Science centers worldwide are marking the World Year of Physics 2005—the centennial of the “miraculous year,” 1905, when German physicist Albert Einstein published his three groundbreaking papers on light quanta, Brownian motion, and the special theory of relativity.
At London’s Science Museum, cyclist Ben Wallace recently premiered the Einstein Flip—a startling application of several principles, including angular momentum, that organizers hope will demonstrate “how fun and relevant physics can be to young people.”
The Flip begins with a launch off a six-foot-high ramp. Wallace then spins backwards through 360 degrees while folding his bike underneath him. Physicist Helen Czerski, who designed the stunt, was initially dubious, but says, “I did the maths … and found that, yes, it could work.”