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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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.

By Dave Roos

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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Mark Mancini

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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?

By Nathan Chandler

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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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Nathan Chandler

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

By Mark Mancini

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Mark Mancini

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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Bismuth is a naturally occurring element with many applications in our daily lives, but even more than that, it looks amazing when it cools!

By Jesslyn Shields

A research team has found that water acts strangely on an air-drying towel, which contributes to its signature stiffness.

By Jesslyn Shields

Entropy is the disorder of a system, but that means a lot more than making a mess of a room.

By Jesslyn Shields

Weight is the measurement of gravity's pull on an object. And it varies by location. Mass is a different beast altogether.

By Mark Mancini

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The Standard Model of physics provides a framework for the subatomic world of all energies. Could a possible newfound carrier boson expand the definition of that framework?

By Mark Mancini

The Pythagorean theorem, which explains how to calculate the longest side of a right-angled triangle, is an ancient mathematical statement that still buttresses modern-day construction, aviation and even how we navigate through traffic.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Protons and neutrons, the particles that form the nuclei of atoms, are themselves made up of even smaller particles known as quarks.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Two mathematicians have solved a decades-old math problem by harnessing the power of a virtual supercomputer.

By Patrick J. Kiger

It's an odorless gas that's present in a variety of home products, cosmetics, car exhaust and even humans. But is it bad for us?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky