Hot and Cold, All at Once
Monday, November 23, 2015
New research slated for publication in Physical Review B shows that “cold spots” can be localized within a molecule, leaving single atoms with temperatures near absolute zero, while other parts of the molecule rest around a comparatively balmy 100 Kelvin... more

What Can a Blob-eating Game Teach Us About Biblical Plagues?
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Swarming behavior has always fascinated physicists, biologists, and behavioral scientists alike—as well as anyone who’s seen a sky-darkening flock of starlings twist into its mesmerizing shapes. It’s hard not to wonder how such elegantly concerted behavi... more

Radiofrequency electromagnetic waves can power wireless brain implants in mice!

Wireless Neural Implants

Radiofrequency electromagnetic waves can power brain implants in mice

Femtosecond-pulse lasers have enabled the creation of free-floating, interactive holograms!

Plasma Fairies: Femtosecond Laser Holograms

Lasers have enabled the creation of free-floating, interactive holograms!

Pollia thumbnail image

Color-Tunable Elastic Fibers

By mimicking the structure of organisms like the Pollia condensata berry, researchers have invented an elastic fiber that changes color when stretched!

Water droplets on the strands of a spider's web act as tiny prisms, creating a metallic rainbow of colors.

Spiderweb Diffraction HD

The dewy strands of a spiderweb can form a natural diffraction grating


Hoag's Object

The "Eye" in the Sky

Coronal Loops

Coronal Loops

Plasma arcs from the surface of the sun, guided back down by powerful magnetic field lines.

The blasted ruins of a temple in Nagasaki, Japan.


Decades after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists debate their application to modern radiation safety standards.


India's Connection to the Stars

Documenting the astronomical beliefs of several Indian ethnic groups.


The Science Behind World Cup Passing Networks

Network theory reveals successful World Cup strategies

Hot Cocoa Effect

Instant Physics: The Hot Cocoa Effect

A fun and tasty home experiment for the holidays

Inverted Wineglass Harp

Inverted Wineglass Harp

A new take on a musical physics classic


3D and Polarization at Home

Grab some 3D glasses for this home experiment


What's in a (Martian) Name?
October 29, 2015
This week's PhysicsCentral podcast takes a deeper look at the more notable name-drops in the new film The Martian.

Scaling Down the Solar System
October 22, 2015
Meg interviews Wylie Overstreet, whose recent viral hit video "To Scale: The Solar System" gives us a glimpse of what the solar system would look like from the outside.

Meteorite Markings Offer Clues to their Past
October 08, 2015
A slice of meteorite has a lot to say about where it came from, if you know how to listen!

A Time Capsule of the Universe
September 16, 2015
The DASCH initiative, "Digital Access to a Sky-Century at Harvard", seeks to scan and upload tens of thousands of photographic plates, creating a comprehensive record of what the night sky has looked like over the past hundred years.

Podcast Archive


Spectra's Current Crisis

Terminal Twins

Registration is now open for this year’s PhysicsQuest, Spectra’s Current Crisis!

Register now for a FREE kit for this year’s PhysicsQuest, Spectra’s Current Crisis. With Miss Alignment in jail Lucy’s town assumes things have gone back to normal, but they would be wrong. Taking advantage of the now-abandoned Con Cave and a trusting town are twins Andy and Cat Terminal. They aren’t your ordinary sheisters, they have sub-atomic superpowers. Your students can help Spectra and her crew put a stop to the Terminal Twins from negatively affecting the town. As students help Spectra defeat the Twins they will learn about current, circuits, motors, and colors. This is a kit you positively can’t resist. Register now for your FREE PhysicsQuest kit!

We will be sending out the Spectra’s Current Crisis kits (for free) in late January. If you would like to purchase past PhysicsQuest kits, that can be done here. If you'd like to download past manuals or comics and create your own kits, that can be done through links on the About PhysicsQuest page.



Create your own spectroscope with our free iPhone/Ipad app: SpectraSnapp. Now you can see the spectral lines behind the fluorescent lights, neon signs, sodium lamps, and other light sources you encounter everyday!

Comic Books

Click to Read Physics Comics

Read all of our physics comic books online, and follow the adventures of Spectra, the original laser superhero.

Science off the Sphere

Science off the Sphere

Astronaut and chemist Dr. Don Pettit did physics demos that are out of this world while he was aboard the International Space Station. Now you can enjoy videos of his fantastic micro-gravity experiments safely on the surface!

Watch the Videos

Physics Stuff

View & Order Physics Stuff

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Spectra Sound

Purchase Posters, Spectra Sound, Tshirts and More in the APS Store.

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Resources for Educators

PhysicsCentral runs programs for all ages with the goal of making physics fun and interesting for everyone. From coloring books to at home experiments we have something perfect for you and your students to enjoy. 

Resources for Educators