Our expert tackles the physics behind the hero's super-strength (his magical pants are another story)
By Adam WeinerPosted 05.20.2008 at 12:26 pm 7 Comments
The latest cinematic version of The Incredible Hulk is due to hit theaters soon. Now, many people are aware that the most incredible thing about the Hulk is the way his pants always stay on when he expands to ten times his original volume. (If they didn't it would make for a completely different kind of superhero.) His brute strength, however, is a close runner-up.
Tossing a ping-pong ball into a beer cup? It takes more physics than you might think
By Adam WeinerPosted 05.07.2008 at 3:07 pm 9 Comments
These guys are pretty amazing. And the nonchalance with which they accomplish each trick shot adds a certain understated humor to this entertaining video. But though the guys seem to be developing a seemingly useless (if highly impressive) skill in their spare time, there's quite a bit of complex science at play. In addition to being a highlight at any party, these are excellent demonstrations of two- and three-dimensional projectile motion, and with just a little bit of quantitative analysis the entire video would make a formidable project for an introductory level college physics class.
For example lets look at the segment where the guy tosses the ball in the cup off of a moving skateboard.
Adam Weiner explains the physics behind an excellent party stunt. Hint: the wizardry's in the water
By Adam WeinerPosted 04.21.2008 at 2:52 pm 2 Comments
Has the law of gravity suddenly taken a vacation? Au contraire. Is the trickster in this video using sleight of hand? Nope. Can you use this trick to pick up women at cocktail parties? Possibly. Let’s analyze just what's going on here.
A moving sled and a static reporter make for one perfect expression of torque
By Adam Weiner Posted 04.07.2008 at 6:26 pm 1 Comment
This video provides a beautiful illustration of Newton's Second Law in both its linear and angular form. The discombobulated newscaster experiences a linear acceleration in a backward direction, and a clockwiseangular acceleration that gets him spinning, all as a result of the force of the sled's impact.
Scientists find there is a cause to those seemingly-impossible traffic jams gets
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.01.2008 at 4:07 pm 11 Comments
The only thing more frustrating than creeping your way toward the site of a bottleneck on the highway only to discover the accident is on the other side of the median are the times when you make it through and discover, as far as you can tell, nothing was holding up the traffic. Japanese researchers have now demonstrated that the "nothing" may in fact be the traffic crossing a threshold of density of cars on the road. Too many cars means that small slow downs by a few drivers equals up to big backups miles away.
An unfortunate rodent takes a jog around his wheel and gets a physics lesson
By Adam WeinerPosted 03.07.2008 at 5:15 pm 7 Comments
Tic, the unfortunate hamster in this video, loses his footing while getting some exercise and gets pulled into the spin cycle, completing nearly 12 revolutions in about four seconds before ignominiously dropping out of the wheel. However, while Tic may be bewildered by what happened during his morning training session, we need not be.
Why does he get pulled into the spin? How does he remain in orbit for 12 rotations before falling off of the wheel? How does he finally escape? These are the questions we will address for Tics sake.
How can something that appears to defy the laws of physics follow them so perfectly?
By Adam Weiner Posted 02.25.2008 at 3:18 pm 1 Comment
The counterintuitive demonstration in the video is a beautiful example of the concept of center of gravity. It sure looks like the fork and spoon should immediately teeter off of the glass and crash onto the table. And its even more dramatic when half of the matchstick burns away but the contraption still balances on the edge of the glass. But its all physics.
A strong stomach's only half the battle when it comes to setting the world record for head spinning
By Gregory MonePosted 01.30.2008 at 3:09 pm 0 Comments
Wow. Its hard to say whether this skill is a talent or a curse. Either way, the two contestants in this attempt at the world record for most head-spins in sixty seconds must have seriously strong stomachs.