Physics in Your World Archive
The bright white region near the center of the image shows the year-round Arctic ice in 2012. To see the startling decrease since 1980, visit NASA Finds Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Melting Faster and slide the white line in the middle of the image to the right.
Sun - Apr 1, 2013
You are looking at the sun, imaged in extreme ultraviolet light (invisible to us) and shown in false color. To learn more about the sun, visit this this National Geographic article, and also this Hyperphysics page.
Liquid Drop Art - Feb 1, 2013
This image was created by photographer Corrie White in her basement workshop. She uses a device a device that releases several drops from the same location in rapid succession, at predetermined time intervals. For more of work, see Liquid Drop Art.
Atmospheric Optics: Aurora, Northern Lights - Jan 1, 2013
This image shows a view of the Aurora Borealis captured from the International Space Station as it flew over Nebraska. For more information, see NASA Image of the Day Gallery. For a video of an aurora over the Indian Ocean, visit Aurora from ISS orbit.
Astronomy Picture of the Day: To Fly Free in Space - Dec 1, 2012
This is astronaut Bruce McCandless, orbiting along with the Space Shuttle in 1984 as he tests his rocket pack. When he stepped outside to begin his spacewalk, why didn't he fall back to Earth? He stayed in orbit because before and after he stepped outside, McCandless and the Shuttle had the same velocity. The force of Earth's gravity bent his path into the same orbit as the shuttle; that's because the acceleration of gravity does not depend on the mass of the object being accelerated. To learn more about McCandless' spacewalk, see Astronomy Picture of the Day: To Fly Free in Space and Footloose.
How does an LCD display work? - Nov 1, 2012
Take a look at this video to see how a liquid crystal display (LCD) TV screen works. For more information, see this Case Western Reserve page.
Robert J. Lang Origami - Oct 1, 2012
Traditional origami is made by folding one square piece of paper, with no cuts allowed. This piece of origami art, Scorpion varileg, Opus 379, was created by physicist Robert Lang, who left his day job to do origami full-time. You can learn about his work on Robert J. Lang Origami; in the "Science" section, you'll see how origami can be applied to problems in engineering and industrial design. For much more on Lang himself, see this New Yorker article.
Mars Science Laboratory--Curiosity Rover - Sep 1, 2012
As Curiosity executed its complex landing on Mars last August, another NASA probe, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, captured this remarkable image. It shows Curiosity, along with its parachute, descending toward the surface. The magnified view on the right has been processed to show the details of the parachute--that's why the surface of Mars looks so dark. To learn more about this image, click here.
Impact Cratering - Aug 1, 2012
The Galileo spacecraft captured this image as it passed by the moon on its way to Jupiter. See the smooth dark areas? They were created three to four billion years ago when large volcanoes erupted and lava filled in the low-lying regions. Most of the smooth dark areas are round--these started off as enormous craters. Later, volcanoes erupted and filled them in, producing "impact basins." To find out more about how impact basins were formed, visit Impact Cratering.
The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors - Jul 1, 2012
This photo shows part of a natural nuclear reactor-- an underground uranium deposit where a chain reaction occurred spontaneously. In fact, such a natural reactor was predicted, beginning in 1956, and then discovered in 1972.
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