Physics

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computer simulation of Earth's magnetic field

FLIP FLOP  In a computer simulation, magnetic field lines (top row) twist and curl around the Earth’s liquid outer core. This magnetism results from swirling, or convecting, liquid iron (bottom row). The simulation mimics the process of a polarity reversal in which Earth’s north and south magnetic poles swap. Such reversals, a sign of a strong magnetic field generator, are seen going back hundreds of millions of years in planetary history.

triboelectric nanogenerator w/voltage graph

POWER SQUEEZE  With a squeeze, swing or jiggle, body motion can flex a triboelectric nanogenerator (left) to create voltage (right), which can charge implantable and wearable medical devices. Textured surfaces within the generator can boost the power output.

illustration of a ring of light around a black hole

RECORDED IN LIGHT  A ring of light surrounds the boundary of a black hole in this artist illustration. Stephen Hawking theorizes that light on this boundary encodes information about everything that falls into the black hole.

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