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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Laurie L. Dove

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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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?

By Dave Roos

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Alia Hoyt

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

By Alia Hoyt

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Ian O'Neill, Ph.D.

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

By Dave Roos

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

By Michelle Adelman

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

By Laurie L. Dove

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

By Kate Kershner

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

By Laurie L. Dove

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.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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It's a young lady! It's an old woman! It's a blue dress! No, it's gold! Why are we fooled by optical illusions and what do they tell us about how the brain works?

By Meisa Salaita

Whereas the majority of sighted people see a world with just a million colors, or fewer if you're color-blind.

By Kate Kershner

There's some serious science behind the sparkle, with different metals, compounds and other elements creating the fun firework.

By Christopher Hassiotis

Dangerous and unpredictable, rogue waves in the ocean seem to more closely resemble light waves than water waves.

By Jesslyn Shields

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In 1957, Hugh Everett first wrote about the multiverse — different realms where every choice spawns a separate universe in which another version of ourselves does something different. It sounds crazy, but here are some reasons it might be true.

By Patrick J. Kiger

YouTube channel Let's Melt This has become an internet sensation. Why are we so mesmerized by videos of everyday objects undergoing phase change?

By Christopher Hassiotis