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  1. jwdiehl88
    Latest Entry

    Did you know that you transfer about ninety percent of your force upon a pedal of a bike into kinetic energy? Riding a bike is so simple but there is so much physics behind it. As you ride a bike there are multiple forces on you. There is a force of gravity downwards on you, so as you slow down, the force of gravity will push you and the bike down. There is also a drag force and frictional force acting on you and the bike. The drag force is the air resistance you feel when you go downhill. If you're going at a high speed with your bike then you can feel the air resisting you from going down the hill.  Also you can't forget the frictional force between the tires and the road. Then there is a force pushing you forward which is caused by the work the person does by pedaling. As the person decreases its work then, the frictional force will be greater causing the bike to slow down. But if the person increases its work, the force going forward will be greater than the frictional force causing the bike to speed up. 

  2. A common part of baseball is seen almost every pitch when the catcher moves his glove slightly when he catches the ball to try and convince the umpire the pitch was actually a strike, when really it was a ball.  This is called framing, and when one really looks at the process, it is easy to see how strong and skilled a catcher must be to execute it.  One of the best in the game at this is Yadier Molina.  In the video below, take a look at how Molina totally redirects the tremendous force of a ball travelling over 80 mph and sinking down below the zone.  The way Molina "sticks" the pitch on the corner of the zone led to this pitch being a strike, even though it is very clear it should have been a ball.  He moves his glove up while barely moving backwards, meaning he absorbed and counteracted the downward angled force of the ball in a split second, and made it appear that he actually caught the ball at a spot above where he actually didnt.  When one thinks about the serious force behind a major league pitch, Yadier's tremendous strength becomes even more apparent, as he appears to move his glove at will, even though it is being impacted by a projectile travelling at over 80 mph.



  3. The silver egg illusion is an experiment in which an egg is charged over a candle until it is completely covered in soot. Once the egg is completely covered, it should be dunked into a cup of water. The egg turns silver because the soot particles are hydrophobic so only the top part of the soot will be wet. The surface tension supports the water in between each grain of soot and a layer of air between the water and the soot forms. Because the surface of the water reflects light very well due to total internal reflection, the egg will end up appearing silver. 


  4. VagueIncentive
    Latest Entry

    I found this software a while ago called "Space Engine", which can only really be described as a universe exploring tool. It's just a simple thing that allows you to fly around in space, starting from Earth. You control the speed you go at, and I feel this is the only thing to ever really give me a feel for the perspective on how large the universe really is. At first impressions I thought everything I saw was based on reality, but I found out that by default anything outside of what we have observed is procedurally generated, meaning that it is made up randomly by software and clever programming. This random generation is especially impressive, because you can fly in between galaxies, slow down to find a star, and then explore the planets and whatever else may be orbiting that star. I did this over and over until I found a planet that was labeled as a "warm terra", so I looked further and found it had everything: oceans, mountains, valleys, plateaus, etc. I compiled a bunch of the things I found, which were all interesting in their own way.

    Here's a video I put together of some pretty scenes I found:

    Desert planet with 3 stars:


    Another view of the same 3 star system:


    Mountain range with planet's rings going over the horizon:


    Gas Giant in front of a galaxy:


    Trailing edge of a galaxy perpendicular to horizon of a desert planet:


    All of these formations were completely randomly generated, which is hard to believe considering how realistic they look.

    Space engine is a free software, currently in a beta form that is being worked on slowly. You can download it here:

  5. Another crazy creation from Boston Dynamics is the Sand Flea.


    This little robot has the ability to jump, very high. the 11 pound, or 4.99 kg robot has the ability to jump 30 feet in the air, or 9.14 meters. Using potential energy we can calculate the energy needed to launch the robot. Using mgh we can see that the robot outputs 446.96 Joules of energy for a full height launch. Also assuming that no energy is lost the launch velocity of the bot is about 13 m/s. Boston Dynamics say that the robot can launch about 25 times, giving the total energy within the robot to be about 11174 Joules or about 69837500000000000000000 eV.




  6. Not long ago I acquired a Playstation VR (PSVR) which I set up in my basement office, and was asked to evaluate the system for potential educational applications.  Beyond that, my scope was wide open, though I was provided the opportunity to sample a variety of games on the system to get a feel for the potential of the system.  What follows are some general ramblings and thoughts about the system.

