Never assume that Leonardo Da Vinci’s doodles are meaningless. That, at least, is the takeaway of a new study out of the University of Cambridge, which shows that a page of Leonardo’s scribbled notes from 1493—previously dismissed as “irrelevant” by art historians—is actually the first written demonstration of the…
There was lots of exciting news this week about the much-anticipated Hyperloop, a high-speed train that would be able to make the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 35 minutes.
The destructive power of nuclear bombs has been seared into our collective memory, thanks to archival images of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There’s the blast itself, and then all the radioactive fallout to contend with. A new interactive map shows what the damage from fallout would be if nuclear bombs…
Sweden’s Lund University is studying bats to figure out, among other things, how they fly so well with those big ears in the way. Turns out their unique “design” might be a good blueprint for helping drones make low-speed maneuvers.
A while back, I wrote about a very exciting if baffling new space propulsion system: the EmDrive. It’s a space propulsion system that doesn’t appear to use any propellant, maybe violates the known laws of physics, but somehow seems—according to a number of tests—to actually work. Physicist M.E. McCulloch released a…
After five months of keeping their stupendous discovery under wraps, physicists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are finally allowed to freak out publicly about gravitational waves. And they’re enjoying the hell out of it.
Two German researchers claim they have produced measurable amounts of thrust using a copy of NASA’s controversial EMDrive. It’s a result that has many people talking, but don’t plan your trip to the to the Alpha Centauri system just yet—the experts we spoke with are all highly skeptical of the study and its findings.
If people in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks, then I’m a pitching machine crammed with gravel and I live in Philip Johnson’s summer house. You see, I’m a brutal little bitch when I find stupid mistakes in articles about cars, and then just the other day I made one of the most basic physics mistakes you can make. I…
Last year, NASA’s advanced propulsion research wing made headlines by announcing the successful test of a physics-defying electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. Now, this futuristic engine, which could in theory propel objects to near-relativistic speeds, has been shown to work inside a space-like vacuum.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States attempted to improve the image of nuclear bombs by using them for public works. This went about as poorly as you'd suspect.
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.
Every Monday morning, I wake up, come to work, turn my computer on, and ponder the same question. "Sure, I'd like to enter the Daytona 500, but I'd want to get it over with really quickly because it's Monday and I have Things To Do. How fast could I do it before I die a horrific, debilitating death?"
Our bodies are surprisingly resilient in many situations, but rapid acceleration is not one of them. While the human body can withstand any constant speed—be it 20 miles per hour or 20 billion miles per hour—we can only change that rate of travel relatively slowly. Speed up or slow down too quickly and it's lights…
In 2012, NASA physicist Harold White revealed that he and a team were working on a design for a faster-than-light ship. Now he's collaborated with an artist to create a new, more realistic design of what such a ship might actually look like.
If you've ever put gas in a car, you'll know that the pump magically knows when to stop spewing fuel into the tank. That's super useful, and safe too. But how does it know when to stop?
This is just excellent. ISS Commander Chris Hadfield was recently asked by high school students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner to demonstrate what happens when you wring out a waterlogged washcloth in space.
A Drexel University mathematics professor, Dr. R. Andrew Hicks (the R is probably a constant for a radius or something) has developed a new patented design of automotive side rear-view mirror with a much larger field of view, without the distortion of present wide-angle mirrors.
Our friend Trevor Andrusko was in perfect position to see the #52 Boss Mustang of Rehagen Racing fly off a corner at Mid Ohio. This incredible video and photo from the accident shows precisely how important those long rows of spent Michelins truly are.
One of the biggest challenges of space travel is the immense fuel cost of traveling even to our own planet's satellite, let alone one of our neighboring planets. But what if you could build a lightweight space craft that could get around the solar system on barely any fuel? A special motor, and a special kind of fuel,…
At an installment for the AV Festival in Newcastle England, an automobile accident is unfolding at the thrilling rate of 7 millimeters an hour, thanks to extremely slow hydraulics. This doomed VW Golf is the brainchild of Jonathan Schipper, who previously crashed two muscle cars over a span of six days.