Here Are Three Variations On A Classic Puzzle – Can You Solve Them All?

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. » 1/11/15 4:40pm 1/11/15 4:40pm

How Much Of Yourself Can You See In A Mirror?

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. » 1/04/15 4:23pm 1/04/15 4:23pm

What Would A Ride In The Millennium Falcon Actually Do To Your Body?

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. » 12/27/14 2:42pm 12/27/14 2:42pm

Though It Seems Crazy Now, the Neutron Bomb Was Intended to Be Humane

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. » 9/19/14 2:54pm 9/19/14 2:54pm

What Makes This Substance Boil And Freeze At The Same Time?

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? » 3/30/14 3:11pm 3/30/14 3:11pm

Behold the absolute mind-bogglery of a knuckleball in flight

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. » 1/05/14 10:17am 1/05/14 10:17am

Measuring The Ridiculous Physics Of Disney's Hercules

Two years ago, our friends at the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective applied their usual rigorous statistical scrutiny to a series of basketball movies. We pick up the idea again with this analysis of Hercules, by Anthony Zonfrelli and Dmitri Ilushin. » 7/19/13 4:39pm 7/19/13 4:39pm

Ever Wondered Where Rebounds Are Rebounded?

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. » 7/18/12 12:45pm 7/18/12 12:45pm

Throwing A Baseball At 90 Percent Speed Of Light Would Kill Thousands

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… » 7/10/12 8:15pm 7/10/12 8:15pm

495 Degrees Per Second: How Olympic Snowboarding Gold Medalist Kelly…

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… » 3/09/12 2:00pm 3/09/12 2:00pm

A Brief Video History Of Physics Not Applying To Basketball

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… » 3/03/11 7:00pm 3/03/11 7:00pm

Last Night's Winner: MMA's New "Quantum Physics" Division

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. » 8/18/10 10:45am 8/18/10 10:45am