    The Hardware

    Playstation VR Headset and Camera

    Playstation VR Headset and Camera

    The tested system included a Playstation Pro console, a PSVR Launch Bundle (headset, two move controllers, camera, and appropriate cables), and external Playstation Gold headphones in place of the standard earbuds.  Included software included a Demo Disk, and Playstation VR Worlds Disk, and I utilized a store credit to try out several system games of my choosing.

    First Impressions

    Initially, I was somewhat disappointed in the resolution of the headset.  Though I had been forewarned that resolution wouldn’t be as sharp as an HD monitor, I was initially taken aback at the poor quality of the Playstation’s Main Menu rendering and the level of color aliasing I was seeing, especially in white text.  With 20/20 vision following Laser PRK corrective eye surgery nearly 20 years ago, this was a bit of a shock to the system that provided some initial disappointment.  I quickly found out, however, that this effect is especially bad in the Playstation Main Menu, and is not indicative of the system’s performance as a whole.  Further, with some time in the system, I found that placing the headset a touch lower over my nose (lower PSVR screens, higher eyes) improved sharpness considerably.  Still, though, after nearly 20 hours using the system, I would say the resolution of the system is adequate, but with substantial room for improvement in the future.

    From an immersion standpoint, however, I was blown away.  After about two minutes in my first simulation, the VR Worlds “Ocean Descent” program, I was having a blast descending in a shark cage through the ocean.  It’s hard to convey just how immersive it is, as I swiveled my head back and forth, leaned forward over the bars of the cage to look down, and eventually jumped through my seat when a shark ran into the cage.  Further, the resolution concern quickly evaporates in actual gameplay.

    From a comfort standpoint, I found the headband that holds the PSVR a bit tight, but fairly well balanced.  You don’t feel as though there is a weight on your head, and the over-the-ear headphones are a huge improvement over the included earbuds, though it is a bit of a trick to figure out how to put the PSVR headset on, followed by the earmuff-like headphones.  The cabling is a bit tricky to figure out while you are looking into the VR headset, but after a couple tries, you get a system down pretty easily.  The only lingering concern I had with the headset involved rubber nose flaps that push against the outside of your nose.  Try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to make them comfortable, and they pushed just enough on the outside of my nose that breathing was slightly impeded.  Just recently I finally decided to cut them off altogether with scissors, and am absolutely thrilled with the improvement in comfort.

    One of the primary concerns with VR systems is the potential for nausea / motion sickness.  VR systems are so immersive that they trick your brain into thinking it’s moving, which may be in opposition to your other senses, leading to motion sickness.  I didn’t have any trouble with the Ocean Descent demo, though the first time I tried the “London Heist” demo, also on the Playstation VR Worlds Disk, a car chase scene had me feeling a little bit ‘off.’  I never became overly ill, but I was also careful to discontinue use of the PSVR anytime I began to feel the least bit queasy.  Other activities that led to queasiness included Driveclub VR (regular driving was OK, but spinning out upon collision forced me to quit immediately), and a few circumstances when the dog came between me and the camera during a game, in which tracking was lost and the PSVR displayed weird motions that weren’t accompanied by my head movements.  It has been reported by many that over time the motion sickness effect lessens as your brain becomes accustomed to the VR system.  My experience was consistent with these reports.  Finally, I found upon removing the nose flaps my breathing improves, I remained cooler during use of the system, and that also appears to have contributed to reduced nausea.  I should note here that another ‘trick’ to improving comfort levels is to have a fan blowing on your face while using the PSVR system.  I tried this recently as well and found it a nice enhancement.


    The immersion level in PSVR, from my standpoint, is amazing.  After you get over the “wow” factor in a game or simulation, you quickly begin to feel as if you are really there.  The surround sound headphones coupled with the extremely smooth tracking truly give you the feeling of being there.  The PSVR does appear to have an issue with drift over time, where the center focus area of your screen can lead you to looking off-center.  A button on the controller can be held to re-center the system, an act that becomes second nature over time, and at regular intervals I find myself closing my eyes and relaxing for a second while pressing the button, then re-opening my eyes to a fully re-centered view.

