Among a baseball pitcher’s arsenal of tricks is the infamous curveball, whereby the baseball takes a sudden dive downward just before it reaches the plate, faking out the batter. A new “History Minute” video from the National Institute of Standards and Technology takes a look at the physics behind this longstanding…
Once she has lowered herself into the mouth of the cannon and slid down to the base of the barrel, Gemma “The Jet” Kirby performs a series of breath-synchronized movements that seem more suited to yoga or lamaze than to one of the deadliest stunts in circus history. This sequence is the culmination of hours of…
I've always enjoyed water-distribution puzzles. They are simple in structure and usually straightforwardly posed, but their plain presentation belies their challenging nature. Here are three classic variations on the theme to wrap your head around.
This week's puzzle is a practical one; you can solve it with pen and paper, but it's a lot more fun to try this real-world phenomenon for yourself.
The Millennium Falcon pulls some pretty crazy stunts in the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And while we recognize Star Wars takes place in a fictional universe, we couldn't help but get pedantic about the physics of the scene, and the effects it might have on the human body.
Until the day he died, physicist Samuel Cohen declared that his invention, the neutron bomb, was a "moral" and "sane" weapon that would kill enemy combatants, while sparing civilians and cities. But, despite the support of fans like Ronald Reagan, this weapon of not-as-much mass destruction proved to be a hard sell.
A mystery fluid is placed in a container and all the air is removed. The substance begins to freeze and boil at the same time. So what's going on?
MLB pitcher R.A. Dickey* slings an erratic knuckleball pitch, posing a challenge for batter and catcher alike. The ball has been colorized to highlight its almost total lack of spin, which usually serves to stabilize the ball's trajectory.
We're currently experiencing colder-than-seasonal weather here in Seattle. This is causing a lot of problems with burst water pipes. Here is a picture of a couple of issues suffered by a friend of mine Ian.
An email from reader Tommy Leonardi:
Kirk Goldsberry is back with another graphical look at the unappreciated stats of basketball, and this is really, really fantastic. He's put together an interactive chart: hover your mouse from any spot on the court, and it'll show you where shots from that spot end up getting grabbed for rebounds.
The artistically inclined folks over at XKCD (authors of one of my favorite web comics ever) devoted one of their What If? segments today to the logically insane yet weirdly interesting scenario of what would happen if someone pitched a baseball at 90 percent the speed of light. Using actual science and helpful…
Kelly Clark is the two-time defending X Games Gold Medalist in Women's Superpipe. She won gold in Salt Lake in '02 and bronze in Vancouver in 2010. At the 2011 X Games she became the first woman to land a 1080 in competition. The 30th U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships are going on right now, and Clark is currently…
Last night, West Virginia upset No. 16 UConn in Morgantown, 65-56. Alex Oriakhi went to the line with the game tied and just a few minutes remaining the first half, and he took what was mostly a nice-looking free throw, especially for a big man. But the ball bounced around the rim a few times before resting, almost…
In sports, everyone is a winner-some people just win better than others. Like MMA champ Matt Horwich, who showed in a post-fight interview that he's the smartest man in the world. That, or he'd just been punched in the head repeatedly.