Posted December 20, 2010
On December 26, 2004, one of the strongest earthquakes on record struck near Sumatra. The earthquake and associated tsunami killed over 200,000 people.
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This animation shows the propagation of the tsunami wave around the world over the following 36 hours. Diffraction of the waves around South America and Africa are clearly visible. (Blick's Pick will take a brief holiday and return on January 3, 2011.)
Posted December 13, 2010
Singing Tesla coils:
Last summer's film The Sorcerer's Apprentice featured a singing Tesla coil, so I had to see if such a thing really exists. They most certainly do, and some have been programmed to play very familiar tunes. Manipulating the frequency of the arc changes the pitch we hear when the spark is discharged. With two Tesla coils, you can play chords.
Posted December 6, 2010
How can a cat lap up milk without wetting its whiskers?
The combination of adhesion (milk to the tongue), cohesion (between the molecules in the milk), and surface tension of the milk seems to be the key here.
Jacob Clark Blickenstaff is Assistant Professor of Physics and Assistant Director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Mississippi.