The Incredible Physics of Ants

ScienceTake: They can flow like a liquid and bounce back like a solid. Masses of fire ants show a duality that intrigues physicists.

Read the story here! 

3 months ago 90 notes

Build a Simple Machine: Scissor Extender 

The Six Simple Machines are the Lever, Wheel and Axle, Pulley, Inclined Plane, Wedge and Screw. Simple on their own, these machines can be combined to create some very efficient mechanisms like this extender rig that will quickly extend and retract a lightweight prop. This project solves a challenge for the Mechanical Engineer Skill.

1 year ago 24 notes

Challenge of the Day:  Create a Rubber Band Powered Butterfly

A fundamental law of physics is that energy can never be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another. Create an object that will store potential energy, then convert into kinetic energy in an interesting way. Just like other rubber band powered toys, this butterfly operates on the characteristics of elasticity. When you turn the coil, the elastic band stores energy within it in the form of potential energy. When you release it, this stored energy is released, which causes it to spin. The force generated pushes the butterfly forwards. This project solves a challenge for the Physicist Skill.

1 year ago 102 notes

There are six simple machines that Physicists use to redistribute forces. Rube Goldberg was famous for combining these in creative, complicated, and comical ways to perform a simple task. This Mine Shaft Marble Slide is a great way to get started on building your own Rube Goldberg machine by making a machine do a simple task in a complex way.

1 year ago 39 notes

Aerial Screw by Made Tschikay on DIY.

A description of this awesome machine from maker Made Tschikay:

It’s a model of a 1480 sketch from Leonardo da Vinci. An early idea of a flying machine. Although modern scientists do not believe it can fly, because of the weight/lift ratio; and built like that, the whole thing would spin.

1 year ago 24 notes