Biology Botany Physics 

How Do Plants Know Which Way to Grow?

By Shayna Keyles (@shaynakeyles) How do plants know which way is up and which way is down? No matter which way you put a seed in the soil, it will always send its roots down and its shoots up. (Unless you’re in space–we’ll get back to that later.) [tweetthis]Plants can sense light, gravity, and water. So no matter where they are, they can figure out up and down.[/tweetthis] The answer lies in tropism: motion in response to external stimulus. This is pretty amazing, considering that in the traditional sense, plants can’t…

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Science of Skateboarding, Halfpipe Physics Physics 

Science of Skateboarding: Half-Pipe Physics

By Kate Stone and Jonathan Trinastic Skateboarders might seem to defy gravity as they soar high above a half-pipe, but they are actually taking advantage of specific physics principles that help them reach such heights. GotScience interviews physicist Jonathan Trinastic to learn more. GotScience: As a physicist, what do you see happening in these photos? Dr. Jonathan Trinastic: Skateboarders on a half-pipe take advantage of two primary physics conservation principles: conservation of energy and angular momentum. Let’s start with conservation of energy. Energy can be broken down into two main…

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