    My most-recent PSVR expedition found me attempting the first AAA game release, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, completely in VR.  To begin with, the shortcomings of the graphics system previously detailed is nearly non-existent in this game, which leads me to believe many of my graphics concerns can be mitigated by software.  I should also note that I’m not typically a horror fan, though I do recall playing a Resident Evil game on a Playstation some 20-ish years ago.  To say this game induced an emotional response is an extreme understatement.  Though there are several “jump scares” throughout the game, this title doesn’t rely on them, and instead does a fantastic job of creating an environment of suspense and foreboding using the PSVR hardware.  You truly feel like you’re there, and I’m not ashamed to admit I nearly had to purchase new drawers when I was playing the game one evening and the dog jumped on my lap at an inopportune time.

    With the goal of finishing a report on immersion by the end of February, I wanted to work through this entire game by mid-February, which totaled roughly 10 hours of in-game time.  Though I experienced one technical hiccup which required a reboot of the entire system, I completed the adventure yesterday.  I could continue talking about my thoughts on immersion, but I believe my habits around using the PSVR to play RE7 tell it all… after the first night, I told my wife I couldn’t play this after the kids went to bed… it was too creepy.  Instead I tried to sneak in an hour after dinner, or on weekend afternoons.  The immersion level is just that high.


    Following this trial (which I’ll be continuing for some time), I’m now a believer that there are tremendous opportunities for the use of VR in education.  Though I don’t see this as a popular “in-class” tool in standard high school settings due to the cost/complexity/infrastructure required, I do think as an individual tool some amazing things could be accomplished.

    Imagine a history class in which students don’t just read about the Battle of Gettysburg, but actually get to “live it” from various perspectives.  Envision a biology lesson in which you are miniaturized and travel through the bloodstream to various organs, seeing the operation of the heart from the inside (remember Inner Space, anyone?)  Or a virtual dissection for biology and anatomy classes.  Picture the ability to explore a nuclear reactor from the inside, with the ability to zoom in and ‘view’ the actual chemical and physical reactions as they occur, or traveling through a circuit as an electron.  Imagine viewing a surgical procedure from the standpoint of the operating physician!  You could explore the universe at will, or dive into the geology of the Earth from the inside.  The possibilities are limitless, though I imagine tools to build such simulations must evolve to the point that content instructors have content creation and distribution tools that will make the learning curve for such projects reasonably accessible.  I haven’t investigated this in-depth, but I would believe that such accessibility is a ways off, but getting closer every day.

    Though not quite as immersive, I can also envision the use of this technology for distance learning courses, though there are challenges for this as well.  I imagine streaming or recording classes in a VR-friendly format may not be way off, but appropriate application will take significant further thought.  “Sitting in” on an MIT lecture and demonstration may be possible, but is it a significantly more engaging experience than a two-dimensional video cast of the course?  Would the VR technology and headset make note-taking and student work while participating in the class too restrictive?  What tools and interactivity would make this a positive leap in learning vs. a play area where the complexity overcomes the educational benefits?  It is extremely early, but I look forward to seeing how such amazing technology is utilized for purposes beyond just standard gaming.  And in the meantime, I’m having a blast not only trying out the technology, but envisioning potential applications for the future.


    Recently, astronomers discovered a solar system much like ours that could potentially support life. Seven earth-sized planets orbiting nearby star Trappist-1 were found this past week. The solar system is 40 light years away from the Earth. At least three of the seven planets are the right temperature to sustain life. They're rocky and could have oceans. Their orbital periods range from 1 to nearly 13 Earth days. All of the planets are located within a distance from Trappist-1 that is 1/5 the distance from Mercury to our sun. However, Trappist-1 is a relatively cool star, making the temperatures on these 7 planets not too hot despite their close proximity to their sun. This discovery indicates an increased possibility of extraterrestrial life, which is pretty cool. We are still millions of years away from ever being able to travel to this planet, but nevertheless its discovery is exciting. 

  8. So it has been break, and on a rainy day without school what can you do (other than read the physics textbook)? Go rock climbing. That's what I did recently and there is plenty of physics in it.

    For starters, when a person climbs up a wall, they are doing work against the force of gravity, or the gravitational field. Therefore potential energy is gained he higher one goes up. Now energy exerted is of course lost with sound and friction between rocks and hands. 

