Physics in Pictures by Topic

Electricity & Magnetism

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.

Charged particles, imaged with a bubble chamber, spiral and curl in a magnetic field.

Bubble Tracks: A Window on the Subatomic

How do we photograph something too small to be seen with the naked eye?

We're thrilled to release the first page from our new all-ages coloring book project, Color Charge!

Color Charge: Hearing and Hair Bundles

We're thrilled to release the first page from our new all-ages coloring book project, Color Charge!

Coronal Loops

Coronal Loops

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

Low-pressure helium gas glows an eerie, soft pink color

Metastable Helium

Low-pressure helium gas glows an eerie, soft pink.


The "Sunset Egg": Tyndall Scattering

The Tyndall Effect is responsible for the strange optical properties of this physics toy.


Ice Spikes

Why do ice cubes sometimes have points on their surfaces?


Diffraction Through a Spiderweb

Dew on a spiderweb's strands splits sunlight into a prismatic rainbow of colors.


Lunar Charge Protection

Can magnetic anomalies on the moon protect future explorers?


Mars vs. Earth Infographic

Comparing Earth vs. Mars in this NASA-created infographic


Superfast Spacecraft: Juno

Juno recently sling-shotted around Earth on its way to Jupiter


Vortex Electron Beam

A twist on electron beams may make them shoot more accurately


LADEE Spacecraft

NASA's LADEE mission will study the lunar atmosphere and moon dust


Topological Insulator

A close-up of a promising material you may find in future electronics


Inside a Plasma Physics Lab

A glimpse into plasma physics and fusion research at MIT


Chocolate Physics

Take a closer look at chocolatey treats


Hornet X-Ray

Special x-rays give detailed images of small biological samples


Niobium Caterpillar

A tiny crystal structure mimics a neon caterpillar

Droplet thumb

Droplet Time Lapse

A time lapse image of a dyed water droplet falling into electrically-charged oil and water.

Magnetic Christmas Tree

Magnetic Christmas Tree

A snapshot of magnetic flux at super cold temperatures.

Glassy Energy Landscapes

Glassy Energy Landscapes

Glass artwork demonstrates a rugged energy landscape.


The Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, shines above Bear Lake, Eielson Air Force Base. Find out about the physics behind this phenomenon.

Tiny Antennas

Tiny Antennas

These antennas could be used in devices that use light in place of the electrical signals.

Molecular Transistor

Molecular Transistor

Physicists have made what they believe to be the first true single molecule transistor.


AB Effect

In 1959 the Aharonov-Bohm effect took its place as a legitimate demonstration of unexpected physics in the quantum world.

Attractive Tangles

Attractive Tangles

Scientists model the scenario in which Earth's magnetic field switches poles.


Spin Ice Monopoles

Spin ice is like magnetic ice and physicists have made analogies of magnetic monopoles in spin ice.


Stalactite Meets Stalagmite

What might look like the top and bottom of a limestone cave, may actually revolutionize the world of tiny electronics.


The First Superconducting Magnet

The world’s first superconducting magnet, consisting of a wire coil made of lead, was manufactured in the Leiden Physics Laboratory in 1912.

spin kaleidoscope

Spin Kaleidoscope

This image shows a map of the electrical characteristics of a topological insulator, providing information that is helping physicists to better understand how these new materials work.


Laser-Plasma Creates Electro-Optic Shocks

High power laser pulses create shock-waves and bubbles in plasma.


Magnetic Properties of Thin Films

This spectroscopic image shows what are called microwave-frequency magnetic resonances of an array of parallel, metallic thin film nanowire "stripes". The peak in the center reflects resonances occurring at the stripe edges. The strong horizontal bar of violet, black, and white, is due to resonances in the body of the stripes.


MHDPD-Magneto Hydro Dynamic Propulsion Device: The Experiment/ The Attenuation

Red and green dye reveals the turbulent fluid flows from the magneto hydro dynamic propulsion device.


Simply Shocking

Sparks branch for the same reason that coral reefs and snowflakes do, according to new computer simulations.


Radioactive Hotdog?

A spark flying between a metal doorknob and your hand is an intricate chain of electrical events.


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.