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Tag: science

Cymatics: Sound Made Visible

Cymatics is the process of making sound waves visible, and artist Nigel Standford shows just how that is done in a fantastic set of six audio-based science experiments. In one such experiment, Standford sends audio frequencies through a Chladni plate covered in sand and records the patterns that form in the sand. And in another experiment, he tapes a hose to a speaker and by matching the audio frequencies to the camera’s frame rate, he creates an illusion of water forming a spiral as it leaves the hose. It’s all very fascinating.

Check out CYMATICS: Science Vs. Music below.

To see the behind-the-scenes footage of these audio experiments, check out nigelstanford.com/Cymatics.

[via Colossal]

Prince Rupert’s Drop

What happens when you drip molten glass into cold water? You get a Prince Rupert’s Drop. It looks like a tadpole, with a bulbous head and a thin long tail. It also possesses some interesting properties — the drop can withstand blows from a hammer on one end but even the slightest damage to the tail will result in a shattering EXPLOSION. Destin from the YouTube science channel Smarter Every Day films this amazing interaction at 100,000 frames a second. Check it out below.

[thanks Claire!]

Mouth-Watering Food Photos

Dr. Nathan Myhrvold may be lacking vowels in his last name but is certainly not short in cooking skills. The good doctor’s book Modernist Cuisine borrows techniques from the science laboratory and applies them to food preparation.

The photos from the 2438-page book have been extracted and presented centre stage in the coffee table stunner, The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. The dishes were photographed against minimal backgrounds, with cutaways and macro shots providing a fascinating view into the realm of cooking. Have a look at some of the mouth-watering images after the jump.

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The Chemistry of Cookies

TED-Ed tells us about the magic science of baking cookies. In this minimalist animated short, we’re taken through the series of chemical reactions that flatten the cookie dough, kill any nasty Salmonella, and give the cookie its enticing aroma.

Have a look at The Chemistry of Cookies below.

[via NPR]

Hot and Steamy

Wikipedia defines the Leidenfrost effect as “a phenomenon in which a liquid, in near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid’s boiling point, produces an insulating vapor layer which keeps that liquid from boiling rapidly.”

Reading the concept might be boring, but seeing it in action is somewhat cooler. In this little clip, a glowing ball of red hot nickel is dropped into a container of water. Thanks to Leidenfrost effect, the surface of the ball becomes insulated from the water by a blanket of steam. But the effect is temporary, watch what happens when the ball cools.

The Leidenfrost effect has been demonstrated in a few other ways, most notably when the mustachioed Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman dared to dip his little piggy into a pot of molten lead. Have a look at that reaction after the jump.

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Listen to the Most Relaxing Song in the World

According to scientists and sound therapists, an 8-minute song by Manchester band Marconi Union ranks as the most relaxing song ever. In a survey conducted by the purveyors of bubble bath (Radox Spa), the song was played to a test group and it reduced anxiety levels by 65% and further decreased the resting pulse rate of the subjects by 35%.

This is attributed to a continuous rhythm of 60 BPM that is meant to synchronize the brainwaves and heart rate to that rhythm. Underlying bass tones are meant to induce a more calmer mood. Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, better explains why the song elicits the reactions that it does.

While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat. It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur. The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure.

The harmonic intervals – or gaps between notes – have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next.

Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like buddhist chants. High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state.

But enough of the science. Put it to the test and let us know whether you feel calmer after it. Listen to Weightless below.

[via @za5]

Just How Small is an Atom?

The interactive Scale of the Universe shows us how minuscule and gargantuan elements in our universe can be. We know that atoms, the basic unit of matter, are small but just how small are we talking about?

Scientist and teacher Jonathan Bergmann answers that question in this quick animated chemistry lesson using blueberries, grapefruits, and football stadiums as metaphors.

You can find many more educational videos at TED-Ed.

[via @blahsum]

“Perpetual Ocean” Visualization Looks Like a van Gogh Painting

Every day it’s swirling. The world ocean is a large body of water that covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and this beautiful time-lapse animation by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio shows the movement of the ocean currents around the continents and islands.

Using data during the period of June 2005 and December 2007, Perpetual Ocean is produced using a complex computation model that is usually used to predict changes in world’s currents. In this case all the facts and figures have been removed, leaving only the curly and swirly patterns that look like they could be part of the starry nightscape in a Vincent van Gogh painting.

For more information on Perpetual Ocean, visit the Scientific Visualization Studio.

[via @JoeyHiFi]

How Much Power is in an AA Battery? And Can it Kill?

One person on Reddit wanted to know if you manage to drain all the energy from a single AA battery in a single go, and translate that energy to a punch, what kind of damage would the punch leave. The answer may surprise you. Check it out after the jump.

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Michael Paukner And His Esoteric Subjects

I think I am in love. The more time I spend on Michæl Paukner’s Flickr stream, the more I am drawn into his visual style. He creates a selection of posters and infographics that seem marry science and design in the most beautiful ways. He illustrates some heady, complex stuff that I certainly don’t understand, like the Dymaxion Map and the Antikythera mechanism, they’re all so fantastic to look at.

See some of his art after the jump.

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