    Furthermore, there are plenty of safety measures when rock climbing in a licsensed facility. Many places have people strapped to ropes in case of a fall, and to get down. Simply put, the rope is suspended over a pulley, with a person climbing on one end, and another person on the ground. The pulley helps redistribute the weight of the climbing. Once the person is ready to come down, the rope is pulled tight for the person climbing to be suspended in air. Therefore, the tension in the rope is approximately the weight of the person. 

  9. SJamison
    Latest Entry

    So recently I had knee surgery, about four months ago on my right knee. Everything was going well and good until a few days ago. Come to find out I messed up my knee again but wait there's more, this time it was both of them. My right one definitely has another tear in the meniscus and the surgery is scheduled:nurse:.  But, the left knee, however, we were unsure of so i had to get a MRI done. During this I was curious to see how it worked but come to my amazement so was the guy operating it. Despite this I decided to research how it worked. I found out that an MRI machine is just a strong magnetic field ranging from .5-1.5 Tesla. An MRI machine uses this magnetic field to arrange hydrogen atoms in the body along the axis of the machine. once this is done the nuclei produce their own magnetic field that can be detected by a scanner and then form an image.  I thought that this was really cool and the person to come up with an invention of this sort must have been absolutely brilliant. From this machine I hope that it gives me some good news so that I don't need three knee surgeries in a years time frame.  

  10. One of the most well known track and field events is the long jump. This event is where an athlete sprints as fast as they can toward a line then jump into a sand pit. Several simple kinematic concepts are displayed in this event. Firstly the distance traveled by an object is proportional to the velocity of an object. This translates to the long jump in that the faster the person is moving as they approach the point where they have to jump, the farther they will travel. Also the length of the jump will be determined by the angle the jumper makes with respect to the ground. The ideal angle for this is 45 degrees, because this produces an ideal balance between velocity going in the x-direction and the y-direction. Therefore any good long jumper will have both good spped as they approach their jump as well as the skill to propel themselves at a 45 degree angle to the ground in order to produce the maximal distance out of their jump.

  11. In the spirit of the new resident evil game coming out very soon, it should be interesting to find out how many characters should have died in the previous game in a helicopter crash. Throughout Resident evil 6, the are a few helicopter crashes, and in the usual horror game scare tactic, everyone but the main characters die in these crashes. But should your characters have lived? There is an average of 1.44 fatalities per hundred thousand hours flown in a helicopter, and you can probably make a safe guess that if your helicopter crashes, you're at much higher risk for dying. Although there are countless factors that play into how a helicopter crash will turn out, lets just break it down to its simplest form, how high up would a helicopter fall from, and how much does a helicopter weigh? An average cruising height for a helicopter is around 2000ft or 609.6 meters, and an average helicopter weighs about 10000 pounds or 4535.924 kilograms. So, with those estimates, a helicopter would hit the ground with roughly a force of 2765099.27 newtons, and while it is definitely difficult to say how much force it takes to kill a person, it is most likely safe to say that this much force spread out across your entire body as well as the environment around you is lily enough to kill you. So based on this, things aren't looking too good for our heroes Leon and Helana, especially considering even if they do somehow miraculously survive the initial impact, they would still have to immediately begin fighting zombies, and with those odds, chances of survival are looking pretty poor. So, is it possible to survive a helicopter crash? Yes. Is it likely? no. Falling to the ground in a 10,000 pound box of death is generally not very good for your health and should be avoided at all costs if possible. 


  12. In Battlefront, the main infantry weapon is a gun that fires lasers. Though it would be amazing, this will most likely never be a reality because of a few properties of light: refraction and scattering. Light can bend, and will in foggy or rainy conditions. Also, it will disperse as it travels, reducing the intensity. Another reason why it is impractical is the energy requirements for a laser beam that can kill. To create a laser beam that is strong enough to kill, 24 Kg of batteries must be used. This is extremely impractical compared to lighter magazines which can hold a large amount of bullets.  Light also has a velocity that is larger than escape velocity, meaning that it will not drop and will just shoot off into space for all eternity. Until light can be harnessed more efficiently or a more compact source of energy can be found, i do not believe that we will be seeing laser rifles anytime in the near future.


