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The Scarce Mineral Behind the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics

  This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics is thankfully not being awarded for the discovery of some esoteric atomic particle but rather for the development of a technology that impacts all our lives. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted in its announcement that the prize was awarded to 3 scientists who “invented a new…

Cosmic Dust Clouds Gravitational Wave Finding

Dust may explain away a gravitational wave discovery.

Mystery Solved: How Archerfish Shoot Water at Prey With Stunning Precision

Archerfish, which use water jets to take down prey, are much more skilled and sophisticated target shooters than thought, a new study says.

How Geckos Turn Their Stickiness On and Off

Geckos can turn their stickiness on and off by changing the angle of their toe hairs, a new study revealed.

June 15, 2014: Negotiating Elephant Truce With Armies, Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we negotiate a truce between armies and Central African forest elephants, find common ground between jazz and physics, learn to take a cover photo for National Geographic magazine, run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 straight days, learn the National Parks Service’s most secret places, and learn about panda bear’s reproductive difficulties.

December 15, 2013: Paddling Through The World’s Biggest Rapids, Swimming in the World’s Coldest Oceans and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend, host Boyd Matson joins guests as they paddle the world’s biggest rapids, dive in the world’s coldest oceans (at both poles), and walk “Out of Eden,” chasing our early human ancestors to the ends of the Earth.

Google Doodle Focuses On Foucault’s Pendulum

Suspended from the dome of the Pantheon in Paris in 1851, the pendulum designed by Léon Foucault was a first demonstration of the Earth’s rotation. Today it is the subject of a Google Doodle honoring the French physicist and his invention. The original Foucault’s Pendulum consisted of a steel ball hung 22 feet (6.7 meters)…

August 25, 2013: Running Ultramarathons at 18,000 Feet, Meeting Captive Killer Whales, and More

This week, join us as we run a 137-mile race 18,000 feet above sea level, then we meet beach-dwelling wolves that fish for salmon like bears (and occasionally harass humans), and finally, we learn about the SeaWorld orca who has been connected with three human deaths to appreciate how hard the large, social mammals are to maintain in captivity.

Discovering the Higgs through Physics, Dance and Photography

    The Arts Council of Greater New Haven has chosen our project ¨Discovering the Higgs through Physics, Dance and Photography¨, as one of the seven chosen to receive funding as part of Reintegrate*: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts & Sciences. The Project´s team is formed by Sarah Demers (Physics – Assistant professor, Physics Department at Yale…

Cool Math 101: Physicists Use Fluid Dynamics To Study Penguin Huddles

What do the members of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics discuss during their annual meetings? Math, usually. Lots of math. But this week they’ll also be talking about something a little different: penguins.

August 5, 2012: Speed Scaling El Capitan, Teaching Women to Film in Afghanistan, and More

This week on “National Geographic Weekend,” join host Boyd Matson as we set a speed record on Yellowstone’s El Capitan, help Native North Americans rediscover their culture and tell their own stories, save physics with LSD, survey the wreckage of Japan’s tsunami on Washington’s coast, walk the length of the Andes, start a revolution in the Middle East by using photography, speak the language of London’s east side, and find America’s best beaches.

How To Build a Better Sand Castle

How does one make a sand castle that is strong enough for those extra crenellations? By using the correct mix of sand and water. Researchers at the Amsterdam University found that a mixture of sand and one percent water is the ideal for making sand castles.

Nerd Heaven Has a Name – Lindau

By Alaina G. Levine If there is a nerd heaven on Earth, it’s in Lindau, Germany. That’s where I am this week, honored to participate in the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, with 27 Nobel Laureates in physics and 596 young researchers from all over the world. This annual week-long love affair with science, takes…

EINSTEIN Part I: The Pi in ‘π-day’

  Among physics students, March 14 is known as “π-Day” (“Pi-Day”) the day that Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879. The venerable physicist is known for changing the very paradigm of physics, rejecting the three “fundamental undefinables” of length, mass and time as invariant, and positing in their place the speed of…

The Time is Out of Joint

It seems we are always keeping track of time, but do we really even know what it is? Recent scientific studies are calling into question Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of time, including the idea that it represents a fourth dimension.