You Can't Appreciate These Movies Fully Without A Great Sound System

Science fiction movies are known for their amazing visuals, from majestic spaceships to desolate landscapes. But many of the best science fiction films use sound just as much as picture to tell their stories. Here are 22 films that you'll appreciate way more if you have a great speaker system to go with that widescreen … » 3/17/14 1:24pm 3/17/14 1:24pm

Sound waves have brought us closer to a levitation machine

People have been able to levitate small objects using sound for years. But applications for the technique are severely limited because scientists hadn't figured out how to control and manipulate the floating objects. Until now. » 7/15/13 3:58pm 7/15/13 3:58pm

Beautiful Minimalist Science Graphics, c. 1960

For the weekend: vintage science art from the backs of books in LIFE Magazine's Science Library, published throughout the 1960s by Time Inc. See also: this set of minimalist science posters by graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai, also featured in the magazine's 60s Science Library. » 2/08/13 9:40am 2/08/13 9:40am

Practice your ninja skills with the Franssen Effect audio illusion

So you want to be a ninja. You've got the long samurai sword and the throwing stars. You've covered yourself completely in black clothes, leaving only a dramatic opening to set off your eyes. You are within springing distance of your enemy. But it's all for naught if you come clumping loudly up to your intended… » 12/07/12 7:20am 12/07/12 7:20am

This is what ZZ Top looks like in space

Astronaut Don Pettit (previously: 1, 2, 3) loves performing intriguing experiments using the microgravity of the International Space Station. For his most recent video, Pettit visualized the sound waves of ZZ Top's "TV Dinners" using several blobs of water and a speaker. Now I sort of want a television series in which… » 5/10/12 8:40am 5/10/12 8:40am

Alexander Graham Bell's 130-year-old record collection has been…

In the 1880s, Alexander Graham Bell and his associates at Washington, DC's Volta Laboratory experimented with different methods of audio recording. These 19th century audio engineers immortalized snippets of nursery rhymes and a Shakespearean soliloquy to wax discs. » 3/28/12 6:45am 3/28/12 6:45am

Why do you cringe at the sound of nails on a chalkboard?

Just the thought of nails raking across a chalkboard is enough to send shivers down many people's spines — but the reasoning behind this reaction has remained a mystery for decades. Scientists have attributed it to everything from the visual stimuli associated with the sound to an inborn reaction that helps preserve… » 11/10/11 1:11pm 11/10/11 1:11pm

Turning tunnels into musical instruments

The damp, dingy tunnels below Waterloo station in London are hardly your typical concert hall. But last weekend, as part of the Mindful exhibition, artist Oliver Beer brought a choir down to create ethereal music by turning the space into a giant musical instrument. To make the space resound, the singers needed to tap… » 10/02/11 7:30am 10/02/11 7:30am