Atoms spin backwards while flying along a surface

Enlarge / Atoms are a bit like this wheel, but they spin backwards while moving forward. (credit: Ross Elliott / Flickr) Have you ever noticed that when a car is filmed, sometimes the wheels appear to be turning backwards? For cars, having the wheels rotate in the opposite sense to the car’s… [Read More...]

Thunderstorm with eye-popping 720GJ of energy

Enlarge (credit: John Fowler / Flickr) Nothing says “I love diving headfirst into a ditch” like your hair suddenly elevating to the tingly feel of electricity. Thunderstorms are amazing from inside a building, but they’re scary if you’re trapped outside. And, despite a good deal of observation, an element of mystery… [Read More...]

Magnets: How do they stop working?

Enlarge (credit: Getty / Aurich) Magnetism is slightly weird. Iron becomes magnetic because lots of electrons agree to align their individual magnetic moments. If you hit a thin layer of iron with a strong, very short pulse of light, however, the strength of its magnetic field will drop almost immediately. How… [Read More...]

How Rihanna Inspired Tessa Thompson’s Creed II Character

In 2015’s Creed, viewers were introduced to Tessa Thompson’s character, Bianca, the Philly-based love interest of Michael B. Jordan’s heavyweight champ Adonis Creed. She is, to be sure, a ringside cheerleader for the up-and-coming boxer in the hit Rocky franchise spinoff, but also self-possessed in a… [Read More...]

A trip through the peer-review sausage grinder

Peer review is not this painful, promise. Update: This week, Ars staffers from across the country gather together in real life for our annual meeting, Technicon. We’re supposed to be talking more than typing, so we’re resurfacing a few classic Ars stories just in case the front page gets lonely… [Read More...]

Hypnotic suggestion prevents action, not recognition

Enlarge / You’re feeling sleeeeeeepy… (credit: Sim Dawdler) The brain is a strange thing, and hypnosis may be one of the weirdest brain phenomena around. Some dude waves a watch at you and tells you there is an elephant in the room. Voila, your brain invents an elephant, acts out the… [Read More...]