Don Pettit, an engineer for NASA and avowed science geek uses the Internet to teach scientific principles of physics as demonstrated high above the Earth on the International Space Station. The video series “Science off the Sphere” features experiments designed by Pettit to instruct Internet viewers on the aspects of scientific principles. Both NASA and the American Physical Society have jointly developed a partnership to share these videos with students, educators and science enthusiasts. The latest video shows how sound can be used to oscillate water placed on a speaker cone and make the droplets fly.
Previous videos have illustrated the effects of static electricity using knitting needles and water droplets, demonstrated capillary flow by creating a zero gravity tea cup, and experimented with fluid motion using thin films of water. The videos challenge the online community with questions and invites responses.
"The physics community is absolutely loving seeing what's going on and loving having a different way of looking at concepts they've spent their lives studying," said Becky Thompson-Flagg, head of public outreach at APS.
"Science off the Sphere" is a successor to Pettit's science demonstrations performed during his stay on the space station during Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003 and during the STS-126 space shuttle mission.