Mathematical Divination: Finding Pi With Nothing But Matchsticks & Graph Paper
Friday, September 30, 2016
As a beautiful fall day rustles by outside, a physics student stands in the classroom with an arm held out over his lab table, clutching a fistful of matches. He holds them tight, palm upward, over a sheet of graph paper, on which he's painstakingly .. more

A More Fun Way to Pass Kidney Stones?
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Who hasn’t wished the doctor would prescribe a week of vacation or a trip to Walt Disney World to cure an ailment? For patients with kidney stones, that might be just around the corner.According to new research published Tuesday in The Journal of the.. more



 
Japan's new X-ray satellite was lost in an accident a month after its launch. What did we learn in that month?

Hitomi, An Ambitious Endeavor Cut Short

Japan's Hitomi X-ray Observatory was lost in an accident just a month after launch. What did we learn in that month?


Electrostatics help

Advances in Micro-Drones

Electrostatics help "bug bot" micro-drones cling to surfaces just like their biological counterparts!


Quantum Moves Thumb

Quantum Computing, Human Processing

Gamers are helping engineer the next generation of supercomputers—and you can, too!


 
Light refracts through an empty glass to produce a rainbow of color

Dispersion Reveals Coffee at the End of the Rainbow

Dispersion through a glass splits light into its component colors.


There's something amiss about this prismatic rainbow—can you spot it?

ROYGBIV...B?

There's something amiss about this prismatic rainbow—can you spot it?


Well beyond the density of anything we’ve observed, hypothetical types of matter exhibit bizarre and beautiful optics.

Too Big to Cast a Shadow

How can something be too big to cast a shadow?


 
A new, food-safe superhydrophobic coating could make shaking the ketchup bottle a thing of the past.

To the Last Drop: Getting the Most Out of Liquid Containers

New, food-safe superhydrophobics could make shaking the ketchup bottle a thing of the past.


Tiny swimming robots could revolutionize healthcare, traveling through the bloodstream to perform a variety of life saving tasks

Tiny Robots Swim Toward Better Healthcare

Tiny swimming robots could revolutionize healthcare, traveling through the bloodstream to perform a variety of life-saving tasks.


Thunderstorms produce mysterious radiation that science is still trying to understand.

Exploring the Mysteries of Thunderstorm Radiation

As common as they are, thunderstorms still hold mysteries, producing radiation that science is working to understand.


 
Learn about the structure of metals as you use a paper clip to turn mechanical work into heat!

Paper Clip Heat

Learn about the structure of metals as you use a paper clip to turn mechanical work into heat!


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


 

Star-chaeology: The Next (Stellar) Generation
April 28, 2016
Join Dr. Anna Frebel and PhysicsCentral podcast host Meg Rosenburg in a search for the oldest stars in the universe!

Of Ice Cores & Isotopes
March 31, 2016
Ice cores contain air bubbles that have been encased for close to a million years! Find out what we can learn from this ancient oxygen in this week's PhysicsCentral podcast!

The Truth About Gravitational Waves
February 22, 2016
Host Meg Rosenburg journeys to the Hanford observatory for an exclusive interview with one of the scientists behind LIGO's detection of gravitational waves!

A New Ninth Planet?
February 12, 2016
Is there a ninth planet in the solar system lurking somewhere in the inky depths of space? Learn about "Vulcan, "Planet X", and the history of planetary astronomy in this week's PhysicsCentral podcast!

Podcast Archive


PhysicsQuest

Spectra's Current Crisis

Terminal Twins

This year's edition of PhysicsQuest has shipped—enjoy your kits!

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. Your students can help Spectra and her crew stop 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! 

Unfortunately, all the free kits for this year have been claimed and shipped; if you didn't get one, you can download the teacher's manual for free here and use it to create your own!

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.

SpectraSnapp

SpectraSnapp

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

cannonball cheeseburgers

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