Physical science is the study of the physical world around you. Learn about everything from electricity to magnetism in this section.
You Know White Noise, But What's Pink Noise and Brown Noise?
Skipping Stones on Ice Makes Crazy Sci-fi Sounds
Mystery Behind Cuba's Alleged Sonic Attack Deepens
How Do Disposable Hand Warmers Work?
Why Do Bubbles Pop?
What's the World's Strongest Superacid?
Static Electricity Can Cause Way More Than a Bad Hair Day
Light Pollution Is Stealing the Night
Party Trick Breakdown: Why Do Balloons Stick to Hair?
The Surprising Silver Lining of the Atomic Age Nuclear Tests
How Are Coroners and Medical Examiners Different?
Viking Warrior in Ancient Grave Was a Woman
Time May Not Exist, Say Some Physicists and Philosophers
How Alchemy Paved the Way for Chemistry
Who Was the First Scientist?
A Kid-friendly Introduction to Magnets and Magnetism
How Solenoids Work
Why Does Ice Stick to Your Fingers?
What Is the Formula for Distance?
You Know the Kilo. Now Say Hello to the Quetta!
What Is the Birthday Paradox?
Kummakivi, Finland's Balancing Rock, Seems to Defy the Laws of Physics
What Is Energy?
Could Newly Measured W Boson Break the Standard Model?
Hisashi Ouchi Suffered an 83-day Death By Radiation Poisoning
Could Thorium Power the Next Generation of Nuclear Reactors?
Radioactive! A Profile of the Element Plutonium
Is This Black Hole Coming for You? It's Just an Optical Illusion
Why Distant Mountains Appear Blue to the Naked Eye
Science Explains Why We Have Favorite Colors
A rise in carbon-14 in the early 1960s from nuclear bomb testing and radioactive contamination had some unexpectedly useful side effects. It's called the bomb pulse, but its benefits won't last forever.
It looks completely impossible that this rock should stand, balanced as it is, but it has not moved since the last ice age.
In 1999, a worker at a Japanese nuclear fuel plant was exposed to critical levels of radiation. He's still thought to have suffered the worst radiation burns in history. He lived for 83 agonizing days afterward as his body all but disintegrated.
Scientists created this expanding black hole illusion to show how your mind can trick your eye.
With a little patience, you can master this trick of converting binary code to decimals — and have fun doing it!
By Mark Mancini
The answer to the question "Does time exist?" may seem obvious, but is it? And what if time doesn't exist, but is merely a human construct?
By Sam Baron
A decade of science and trillions of collisions show the W boson is more massive than expected. A physicist on the team explains what it means for the reigning model of particle physics.
By John Conway
Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Those mountains way off in the distance really do look blue, and it's because of how light wavelengths scatter in the atmosphere.
By Mark Mancini
Both degrees and radians represent the measure of an angle in geometry. So, how do you convert one to the other?
By Mark Mancini
There was a time (4,000 years ago) when simply being able to add might get your name on a clay tablet or help you accumulate vast wealth.
By Dave Roos
Cadmium is a natural metal and the leading component in rechargeable batteries and solar cells. It is also highly toxic and heavily regulated.
Discovered in the early 1800s from a chunk of smuggled platinum ore, rhodium is the most valuable precious metal on the planet today, used mainly for keeping car emissions in check.