Search Results for: faraday

History of the Conservation of Energy: Booms, Blood, and Beer (Part 1)

Another post inspired by my research into my Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics book! Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but merely converted from one form to another. Such is a typical statement of the law of conservation of energy, … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 1 Comment

Arago finds new physics with a compass (1824)

One of the challenges of doing physics outreach is that there are so many cool phenomena which simply can’t be demonstrated in an eye-catching way, because they are too small, too subtle, or too complicated.  So whenever I find a … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 1 Comment

Optics basics: reflection

It’s been some 5 years since I wrote my last “Optics basics” post!  The goal of that series of posts was to introduce some of the most fundamental concepts in optics in a non-technical way, in part so I wouldn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Optics basics | 4 Comments

Dircks and Pepper: A Tale of Two Ghosts

It is often told that in the 1860s, John Henry Pepper used science and technology to invent a ghost. Or did he? This is the surprisingly tricky question that we will try to answer in this lengthy post. It is a … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Optics | 1 Comment

Twitter Weird Science Facts, Volume 18

Getting soooo close to having done a full year of Twitter weirdscifacts! Read below to learn the amazing ability that this seemingly ordinary European robin possesses.

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Twitter Weird Science Facts, Volume 16

Time to summarize more weirdscifacts as posted on Twitter! Read on to learn about the amazing origins of the rather innocent looking palm pictured below.

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Twitter Weird Science Facts, Volume 6

Time for another roundup of Twitter #weirdscifacts!  Read below to learn the amazing secret this single unearthed coin revealed.

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1801: Fraunhofer gets research funding in the worst possible way

It is rather unsettling to think that scientific careers are often made by simple luck.  For example, eventual Nobel Prize winner Albert Michelson (1852-1931) only got an education thanks to the literal last-minute intervention of none other than the President … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science, Physics | Leave a comment

The mystery of the magnetic train

This past week, thanks to Laughing Squid and other sources, a lot of people watched and were amazed by this simple demonstration of electromagnetism in action. It is billed as the “world’s simplest electric train,” and it is almost certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Physics demos | 83 Comments

Making magnets speak: the Barkhausen effect

Occasionally I come across a demonstration of physics that is so simple to implement yet illustrates a phenomenon so profound that it almost takes my breath away.  I learned of one such demonstration recently, which requires only a handful of … Continue reading

Posted in Physics | 6 Comments