Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Podcast: Winter Physics Round-Up

It's December! The beginning of winter and the heart of the holiday season. Our podcast this week is a round-up of some of the physics you can find all around you this time of year. And boy-oh-boy is there a lot of physics.

Here are some past podcasts for this time of year:

Here's a fun interview that Roger Highfield did about his book, The Physics of Christmas. It's for a show called "The Infinite Monkey Cage" and it's hosted by physicist Brian Cox and actor/writer/comedian Robin Ince.

Here's a video created by some folks at NIST demonstrating just how fast a dry Christmas tree can go up in flames. Note that this was a staged demonstration (not really someone's house) and that sufficiently watering your tree can prevent this.

Here's an article about some students who made a wind-powered menorah. And here is a video of the nerdiest menorah lighting maybe in history.


In this week's podcast we also talked about the Northern Lights. To be fair, the aurora borealis can take place at any time of year, and the southern hemisphere has its own aurora: the aurora australis. But you know—Santa, North Pole, Northern Lights. I think we're still on topic. Anyway, here's a great video about how the aurora's form:

The Aurora Borealis from Per Byhring on Vimeo.

And here's a shot of Saturn's aurora's (Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Venus and Mars all have aurora's as well).

We hope that's enough winter and holiday physics for you. Happy December, everyone!

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