Physical Science

Physical science is the study of the physical world around you. Learn about everything from electricity to magnetism in this section.

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How Solenoids Work

You use solenoids every day without ever knowing it. So what exactly are they and how do they work?

Gallium Boils at 4,044 Degrees F, But Will Also Melt in Your Hand

More than fodder for melt-in-your-hand YouTube videos, gallium is a key component in LED lights and the powerful microchips in your smartphone.

Static Electricity Can Cause Way More Than a Bad Hair Day

Static electricity happens when there's an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. It's when those charges get released that we feel that infamous spark.

Is Vantablack Really the Blackest Black?

Vantablack is one of the darkest substances known, able to absorb up to 99.965 percent of visible light. But is it the blackest of blacks on the planet?

Alkali Metals: Facts About the Elements on the First Column of the Periodic Table

Although the term might be unfamiliar, you know all about alkali metals. Ever used salt or eaten a banana? So, what special properties do these elements have?

PEMDAS: The Easy Way to Remember Math's Order of Operations

A simple math problem may seem to some of us like an inscrutable pile of numbers and symbols, just waiting to trip us up. PEMDAS to the rescue!

How Many Orbeez Does It Take to Fill a Bathtub?

It's an important question, so come with us and we'll show you how to figure it out.

Perpendicular Lines Create All the Right Angles in the World

Two lines that are perpendicular to the same line are parallel to each other and will never intersect.

Mobius Strips: So Simple to Create, So Hard to Fathom

It's easy to make a Mobius strip with some paper and tape, but your mind will be blown by the mathematical concepts it unlocks.

4 Facts About Phosphate, the Chemical Compound That's Everywhere

You might wonder what phosphates do, but they are so intrinsic to our daily lives that the question really is: What don't phosphates do?

Tungsten's Boiling Point Is 10,030 F and Other Crazy Facts

Tungsten's hardness and heat resistance make it a must for products like rocket engine nozzles, armor-piercing bullets and even the humble light bulb filament. In fact, pure tungsten boils at 10,030 F, the same as the photosphere of the sun.

What Are Terpenes and Can They Benefit Your Health?

Terpenes are the aromatic organic compounds found in nature that give us many of our favorite fragrances. They are also known to have surprising health benefits.

What's the Difference Between Pyrite and Gold?

Don't know your fool's gold from the real deal? We'll tell you how to tell what's pyrite (aka fool's gold) and the good ol' 24 karat stuff you want.

Esters Give Your Beer That Weird, Tangy Taste You Like

There's some serious chemistry behind the flavor in your favorite brew and esters are the compounds responsible for it.

The Venn Diagram: How Overlapping Figures Can Illustrate Relationships

Venn diagrams are an easy way to simplify information and visualize relationships between concepts or sets of data.

Super Cool Science: How to Make Instant Ice at Home

Purified water will 'instantly freeze' under certain conditions, and you can even make it happen at home. Is it magic? No. It's science!

What Is the Butterfly Effect and How Do We Misunderstand It?

We may think the butterfly effect means that a small change (like the flap of a butterfly's wings) can have huge consequences (a tornado in China). But what if it means the opposite?

What Is Boyle's Law and Why Do I Already Know It?

Boyle's Law describes the relationship between pressure and the volume of a container with gas in it. As the volume of the container decreases, the pressure inside the container increases.

What Are Corresponding Angles and How Do You Find Them?

Corresponding angles are what you get when two parallel lines are crossed by a third line, creating angles that have the same relative position at each intersection. They're easy to find once you know what to look for.

Dodecahedron: The 12-sided Shape With the 12-letter Name

A dodecahedron has 12 flat faces, all shaped like pentagons. Here are 12 cool things you just may not know about them.

What's the Difference Between Ethyl Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol?

The two different types of alcohol are commonly used in hand sanitizer today. But does one work better than the other?

Electronegativity Is Like an Atomic Tug-of-War

Electrons are attracted to some atoms more than others. If two atoms are of equal strength, the electrons will be equally shared. If one atom is stronger, the electrons will be pulled in that atom's direction.

Scientific Notation Is Math's Version of Shorthand

How do you calculate absurdly high numbers without writing them out in numerals? You use scientific notation. We'll give you examples and show you how.

What Are the 7 Diatomic Elements?

Diatomic elements are molecules composed of only two atoms, every time, always. There are only seven of them on the entire periodic table.

Denatured Alcohol: Great for Your Camp Stove, Not Your Margarita

Denatured alcohol is useful for lots of things, but drinking definitely isn't one of them.