Physics in Pictures by Topic

Material Science

The Swallow Tanager gets its brilliant blue and turquoise hues by harnessing the wave properties of light.

What Color is this Bird?

The swallow tanager gets its brilliant blue and turquoise hues by harnessing the wavelike properties of light.


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.


Finding the best way to pack objects into a container of a certain shape is harder than you might think.

Polyhedral Peg, Round Hole

Finding the best way to pack objects into a container of a certain shape is harder than you might think.


The non-Newtonian properties of liquid soap and shampoo fluid let them

Bouncing a Stream: The Kaye Effect

The non-Newtonian properties of liquid soap and shampoo fluid let them "bounce" as a stream. Try it at home!


A unique blend of nanoscale structures might let us create frost-proof surfaces

Nanostructures Promise Iceproof Surfaces

A unique blend of nanoscale structures might let us create frost-proof surfaces


Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or BZ) patterns arise when molecules repeatedly gain and lose electrons in waves.

Color Charge: BZ Patterns

Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or BZ) patterns arise when molecules repeatedly gain and lose electrons in waves.


Learn about plastics and polymers with the newest page from our upcoming all-ages coloring book!

Color Charge: Plastics, Polymers, and Voronoi Diagrams

Learn about plastics and polymers with the newest page from our upcoming all-ages coloring book!


The winners of this year's

Making Art from Materials Science

Check out the winners of the Materials Research Society's 2016 "Science as Art" competition!


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?


Electron beam-induced etching (EBIE) conquers nature's hardest surface with ease.

Diamonds are for Etching

Electron beam-induced etching (EBIE) conquers nature's hardest surface with ease.


Alternating vortices spawn over an island on the ocean.

Vortex Streets

Clouds form enormous eddies over the Juan Fernandez islands.


A layer of meltwater keeps ice moving through fluid with minimal turbulence

Ice Slips Through Water

A layer of meltwater keeps ice moving through fluid with minimal turbulence.


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

Metastable Helium

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


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Watching Paint Dry

Microscopic patterns form with surprising regularity as colloids dry.


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American Cells

Epithelial cells grown in the shape of the United States


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Optimal Biological Branching

Veins in leaves and animals may branch this way for optimal transport


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Vortex Electron Beam

A twist on electron beams may make them shoot more accurately


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Topological Insulator

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


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Comic-Con 2013 Swag

We handed out tons of physics gear at this year's Comic-Con


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Metallic Flow

Solids can flow like fluids, given the right circumstances


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Mysteries of the Glass Transition

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


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Palladium Films Up Close

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


More Efficient LEDs

More Efficient LEDs

Nitride alloys expand the applications of energy-saving LEDs.


Nitrogen Tracers in Graphene

Nitrogen Tracers in Graphene

Altering graphene's electronic properties with Nitrogen tracers.


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New Phase of Matter in Superconductor

High temperature superconductor spills secrets: a new phase of matter.


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Devil’s Nano Postpile

Nanotubes mimic the Devil’s Postpile National Monument in eastern California.


Scanning electron micrograph of iron-titanium nanowires.

Nanowire Hay Bales

Scanning electron micrograph of iron-titanium nanowires


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Soap Memory

A soap bubble trapped in a colorful configuration.


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Liquid Art

These images captured the moment streams of liquid collide, bending the streams and forming beautiful images.


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Aerogel: Fighting Fires

This photo illustrates the insulating properties of aerogel. The crayons on top of the aerogel are not melting, protected from the flame by a layer of aerogel.


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Nano-Tagging Plants

Nanoparticles are being used as biological markers


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Striped Superconductors

This psychedelic image is a graphical summary of a theory describing striped superconductors.


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.


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Bundle of Tiny Carbon Nanotubes

Crystal-like carbon nanotubes could serve as wiring for future computers.


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Hollow Atoms

Physicists have removed the inner electrons from neon with a high energy X-ray laser, leaving behind a hollow atom shell.


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Graphene Quilt

This quilt won't just keep you warm; it can teach you about the four electronic states central to understanding the properties of graphene.


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Physics of Goo

Next time you put syrup on your pancakes remember that there is physics behind how the syrup flows.


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