Physics in Pictures by Topic

Thermodynamics & Heat

Developing and testing the most destructive weapons in history was a process fraught with danger—and discovery.

Nuclear Mysteries: the Rope Trick Effect

Developing and testing the most destructive weapons in history was a process fraught with danger—and discovery.

Coronal Loops

Coronal Loops

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



Cobalt-60 a medical radiation source, was recently stolen in Mexico


Mysteries of the Glass Transition

Why do certain liquids transition into glass? There's no easy answer.


Martian Wind

See the Curiosity rover's parachute flapping in the wind on Mars


Palladium Films Up Close

A colorful mosaic of nano-scale grains on a super thin film


New York City Language Map

A Twitter analysis reveals New York's ethnic neighborhoods


Ocean Current Cyclones

Simulation of ocean currents reveals cyclone dynamics


Ultrasound Gas Bubbles

Ultrasound energizes gas bubbles, causing intense pressure and heat


Ignition Target Chamber

Inside the National Ignition Center — home to extremely energetic lasers

Rover Debris

Rover Debris

Before landing on Mars' surface, the Curiosity Rover images its parachute's crash site.


Snowflake Science

The sky is falling! No, those are just snowflakes falling from the clouds. In this Physics in Pictures explore what conditions make snowflakes and what all snowflakes have in common.

Dwarf Star

Exploding White Dwarf Star

Astrophysicists are able to "explode a star" in a virtual computational laboratory by applying physics to calculate the mechanism and progression of the explosion.


In Synch

Electrons don't normally know one direction from another, so researchers were perplexed a few years ago when they found a cold plane of electrons suddenly choosing to conduct many times better in one direction than in the perpendicular one.



From bonfires to match sticks, flames usually have simple, predictable shapes.


Cold Molecules

Physicists have cooled single atoms and molecules with two or three atoms to just a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, but it has proved hard to push larger molecules below about 10 degrees Kelvin.