  13. Swings are found in children's playground and are very fun and enjoyable. They work just like a pendulum. A swing converts potential energy into kinetic energy as you swing. When you first get on the swing and take step back as far as you can to get the best swing you build up potential energy. When you pull your feet up and begin to swing your potential energy is converted into kinetic energy.  When you reach the the maximum height form swinging your potential energy is built up and again is lost when you swing back down. By swinging higher you build more potential energy and swinging faster makes more kinetic energy. So remember that the next time you start swinging all's your doing is converting energy. 

  14. I am a black belt and I always enjoyed the physics behind karate as they are often more complicated than most people first think.  When two people line up to fight, they both bring a certain amount of kinetic energy to the fight.  This is determined by their weight, height, muscle strength and also their physical health.  The main principle behind karate is to use your body to channel this energy and make maximum use of it.  It also focuses on how you can take away from your opponents with smart blocking a defense maneuvers.  We can often base the power of these punches on F=ma^2.  Since our mass is going to be constant it is important to find ways to increase our acceleration of the punch to generate more force.  When you combine this with the ability to channel and make most of your kinetic energy, you give yourself a huge advantage in any fighting situation.   

  15. fiber optic cables are used to send messages at high speeds and at great distances. There exists a fiber optic cable traveling from New Jersey to England! fiber optic cables work by sending pulsing light through a specific material. since light is the fastest thing in the universe, fiber optic cables are the fastest form of communication in the known universe. as you know, light travels at different speeds when its inside of a different median. the ratio of the speed of light in air to the speed inside of the material is known as the index of refraction. a higher index of refraction means that light moves slower through the material. the core of a fiber optic cable has a much higher index of refraction than the outer layer. when light travels through the core, it is reflected off the boundary between the materials. this allows the cables to bend and not lose light. 


  16. While it might not be a major pastime for me, I enjoy learning about magic. Not of the satanic ritual variety, but of the slight of hand, stage/street variety. Sometimes I like to use this to harass my friends with impossible tricks, other times I just do it to practice some fine technical skills. In this case, namely how to throw playing cards.

    If you have a deck, go grab it right now, and try to throw a card. Watch, as it flops to the ground like a piece of paper. Now, grab it by the corner, and try throwing it like a frisbee. Suddenly, the card will move in a straight line or arc, and, depending on what you're throwing it at, lodge itself in its target. Why does this change in motion change the outcome of the throw? To explain it simply, by spinning the card, the angular momentum of the card prevents it from being easily rotated in another direction. Combine it with the low air resistance that you create on the card's edge when throwing it in such a manner, and the air resistance prevents the card from actually fluttering down like it would if not spinning.

    While I'm on the topic, let me mention that, while it could stick in the right target, a playing card CANNOT be used as a weapon. Due to its relatively low mass, it would lack the sufficient energy necessary to cause more than a small paper cut to the human body. If you don't want to believe me, however, know that this myth was tested by the MythBusters, and a card launched at 150 mph by a machine didn't have enough energy to cause more than said paper cut.

  17. prettybird
    Latest Entry

    Last night, I went out and saw the movie Split. I was slightly intrigued by the reviews, and it was said to have a really surprising ending, so I put aside some of my personal opinions on the topic of choice and watched it. 

    It was a very interesting movie to say the least, and if you're planning on watching the movie, I would stop reading here, because in order to get into some physics I have to spoil the ending, which is entirely the best part.

    Okay, now that you're sure you want to continue, the movie is about a man with 23 distinct personalities inside him, which all take control at different times. While one, Barry, is in control, he kidnaps three girls. Three of the personalities (Barry, Ms. Patricia, Hedwig) believe in a figure called the Beast. The spectators find out that the Beast is not a figment of their imaginations, but actually a 24th personality that has super powers. Just by switching to this personality, the man's body becomes impenetrable and extremely strong.

    The only surviving girl, Casey, tries to shoot him with a shotgun and the bullet essentially bounces right off. That's where the physics comes in. How much force would a regular shotgun shell impart, and how strong would this man's skin have to be?

    A 1 oz. shotgun slug leaves the shotgun at 1800 fps, or about 550 m/s. This slug would weigh about .03 kg, giving it a momentum of 16.5 kg m/s. Assuming that the bullet was only in contact with his skin for .001 seconds, and it was a perfectly elastic collision, the force imparted onto his skin would be 16500 N. The only metal I could find info on was steel, and it can withstand 40 kN, meaning that his skin could withstand atleast half the force steel can.

