No, German Scientists Have Not Confirmed the “Impossible” EMDrive

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. »7/28/15 3:44pm7/28/15 3:44pm


Our Physicist Explains The Deal With Mass And Weight Once And For All

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… »7/16/15 12:20pm7/16/15 12:20pm

New Test Suggests NASA's "Impossible" EM Drive Will Work In Space

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. »5/01/15 2:40pm5/01/15 2:40pm

A Glimpse Inside The Secretive World Of Human Cannonballs

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… »4/30/15 2:56pm4/30/15 2:56pm

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 2:59pm12/27/14 2:59pm

XKCD Finally Answers The Question About How Fast You Can Die At Daytona

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?" »10/20/14 12:17pm10/20/14 12:17pm

Why the Human Body Can't Handle Heavy Acceleration

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… »10/01/14 3:53pm10/01/14 3:53pm

Traffic Jam Torment: Physics Proves That Bottlenecks Are Bulls**t

Traffic jams stand no chance under the onslaught of giant throbbing Japanese physicist brains! Well, to be accurate, physicists from the Land of the Rising Sun haven't exactly cracked the traffic-jam conundrum. But they have figured out why it took me four mother!@#$ing hours to crawl up the mother!@#$ing I-5 from San… »3/04/08 3:45pm3/04/08 3:45pm

Foot-Pounds vs. Newton Meters: Jalopnik Goes to School

So we mentioned in our R10 post from earlier that we didn't get the whole lb. ft. And because our addled little brain is somewhat screwy when it comes to physics (we did well in Honors Bio but struggled through high-school Chemistry and didn't bother with physics if it involves math, forget it). And we could've saved… »3/17/06 12:22am3/17/06 12:22am