Inspired by Ig Nobel Prize Winner, China Builds a Rising Moon

The South China Morning Post reports, on January 12, 2022, that “China has built an artificial moon that simulates low-gravity conditions on Earth“. The report begins: China has built a research facility that simulates the low-gravity environment on the moon – and it was inspired by experiments using magnets to levitate a frog. Further details: […]

Urination-duration Ig winner: physics of animals keeping clean

David Hu, 2015 Ig Nobel physics prize winner (together with several colleagues, for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds, plus or minus 13 seconds ) has a new paper out, written with colleague Guillermo Amador. Their institution, Georgia Tech, describes it: A CAT’S SURFACE AREA IS EQUAL […]

Fridge magnet research update – ”Why the fridge?”

Improbable recently drew attention to the field of Fridge Magnet Research. For those who wish to further investigate the ethnographical aspects of fridge magnets, may we also recommend a study by Dr. Laurel Swan (previously at Brunel University, now a research fellow at the Royal College of Art, UK) and Alex Taylor of Microsoft Research […]

On the up and up: levitating particles & a frog, with sound & magnets

Two visual demonstrations of levitation, each using known physics properties: 1. Using sound waves to levitate particles [REFERENCE: “Three-dimensional Mid-air Acoustic Manipulation by Ultrasonic Phased Arrays,” Yoichi Ochiai, Takayuki Hoshi, Jun Rekimoto, (2013) arXiv:1312.4006.. Thanks to @BetsytheDevine for bringing this to our attention.]: 2. The Ig Nobel Prize-winning levitation of a frog, using magnets [REFERENCE: “Of […]

A Brief History of Fridge Magnets [video]

The Tripe Marketing Board presents A Brief History of Fridge Magnets: BONUS: The history continues past that point, of course. Part of it is documented in this study: “Design, manufacture, and test of an adiabatic demagnetization Refrigerator Magnet for use in space,” Steve Milward, Stephen Harrison, Robin Stafford Allen, Ian D. Hepburn, Christine Brockley-Blatt [pictured […]

Interview with a frog-levitating graphene tinkerer

Sean O’Neill, in New Scientist, interviews Andre Geim, who has shared (with different collaborators) both an Ig Nobel Prize in physics (for his work on teh substance graphene) and a Nobel Prize in physics. Here’s the final portion of that interview: From tinkering on the fringes to Nobel glory … You have worked in many […]

A knighthood for Geim—he of frogs, magnets & pencils

The man [pictured here] who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for using magnets to levitate a frog (a feat he accomplished together with a man who already had a knighthood) and then ten years later was awarded a Nobel Prize for having used scotch tape to tease graphene layers from a pencil, has now been […]