29 was content to move packages along the assembly line until one day, when a shiny new model appeared on the opposite side of the conveyer belt. What happens next is extraordinarily sweet — and more than a little sad.
Let's start with a quiz…
Here's Veritasium's Derek Muller with 5 Fun Physics Phenomena to bend your brain.
In a technique similar to how optical fibre transports light through a tube, researchers from Spain have developed a material that efficiently guides and transports a magnetic field from one location to the other. The technology will likely be used to fuel the quantum computers of tomorrow.
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.
Magnetic putty makes me deeply happy. It slowly deforms under a gentle pull, or snaps when abruptly tugged, while the magnetism will draw it like a creeping monster to devour stray magnets. While a handful of putty is fun, I am utterly enchanted by a monstrous 100-pound blob.
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.
Remember those Newton's Cradle executive desk toys? They might be fun to play with, but you can't use them to send a piece of metal careening into someone's face. The Gaussian Gun uses the same principle — but it actually lets you shoot a projectile.
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.