Becoming the Noise, Part II: Putting Humans into the Physics Equation
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Read part I of this story here.When I set out for Orfield Labs, I expected the anechoic chamber to capture my full attention. After all, so many people come to experience the quietness that the lab had to start charging for tours, to compensate for l.. more

Numbers in the News: How Big is that Lake on Mars?
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
In case you missed it, last month NASA announced the discovery of what looks like liquid water on Mars: a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) wide lake hiding under 1.5 km (~1 mile) of ice. A lake 20 kilometers across sounds like a lot of water, even if it is d.. more



 
What could we accomplish with machines that draw power from the air around us?

Meet the Tiny Machines that Harness Humidity for Power

What could we accomplish with machines that draw power from the air around us?


Getting humans to Mars safely means figuring out how to protect the body from the damage of cosmic rays.

Shields Up: What's Holding Up Human Travel to Mars?

Getting humans to Mars safely means figuring out how to protect the body from the damage of cosmic rays.


China's Micius satellite is pioneering the use of quantum entanglement in communications.

Micius and the Journey of Spaceborne Entangled Photons

China's Micius satellite is pioneering the use of quantum entanglement in communications.


 
The interior of a neutron star plays host to strange phases of matter unlike anything seen here on Earth.

Don't Eat This! A Recipe for "Nuclear Pasta"

The interior of a neutron star plays host to strange phases of matter unlike anything seen here on Earth.


The birth of a star produces spectacularly fast-moving bursts of particles.

An Astronomically Powerful Debut: Herbig-Haro Objects

The birth of a star produces spectacularly fast-moving bursts of particles.


The incredible energy of the Z Pulsed Power Facility makes for an impressive sight.

Meet the Z-Machine

The incredible energy of the Z Pulsed Power Facility makes for an impressive sight.


 
Laser blasts and levitation team up to make testing water for heavy metals a cinch!

Analyzing Water with Lasers and Levitation

Laser blasts and levitation team up to make testing water for heavy metals a cinch!


When GPS isn't an option, scientists turn to physics to help control and track swarms of underwater sensors.

A New Approach to Mapping the Mysteries of Ocean Life

When GPS isn't an option, scientists turned to physics to control and track swarms of underwater sensors.


Sometimes, all it takes to unlock ancient secrets is to look at the problem in a new light.

Examining Hidden Text in a New Light

Sometimes, all it takes to unlock ancient secrets is to look at the problem in a new light.


 
Get creative and learn the basics of magnetism at the same time with this fun blend of art & science!

Surprising Sculptures with Magnetic Magic

Get creative and learn the basics of magnetism at the same time with this fun blend of art & science!


Watch the interplay of electricity and magnetism in action, with this see-thru version of a classic physics demonstration!

Lenz's Law: Time Warp Tube

Watch the interplay of electricity and magnetism in action, with this see-thru version of a classic physics demonstration!


Learn how this mysterious

Wheels and Whirlwinds: the Coriolis Effect

Learn how this mysterious force works with a trip to the playground!


 

Drag Racing Cubesats with the NASA CubeQuest Challenge
December 23, 2016
In this edition of the PhysicsCentral podcast, we hear from a few teams who are still in the running for the CubeQuest Challenge: a contest for homegrown teams to build their own small satellites - cubesats - and compete against each other by demonstrating technological feats. Five million dollars in prize money will be divided among teams who can get into orbit around the moon, maintain a stable orbit for a long time, or make it almost all the way to Mars' orbit while still communicating with Earth.

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 and 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!

Podcast Archive


PhysicsQuest

Spectra's Energetic Escape

Registration is now open for 2018's PhysicsQuest program!

Registration is now open for PhysicsQuest: Spectra's Energetic Escape!

The students at Tesla Junior High are thrilled to hear that their favorite magazine, Fetch, has selected their school to be profiled in their upcoming issue. There's just one twist—they aren't profiling the whole school, just a select 16 that will be competing in 24 hours of challenges to win tickets to see the latest, hottest boy band, the Free Radicals! As usual, however, things don't go as planned. Your students will learn about energy and motion while they help their favorite middle school students escape the accidental catastrophe caused by Nolan R. Gibbs (N.R.G.), the editor in chief of Fetch. Learn about energy transfer in pendulums, making a potential energy powered pinwheel, energy and friction, and bouncy ball rockets! See who makes it to the concert...or even makes it out alive!

Register now for your FREE KIT! Hurry, because registration is limited and fills quickly. 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!

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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