American Physical Society

Flexible, stretchable fire-ant rafts

What do Jell-O, toothpaste, and floating fire-ant rafts have in common? All are so-called "viscoelastic" materials, meaning that they can both resist flow under stress, like honey, and they can bounce back ...

Nov 26, 2013
4.3 / 5 (3) 0 | with audio podcast

Better combustion through plasma

Mix together air, fuel, and heat and you get combustion, the chemical reaction that powers most engines in planes, trains and automobiles. And if you throw in some ionized gas (plasma), it turns out, you can sustain combustion ...

Nov 26, 2013
4.8 / 5 (16) 2 | with audio podcast

A new, flying jellyfish-like machine (w/ Video)

Up, up in the sky: It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a... jellyfish? That's what researchers have built—a small vehicle whose flying motion resembles the movements of those boneless, pulsating, water-dwelling creatures.

Nov 24, 2013
4.5 / 5 (14) 7 | with audio podcast

The physics of beer tapping

An old, hilarious if somewhat juvenile party trick involves covertly tapping the top of someone's newly opened beer bottle and then standing back as the suds foam out onto the floor.

Nov 24, 2013
4.8 / 5 (14) 2 | with audio podcast

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 ...

Oct 28, 2014
5 / 5 (4) 1