Today’s Solutions: June 13, 2024

Starling Murmuration

How do massive flocks of starlings fly in perfect unison?

Have you ever watched a flock of birds fly, turn, and dive in what seems like perfect unison? You might look at this and assume that a lead bird is determining the directions of the flock, or that they are collectively responding to small changes in the wind.  All of those are good guesses, but Read More...

Pluto

Turns out there are ice volcanoes on Pluto. Here's how they work

We learn more fascinating and otherworldly things about our universe the farther out into space we explore. Some of our discoveries bend our understanding of science, and some completely baffle us. This is the case now that scientists have confirmed that there are, in fact, ice volcanoes on Read More...

Exoplanet in deep space. Elements of this image were furnished by NASA.

How many worlds exist outside our solar system?

Exoplanets are worlds just like our own that are revolving around a star. Here at The Optimist Daily, we’ve commonly reported on the discovery of new exoplanets, like the first time an exoplanet has been spotted outside our galaxy, or this peculiar planet with the shortest orbit around a star Read More...

A technician working at the NIF before using the 196 lasers to create conditions similar to galaxy clusters.

Cracking the case of super-hot hydrogen in galaxies

Galaxies don't like to be alone. These huge swirls of stars, dust, and dark matter gravitate together in their thousands to form clusters, offering wonder and puzzlement to us humans watching them. The mystery of the super-hot hydrogen As with many aspects of our awe-inspiring universe, there is Read More...

Animation of a strange metal which holds superconducting properties.

‘Strange metal’ may be the future for a more energy efficient world

Strange metal behavior was first noticed around 30 years ago. These materials are composed of copper-oxides and carry the properties of being high-temperature superconductors. This means they can transfer electricity very efficiently, withstanding much higher temperatures with less energy loss than Read More...

A hand getting ready to snap its fingers.

Marvel at the power of the finger snap

Turns out the simple snap is a physics gold mine. Thanks to high-speed video footage from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, exactly how impressive the movement is has been exposed. The research group, led by Saad Bhamla, actually took inspiration from Marvel’s 2018 smash hit Avengers: Infinity War. Read More...

Pouring tea from a teapot

Who spilled the tea? The answer is physics

The science behind an important unexplained everyday occurrence in our world has finally been described. Called the “teapot effect," it refers to an experience many of us have probably had: We go to pour a piping hot beverage out of a teapot too slowly, and end up with unwanted tea all over the Read More...

Nobel Prize in physics awarded

Nobel Prize in physics awarded to climate research pioneers

Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi have spent the last 60 years decoding complex physical systems to predict how climate change is impacting our world. Now, their work has been rewarded with the Nobel Prize in physics. Manabe and Hasselmann, who are 90 and 89 years old, Read More...

The wow of physics

The wow of physics

Visionary Fritjof Capra teams up with Leonardo da Vinci to explore the cutting edge of 21st-century science. Jay Walljasper| November 2007 issue You can think of inventor Leonardo da Vinci and physicist Fritjof Capra as colleagues, collab-orating on groundbreaking scientific work that shifts Read More...

The Tao of Da Vinci

The Tao of Da Vinci

The Renaissance master pioneered ideas we now think of as the cutting edge in science and design. An exclusive excerpt from Fritjof Capra's new book, The Science of Leonardo. Fritjof Capra | November 2007 issue In Western intellectual history, the Renaissance—a period stretching from the Read More...