Category: Classical

Tippability and the Sewol Ferry

Truck Rollover Sign

If you’ve ever loaded your worldly possessions into a truck in preparation for a move, you have firsthand experience with the concept of “tippability.” Load all your heaviest stuff on top of your lightest stuff and, if you manage not to crush the lower layer, you’ll have a seriously unbalanced load — the sort of […]

Inexplicable Tragedy


The disappearance of flight MH370 and the capsizing of the Sewol Ferry are devastating events. The anguish of the families and the suffering of those onboard these vessels is painful to contemplate. The events seem inexplicable, yet there are scientific principles involved. We must understand these principles if we are to prevent a repeat of […]

Tsiolkovsky: Sixteen Stages of Space Exploration


Russian Rocketman Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, truly a “Citizen of the Universe,” introduced these Sixteen Stages of Space Exploration in 1926. He believed that these incremental steps would bring man into space and allow him to thrive: Design of rocket-propelled airplanes with wings. Progressively increasing the speeds and altitudes reached with these airplanes.  

Science Fiction and Science


Three men, working independently in three different countries, were at the forefront of liquid-fueled rocket development. Although all three did their work at the start of the 20th century, none of them knew of the others’ work in time to use that work in their investigations, yet all three had one important thing in common.

Bernoulli Effect


Daniel Bernoulli’s (1700-1782) work is integral to the field of aerodynamics. It explains the way that air moves over a curved surface. As the air moves up and over the curved surface of an airplane wing, it must flow more quickly than the air moving in a straight path across the underside of the wing. […]

Here’s to William Froude

Theorist Icon

It’s easy for us to look back and assume that everything went smoothly for those who were the first with an amazing idea. It’s also easy for us to miss the fact that ideas that are commonly accepted now were once wild ideas in the view of the established schools of thought. The most obvious examples are the ideas that were considered heretical by the Catholic church, but those were not the only ideas that brought ridicule to visionaries in their time. Sometimes the ridicule came from other men of science.