The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world-renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20 science meetings each year. It is also a member society of the American Institute of Physics. The American Physical Society was founded on May 20, 1899, when thirty-six physicists gathered at Columbia University for that purpose. They proclaimed the mission of the new Society to be "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics", and in one way or another the APS has been at that task ever since.
Evolving robot brains
Researchers are using the principles of Darwinian evolution to develop robot brains that can navigate mazes, identify and catch falling objects, and work as a group to determine in which order they should ...
Predicting human crowds with statistical physics
For the first time researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer.
A molecular compass for bird navigation
Each year, the Arctic Tern travels over 40,000 miles, migrating nearly from pole to pole and back again. Other birds make similar (though shorter) journeys in search of warmer climes. How do these birds manage ...
Increasing oil flow in the Keystone pipeline with electric fields
Researchers have shown that a strong electric field applied to a section of the Keystone pipeline can smooth oil flow and yield significant pump energy savings.
Zombie outbreak? Statistical mechanics reveal the ideal hideout
A team of Cornell University researchers focusing on a fictional zombie outbreak as an approach to disease modeling suggests heading for the hills, in the Rockies, to save your 'braains' from the 'undead.'
Exploring amazing patterns left behind by drops of whisky left drying in the tumbler
If you've ever looked closely at the dried rings whisky leaves behind in a glass, you may be among the few who've noticed just how stunningly beautiful they can be. But what's behind whisky's "particle patterning"?
The complex fluid dynamics of paint dripping techniques employed by Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock, one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, revolutionized abstract expressionist painting in the mid-20th century with his unique "drip" technique—masterpieces of densely ...
The secret of dragonflies' flight
Dragonflies can easily right themselves and maneuver tight turns while flying. Each of their four wings is controlled by separate muscles, giving them exquisite control over their flight.
Espresso in space
Espresso-loving astronauts, rejoice! You may soon be able to enjoy your beloved beverage in space, thanks to a new cup designed specifically to defy the low-gravity environments encountered aboard the International ...
Researchers explore the unsteady fluid dynamics of sailing
A typical Olympic sailing race is a lot more energetic than a pleasurable afternoon cruise on the lake. Olympic sailors tip their masts precariously close to the water's surface while turning, right their vessels at what ...
Researchers study potential of drag-reducing devices on semi-trucks to conserve energy
Each year, the more than 2 million tractor-trailer trucks that cruise America's highways consume about 36 billion gallons of diesel fuel, representing more than 10 percent of the nation's entire petroleum ...
How lapping canine tongues create columns of liquid, allowing them to gulp down water
If you've ever watched a dog drink water, you know that it can be a sloshy, spilly, splashy affair—in other words, adorable.
Tropical parasite uses swim stroke not shared by any other creature
For many bacteria and parasites looking to get a load of the fresh nutritional bounty inside your body, the skin is the first and most important gatekeeper. Schistosomas, however, scoff at this barrier and ...
Calming the plasma edge: The tail that wags the dog
Experiments on the DIII-D tokamak that General Atomics operates for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have demonstrated the ability of lithium injections to transiently double the temperature and pressure ...
Postcards from the plasma edge
For magnetic fusion energy to fuel future power plants, scientists must find ways to control the interactions that take place between the volatile edge of the plasma and the walls that surround it in fusion ...