Science comics

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When I teach classes, sometimes I like to show a comic at the beginning to lighten the mood a bit, or perhaps keep people from falling asleep quite so easily. So I’ve been accumulating this list of science-themed comics for a few years now.

Newtonian mechanics

  • XKCD 123: Bond and centrifugal force
  • XKCD 135: velociraptor exam
  • XKCD 162: angular momentum slowing the planet
  • XKCD 226: weightlessness on a swing set
  • XKCD 228: resonance in the workplace
  • XKCD 332: gyroscopes are weird
  • XKCD 353: antigravity in Python
  • XKCD 594: period/frequency, and the uterus-hertz
  • XKCD 613: physicists not solving the three-body problem
  • XKCD 669: frictionless vacuums
  • XKCD 755: hitting psychology students with pendulums, interdisciplinary studies
  • XKCD 1001: centrifugal force in a bed
  • XKCD 1175: relative motion on moving sidewalks
  • Abstruse Goose 95: force and The Force
  • The mysteriously missing Abstruse Goose 318: projectile motion and rotations (I challenge you to find this one yourself)


Quantum physics



  • XKCD 969: the wardrobe: pressure, depth, Bernoulli’s equation
  • XKCD 1119: driving a fan with a wind turbine
  • XKCD 1165: flow rate of the Amazon

Optics, Sound, and Waves

Astronomy and cosmology

  • XKCD 54: CMB as a perfect blackbody
  • XKCD 975: blocking a telescope’s view to see exoplanets
  • XKCD 1020: that funny thing under Orion’s belt
  • XKCD 1071: there are a lot of exoplanets
  • XKCD 1111: stellar evolution and the end of the Earth
  • XKCD 1123: making a universe
  • XKCD 1125: Hubble’s rear view mirror
  • XKCD 1132: probability and whether the sun has exploded
  • XKCD 1204: resolution of Google Earth and the universe
  • XKCD 1212: TV signals propagating into space
  • XKCD 1231: mirror in front of the telescope
  • XKCD 1239: asteroids and social media
  • XKCD 1246: the pale blue dot as a pixel
  • XKCD 1248: mind-boggling bigness of space
  • XKCD 1249: meteor showers
  • XKCD 1253: weird exoplanet names
  • XKCD 1276: doing observational astronomy on the Earth’s surface

Relativity and gravity

High-energy physics

Space exploration and orbital mechanics

  • XKCD 613: three-body problem
  • XKCD 1074: the moon landing and NASA’s accomplishments
  • XKCD 1091: landing a rover on Mars and it takes pictures
  • XKCD 1189: how many times Voyager I has left the solar system
  • XKCD 1229: screen saver crashing into a star
  • XKCD 1244: it works in Kerbal space program


The academic process

  • XKCD 435: purity of fields
  • XKCD 499: why you have to use a #2 pencil on a test
  • XKCD 557: memories of school
  • XKCD 608: “Do not write in this space”
  • XKCD 759: why showing your work is important, long division
  • XKCD 1145: Rayleigh scattering and tricky questions

Science communication and public relations

  • XKCD 242: normal people vs. scientists
  • XKCD 298: tesla coil and antigravity, things not making sense
  • XKCD 382: practicality, lasers
  • XKCD 397: why ideas should be tested by experiment
  • XKCD 547: simple phrasing and the importance of being understandable
  • XKCD 585: science (sharks)
  • XKCD 660: relativity, causality, and sympathy tips for physicists
  • XKCD 670: Spinal Tap amps and engineers
  • XKCD 793: physicists encountering new fields
  • XKCD 799: fallacy of appeal to authority and Stephen Hawking
  • Abstruse Goose 307: real uses of Maxwell’s equations


Of course there are always more, so I welcome suggested additions in the comments....