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Tag Archives: Physics

The Physics Behind the Strange Interstellar Asteroid ‘Oumuamua

For the first time, humans have detected an interstellar asteroid—a space rock they’re calling ‘Oumuamua, which is a Hawaiian word meaning “scout.” It’s the only object we’ve ever seen that entered the solar system from beyond our little collection of planets. That’s a pretty big deal on its own. But ...

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How to Solve the Biggest Mystery in Physics

Suppose aliens land on our planet and want to learn our current scientific knowledge. I would start with the 40-year-old documentary Powers of Ten. Granted, it’s a bit out of date, but this short film, written and directed by the famous designer couple Charles and Ray Eames, captures in less ...

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The Physics of a 200 MPH Hyperloop Test Run

The hyperloop, Elon Musk‘s idea to make a high-speed transit system for people, has been an exercise in, well, hype. Despite a roster of companies and piles of VC money dedicated to realizing the idea—in which pods travel through a nearly airless tube at supersonic speeds—no human has taken a ...

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The Mind-Boggling Physics of a Standing Double Backflip

[embedded content] Humans can do things. Awesome things. Case in point: this human, named Aaron Cook. Cook can do some serious tumbling (just check out his YouTube channel), but he can also do something extremely difficult—a standing double back tuck (backflip). I have two daughters and both are gymnasts, so ...

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The Physics of Nearly Killing Yourself on a Motorcycle

[embedded content] The internet loves videos of motorcyclists doing crazy things on the autobahn. This one seems especially popular. From what I can gather, the rider is hauling along when a car cuts him off, requiring some sudden emergency braking. Let me show you how out of control I can ...

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