science
How to Instantly Stop the Sound of a Dripping Tap, According to Science

It’s tempting to think that the “plink” sound produced by a falling water droplet on a liquid surface is caused by the droplet itself, but new research points to an unexpected source of this familiar, yet annoying, sound. Excitingly, the researchers have also identified a neat hack to stop it. Read More >>

science
Now We Know How Beer Foam Stops All That Sloshing

There’s something especially satisfying about a nice cold brew with a thick head of foam. But that foam also serves a purpose: not only does it enhance the flavour of your beer, it also helps dampen the inevitable sloshing when you and your pals clink glasses. Scientists now think they’ve pd out why. Read More >>

science
The Mystery About the ‘Coffee Ring Effect’ Continues

The “coffee ring effect” is that pattern you get when a single liquid evaporates and leaves behind a ring of previously dissolved solids. In the case of coffee, that would be the coffee grounds. A new paper in Physical Review E. demonstrates that we still have a lot to learn about this seemingly simple everyday occurrence. Read More >>

science
Physicists Are Sciencing the Shit Out of Gunshot Blood Spatter  

During the 2007 murder trial of music mogul Phil Spector, forensic experts for the defence and prosecution disagreed on how to interpret the blood spatter patterns on clothing worn by both Spector and his victim, among other disputed physical evidence. The end result was a hung jury, forcing the presiding judge to declare a mistrial. Read More >>

science
Disgusting Fish Slime is an Amazingly Versatile Material

The humble hagfish produces a sticky slime to defend itself from predators, as well as to hunt for its own food. Now a team of Swiss scientists has figured out the physics behind how the hagfish can use the same slimy substance for both purposes, according to a new paper in Scientific Reports. Read More >>

booze
Why This Drop of Booze Looks Like a Galaxy

Anyone who’s imbibed a glass of ouzo—the licorice-flavoured spirit that is practically the national drink of Greece—may be familiar with how it turns cloudy when the liquor is mixed with water. But there are still some mysteries about how such mixed liquids behave. Read More >>

science
The Brazil Nut Effect is More Complicated Than You Think

We’ve all experienced that moment of dismay: opening a fresh can of mixed nuts, only to find loathed Brazil nuts at the top of the heap, with the tasty cashews and trusty peanuts all the way down at the bottom. It’s called the Brazil Nut Effect. There’s well-known physics behind why this happens, but it’s a lot more complicated than you might think. Read More >>

science
The Science of Using a Damn Coaster When You are a Guest in This House

A few years ago, a Phoenix-based photographer teamed up with physicists at Princeton University to explore the unusually uniform rings a drop of whisky leaves behind when it dries. Now those same physicists have published their findings in Physical Review Letters. Read More >>

science
Scientists Made the Perfect Skipping Stone and Skipped It Across Their Lab

Scientists at Utah State University have figured out how to make the perfect skipping stones. The secret was making sure they were made out of a material that had much more give than stone. Read More >>

science
There’s Some Complex Physics In These Photos of Ink Falling Through Water

Spherical Rayleigh-Taylor Instabilities, to be exact. That’s what happens when two fluids of different densities collide under the force of gravity. The pattern can be seen in everything from the mushroom clouds of nuclear explosions to cosmic supernovae. But as science photographer Linden Gledhill demonstrates, you can also recreate the fluid dynamics phenomenon at home, using nothing but ink, water, and a good camera. Read More >>

science
Scientists Can Now Make Fake Sperm Swim 

What you’re seeing in this video is obviously a sperm cell, except it was made in a lab, not a testicle. It’s designed to show how passive elastic swimming can mimic, fairly well, the motions that allow sperm (or fish) to swim. Read More >>

science
This Blast of Beads Is an Analogue for the Early Universe 

A machine shoots a blast of beads at a metal target. The result is a beautiful conical structure known as a “water bell.” It’s significant because one kind of substance (granular material) changes its behaviour to act like another substance entirely—and the universe has seen this kind of change before. Read More >>

science
These Bouncing Droplets Could Help Resolve a 90-Year Mystery of Quantum Mechanics

The drops of silicon oil bobbing in the mesmerising video do more than create aesthetically satisfying ripples across a slick surface. They could be indirect evidence of an alternate solution to a nagging question in quantum mechanics — one that dates back almost a century. Read More >>