Science / Physics and Math

What to Expect From a Pooch on a Paddleboard

Illustration: Rhett Allain As you can see, each of these objects has three forces acting on it—two vertical forces and one horizontal force. The vertical forces aren’t that important here. For the dog, there is its downward weight (Wd) and the upward “normal” force from the board. Same for the board-plus-human. (Technically, the upward force …

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A Buzzkill Physics Discovery, a Deadly Miracle Drug, and More News

A new physics discovery kills hope of the unknown, a drug said to cure opioid addiction comes with a caveat, and a competitive videogamer is out to restore his name. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up …

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Physicists Finally Nail the Proton’s Size, and Hope Dies

In 2010, physicists in Germany reported that they had made an exceptionally precise measurement of the size of the proton, the positively charged building block of atomic nuclei. The result was very puzzling. Randolf Pohl of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and collaborators had measured the proton using special hydrogen atoms in which …

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Unusual Fluids Flip, Twirl, and Redefine How Liquids Work

When not confined to a container, liquids will splatter, dribble, and ooze. They shape-shift into their surroundings as puddles and streams, largely beyond human control. Lauren Zarzar is trying to make more obedient liquids. Zarzar, a materials scientist at Pennsylvania State University, designs liquids that she can tame—fluids that move or change shape on command. …

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