Physics at Home Archive - Page 2

Feather Drop - Dec 1, 2012

Felix Baumgartner was nearly in free fall as he stepped out of his capsule at an altitude of 39 kilometers (24 miles). At this altitude, the atmosphere is so thin that a falling object experiences hardly any air resistance, so it accelerates rapidly to very high speed (Baumgartner's skydive exceeded the speed of sound).

Watch the video at Feather Drop to see how the air resistance on a feather depends on the density of the air it is falling through. First you'll see the feather fall through air at atmospheric pressure, and then through air at a very low pressure (a very good vacuum).

Liquid Crystal IR Detector - Nov 1, 2012

Go to Liquid Crystal IR Detector for an experiment that shows how a liquid crystal can detect infrared radiation.

How to Make a Paper Crane--Origami - Oct 1, 2012

Visit How to Make a Paper Crane--Origami to make the famous origami paper crane. Just follow the steps in the video.

Explore Mars: Curiosity - Sep 1, 2012

Visit the NASA site Explore Mars: Curiosity to follow along with the Curiosity Rover as it explores Mars, day by day.

Impact Craters - Aug 1, 2012

For an activity on the formation of impact craters, try this NASA activity. Be sure to do this activity with an adult.

What is Radioactivity? - Jul 1, 2012

Check out What is Radioactivity? to learn about isotopes and radioactivity.

Ear Guitar - Jun 1, 2012

Build an ear guitar (otherwise known as a string telephone) with the directions at Ear Guitar. Have an adult work with you.

Balancing Act - May 1, 2012

Security note:
Once you have clicked on the "simulation" link below, be sure to read the Java Security Advisory before running the simulation: To do that, click the "Read now" button on the yellow band near the top of the PhET page.

Go to Balancing Act (and click "Run now!") for a simulation that lets you move objects of different mass different positions on a teeter totter to make it balance.

To learn more, visit this Hyperphysics page.

(This feature was updated on May 6, 2013.)

PhET Simulation: Radio Waves & Electromagnetic Fields - Apr 1, 2012

Security note:
Once you have clicked on the "simulation" link below, be sure to read the Java Security Advisory before running the simulation: To do that, click the "Read now" button on the yellow band near the top of the PhET page.

Shake a charged particle, and it radiates electromagnetic waves. You can try this out with the PhET Simulation: Radio Waves & Electromagnetic Fields. Compare with Physics in Your World above.

To learn more, check out these Physics 2000
webpages.

(This feature was updated on May 5, 2013.)

Rotating Light - Mar 1, 2012

Right-and left-handed molecules were discovered because their solutions have the opposite effect on polarized light. For a related effect, try the famous Karo® syrup demonstration, as described in this Exploratorium activity. To see the demo, check out this YouTube video.

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