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What is Newton's second law of motion?

It explains force, whichever way it is happening

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Why do bubbles expand when you heat them?

Think of a cake. When you put it in the oven, it starts off at a particular volume and then, an hour later, it has risen to perhaps double its size. It is obvious what has happened – the air bubbles that you have carefully folded into the mixture during the preparation and the little bubbles of carbon dioxide created by the baking powder have expanded as they are heated in the oven, taking the rest of the cake with it. All this time, the pressure of the air inside those bubbles has stayed the same (you know that because cakes don't usually explode when you slice them after cooking).

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What violins have in common with the sea – the wave principle

You're reading these words because light waves are bouncing off the letters on the page and into your eyes. The sounds of the rustling paper or beeps of your computer reach your ear via compression waves travelling through the air. Waves race across the surface of our seas and oceans and earthquakes send waves coursing through the fabric of the Earth.

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Why you can't travel at the speed of light: A short history of Einstein's theory of relativity

Albert Einstein is famous for many things, not least his theories of relativity. The first, the special theory of relativity, was the one that began the physicist's reputation for tearing apart the classical worldview that had come before. Special relativity, a way of relating the motion of objects in the universe, led scientists to re-evaluate their assumptions about things as fundamental as time and space. And it led to important revelations about the relationship between energy and matter.

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Auld Lang Syne in the Antarctic as stranded adventurers await rescue

In the afternoon on New Year's Eve, three dozen passengers from the MV Akademik Shokalskiy walked town the gangplank and stepped on to one of the ice floes that had trapped the ship since Christmas Day.

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Scientists retracing the footsteps of 1911 Antarctic expedition trapped in ice

Icebreaker ships go to help MV Akademik Shokalskiy after captain issues distress call

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Scientists will re-trace 1913 journey of legendary Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson

Geologist almost lost his life mapping unknown Antarctic regions in 'the Edwardian equivalent of space travel'

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What is the second law of thermodynamics?

Endless movement between hot and cold will eventually mean the end of the universe

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Venus orbits the Sun inside huge 'zodiacal cloud' of space dust

Scientists have discovered that Venus circles the sun embedded within a huge band of dust that is 10-15 million kilometres high and stretches all the way around its orbit. The finding will help astronomers better understand the dust clouds within planetary systems so that they can be taken into account when examining planets outside our solar system.

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Big cats' oldest ancestor Panthera blytheae discovered in Tibetan Himalayas

The fossil skull of the Panthera blytheae, the precursor to all modern lions, tigers and leopards was found in the Himalayas

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A deadly virus could travel at jet speed around the world. How do we stop it in time?

Silent and deadly, a virus will leap from an animal to a human and literally fly round the world. Millions of lives will depend on the skills of scientists.

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What is Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?

How the sun shines and why the vacuum of space is not actually empty

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NASA's Curiosity rover finds water on Mars

Dirt sample reveals two pints of liquid water per cubic feet, not freely accessible but bound to other minerals in the soil

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