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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Amateur Solves Part of Decades-Old Math Problem

Anti-aging scientist Aubrey de Grey, who does math problems for relaxation, just made major progress on the daunting Hadwiger-Nelson problem.

Protein Allows Animals to Detect Earth's Magnetic Field

Scientists have a new lead on what gives some animals the ability to sense Earth's magnetic field.

Mystery Behind Cuba's Alleged Sonic Attack Deepens

Listen in as the guys from Stuff They Don't Want You to Know investigate the sonic weapons "attack" in Cuba.

How Did Benjamin Gompertz Predict Our Deaths?

English mathematician Benjamin Gompertz formulated the first natural law of the way we die.

The Facebook Flick and Other Strange Units of Measurement

The flick, the shake and the micromort are just three of the unusual measurements that scientists use.

ITER Nuclear Fusion Plant Is Halfway Finished

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor plant aims to demonstrate that nuclear fusion could be a viable source of power in the future.

Why Compressed Air Canisters Shouldn’t Be Shaken

It's a force of habit to shake spray canisters, but when it comes to canned air, that inclination could cause frostbite.

Light Pollution Is Stealing the Night

Nights on Earth are getting artificially brighter, bringing unintended consequences.

Why Do We Get So Much Pleasure From Symmetry?

Why do we love looking at a perfectly stacked display of soup cans or six flower petals around a stamen? Our brains seem wired for it -- but why?

Concept of Zero Is Centuries Older Than Assumed, Analysis Suggests

A new analysis of the ancient Indian Bakhshali manuscript suggests the numerical symbol zero, as we use it today, may be centuries older than previously believed.

Party Trick Breakdown: Why Do Balloons Stick to Hair?

Scientists have figured out why some objects stick more to each other. And it's a very cool trick.

Can You Really Make Yourself Invisible?

If you're one of those people who chooses invisibility as your desired superpower, it could mean you have a dark side.

Ancient Babylonian Tablet May Show Early Trigonometry, But Some Experts Are Dubious

A reinterpretation of an ancient Babylonian tablet shows that trigonometry might be 1,000 years older than thought. But there's some disagreement.

How the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment Will Work

The seriously ambitious experiment aims to understand the mysterious neutrino and maybe even figure out why matter won out over antimatter during the Big Bang.

Scientists Have Devised a Revolutionary Way to Redefine the Kilogram

Researchers have come up with the most precise determination of Planck's constant ever, making it possible to reframe the idea of what a kilogram even is.

Extraterrestrial Form of Hot, Dense Ice Observed Forming in Lab

Stanford University researchers for have for the first time observed the formation of a super-dense frozen water crystals called ice VII, which don't naturally exist on Earth.

Using TARDIS to Mathematically Travel Through Time

Two physicists have worked out a mathematical model for time travel. Now we just need some heretofore unseen exotic matter to get traveling.

Fukushima Radiation Readings Are Extremely High … But Let's Not Freak Out

New data shows extremely high radiation levels inside one of the reactor containment vessels. Are post-tsunami radiation levels spiking? Not so fast …

Why DNA Evidence Can Be Unreliable

DNA found at a crime scene doesn't automatically mean the person matching it is guilty, say researchers of new forensics guide.

New Eyewear Protects Your Identity from Facial Recognition Cameras

Light-reflective glasses promise to foil CCTV cameras. Here's how.

What Makes Ice Slippery?

Science is still working out exactly what makes frozen water so slippery, but there are a few intriguing theories.

The Chinese Are a Magnet Superpower

The race is on to build some seriously strong magnetic fields that are capable of doing amazing thing, like literally mapping neurons.

Samsung Eyes Projecting Holograms From TV — No 3-D Glasses Required

Electronics giant Samsung reportedly has patented 3-D TV tech that projects a hologram so that viewers don't have to wear special glasses.

Why Spinning Blades Look Weird on TV

Helicopters, ceiling fans, even tricked-out car tire rims: Sometimes they can even look like they're going backward, or bending.

Scientists Create Mind-blowing 3-D Acoustic Holograms

A wall of Lego-like bricks creates the illusion of hyper-vivid, three-dimensional audio, altering sound waves much like a hologram does visible light.