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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Making chemical compounds is a lot like dating. Some ions are naturally compatible; others hook up out of desperation.

By Jesslyn Shields

Long-banned in the U.S., except for religious purposes, peyote is starting to be decriminalized in some cities. But is that a good thing for this endangered plant?

By Nathan Chandler

Primary colors are the blocks from which all other colors are built. But there's a lot more to know about them than the basic red, yellow and blue we learned about in kindergarten.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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Alchemy may seem like a cousin to witchcraft but in reality it was the forerunner of modern chemistry.

By Nathan Chandler

You don't need to be a fan of chemistry to appreciate isotopes. They affect geology and medicine, too.

By Mark Mancini

Coroners and medical examiners both help investigate unusual or violent deaths. The two jobs are different, but deeply connected.

By John Donovan

Award-winning poet and fiction writer Mary Soon Lee has found a charming way to combine science and poetry in a refreshing new take on the periodic table of elements.

By Carrie Tatro

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Whether you're a math whiz or not, there are some pretty cool number theories, beliefs and coincidences to appreciate. How down with digits are you?

By Alia Hoyt

You've probably had ice stick to your hand when you pull it out of the ice maker. But why is that?

By Alia Hoyt

Borax, a popular addition to laundry detergents and slime recipes, is a natural ingredient that has been getting flack for possibly being harmful to children. But is this true?

By Alia Hoyt

Mathematician Andrew Booker has found the three cubes that add up to the number 33, a long-unsolved math problem.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Modern color theory got its start with, believe it or not, Sir Isaac Newton, who also discovered a little thing called gravity and invented calculus.

By Jesslyn Shields

Researchers in Sweden confirm through genetic testing that a 10th-century Viking warrior, first unearthed in the 1870s, was a woman.

By Jim Marion

Can you name even one female mathematician? Don't worry if you can't. That just means you need to read our article on five famous female mathematicians to up your cred.

By Dave Roos

What was once fringe science is becoming mainstream — scientists now believe that humans may be able to detect Earth's magnetic field.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Whether the circle is as big as planet Mars or as small as a tennis ball, the ratio of its circumference divided by its diameter will always equal pi (3.14). But why?

By Marshall Brain & Dave Roos

If you've ever had a half-frozen beer explode on you, you know that yes, alcohol freezes — but not all types freeze at the same rate. We'll let you in on the secrets to frozen alcoholic delights.

By Alison Cooper

It’s the ultimate cheat sheet for science class — and it’s right there hanging on the wall. What do you really know about the indispensable periodic table of elements?

By Nathan Chandler

The story of how the first new blue pigment in 200 years was discovered and took its place in the crayon box.

By Loraine Fick

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The proposed collider would dwarf the existing Large Hadron Collider. But is the $22 billion price tag worth it?

By John Perritano

Autopsies have been around since ancient times, but they seem so shrouded in secrecy. What goes on when a corpse goes under the knife?

By Mark Mancini

Is it its own special type of particle? A wave that's flowing through another medium? Or is there some creepy, unknown substance surrounding us that we simply don't perceive or understand?

By Nathan Chandler

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For more than a century, the mass of a kilogram was defined by a weight stored in a French vault. But now, instead of a hunk of metal, the kilogram's mass will be tied to a mathematical equation.

By Dave Roos

You know that sound synonymous with a certain laser blaster from a galaxy far, far away? Yeah. It sounds like that.

By Mark Mancini