Skydiving has become an increasingly popular sport, although most of us haven’t yet taken the plunge and only enjoy it from the sidelines. If you’ve seen video of skydivers in action, especially skydiving teams that link up to create formations, you might wonder how they do it. It’s a matter of elementary physics. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Water bugs manage to stand on the surface of a pond, because the pads of their feet resist contact with the water just like wax paper does. This allows the bug to rest on the thin film of surface tension that naturally covers the pond. This surface tension film is caused by the strong attraction the surface water molecules have toward each other, as well as toward the water beneath them. Learn more on this Moment of Science.
Why does a space shuttle get hotter on reentry than on liftoff? Find out on this Moment of Science.
Microwaves are low energy electromagnetic waves that have so little energy they can’t trigger chemical reactions in the molecules they encounter.
If you find yourself away from a city, spend an hour looking up on any clear, moonless night. You’re bound to see a few brilliant “shooting stars.” These actually have nothing to do with stars: They’re meteors, and if your viewing conditions are good, you can see about seven per hour on any given night.