Mechanics help explain how the natural forces of nature work. Here you can learn about everything from gravity to friction.


Aeronautics, the science and practice of aircraft flight. (An aircraft is a vehicle that is supported in flight by its own buoyancy or by the action of air on its surfaces.) The term aeronautics takes in all phases of the design, construction, and operation of both lighter-than-air craft (airships and balloons) and heavier-than-air craft (such as airplanes, helicopters, convertiplanes, autogiros, gliders, and kites).

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  • How Newton’s Cradles Work

    How Newton’s Cradles Work

    Five metallic balls on slender threads sit side by side. As one on the end hits the rest, the one on the opposite end rises and falls. Why don't the balls in the middle move? It's complicated. See more »

  • Air


    Air, the mixture of gases that surrounds the earth and forms the earth's atmosphere. See more »

  • Ballistics


    Ballistics, the science that deals with the motion of projectiles such as bullets, shells, rockets, and aerial bombs. See more »

  • Falling Bodies

    Falling Bodies

    Falling Bodies, objects moving downward under the influence of gravity. The nature of this motion is the same for an object that falls straight down as it is for one that moves forward and down at the same time. See more »

  • Force


    Force, in physics, the pushing or pulling agency that makes (or tends to make) objects speed up, slow down, or change direction. See more »

  • Friction


    Friction, the force or resistance that opposes the movement of one body or substance against another. See more »

  • Hydromechanics


    Hydromechanics, the branch of physics that deals with forces acting upon and within fluids (liquids and gases). See more »

  • Lever


    Lever, a rigid rod or bar to which a force may be applied to overcome a resistance. See more »

  • Microwaves


    Microwaves, extremely short radio waves. The term is usually used to refer to radio waves with a wavelength between 30 centimeters and 3 millimeters—that is, with a frequency between 1 gigahertz (billion hertz) and 100 gigahertz. See more »

  • Pendulum


    Pendulum, an object connected to a fixed support in such a way that it is free to swing back and forth under the influence of gravity. See more »

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