  18. jcstack6
    Latest Entry

    Many people think time travel is absolutely ludicrous, but one has to consider what kind of time travel they are referring to. To travel back in time is ludicrous, because if this were ever to become possible, there would have been discovered evidence of time travelers from the future that came to our time. Time travel according to Einstein's theory of Relativity, however, is not only plausible, but true. According to Einstein, as one increases the speed at which they travel, the rate of change of time is less for them than it is for an outside observer. Based on this idea, one can travel in time by going at incredibly high speeds. By traveling at high speeds, a person will age slower than an outside observer, showing the person traveling so quickly will have, in essence, time traveled forward. So time travel backward will, most likely, never exist, but time travel forward, if great enough speeds are attainable, is fairly simple to accomplish. 

  19. Super Mario Galaxy's hub world is known as the Comet Observatory. In its center is what a character describes as a "ball of flame" called the Beacon which powers the whole observatory. This beacon starts off small, but as the player collects Grand Stars, the beacon grows in size and changes color. This beacon changes color from burgundy, to orange, to yellow, green, greenish-blue, blue, and turquoise. I'm sure from this description your immediate thought is "star". However, if this beacon was really a star, the heat it would be releasing would be catastrophic for anyone nearby. Stars' gravitational pulls are powerful enough to control the movement of planets, let alone the effects it should have on Mario and the Observatory. Mario should be lucky he hasn't melted yet. Most 3d Mario games have been about collecting stars, but this is nowhere near the same thing.

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    Physics can be applied to every aspect of swimming. Before even entering the water, swimmers model free fall and angled projectile motion as they dive off the starting blocks. U.S. Masters Swimming states that diving at a 45 degree angle maximizes the speed and distance of the dive. Competition suit brands, such as Speedo and Arena, have to be knowledgeable about the physics of water resistance in order to produce their extremely tight and specially-designed "Fastskins" that are known for helping swimmers achieve best times by strategically compressing their bodies to maximize speed and to minimize water resistance. However, the best examples of physics found in swimming are found when applying Newton's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd laws to the sport.

    Newton's 1st Law states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion, at constant velocity and in a straight line, unless acted upon by a net force. It is also known as the Law of Inertia. When swimmers dive into the water, they hold themselves still in a horizontal streamline position for a few moments before starting their kick. Water resistance acts as the net force, which quickly begins to slow swimmers in streamline position. This is when they know to start kicking because, otherwise, the water will end up stopping them. Furthermore, taller and bigger swimmers have greater inertia, so their speed off the block and speed of flip turns are naturally slower. Nevertheless, larger swimmers are often stronger and therefore able to produce enough of a force to dive and turn quickly.

    Moving on, Newton's 2nd Law says that the net force on an objects is equal to its mass times its acceleration. The more force a swimmer can apply, the faster he/she will go. It is common, especially in longer events, to see swimmers start out strong, then slow down and start to look tired, and finally speed up at the end for a strong finish. As swimmers get tired, they begin to produce less force, thereby beginning to decelerate. Towards the end of a race, knowing they are in the home stretch and are going to be able to live to finish the event, swimmers muster enough force to accelerate. During practice, a common set is one involving descending times, which exhausts swimmers, since they have to increase the force they are applying to be able to accelerate.

    Finally, Newton's 3rd Law states that all forces come in pairs that are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. It is commonly said as "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." This law is the most obvious to observe when watching a swimmer. As the hand and arm push the water backwards, the water pushes forwards with a force that is of equal magnitude. This motion keeps the swimmer afloat and allows him or her to move forward in the water. Every stroke involves the swimmer pulling down and back in order to move up and forward.

    Clearly, physics is exemplified everywhere in the sport of swimming. Physics explains why certain stroke techniques are more effective and why some swimmers are faster than others. Even Michael Phelps' success can be credited to his expertise at applying Newton's first three laws to his sport. After reading this, maybe we will see you in Tokyo 2020 with the other great physicists who call themselves the USA Olympic Swim Team!

  20. No blog entries yet

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    My name is Nicole Waddington, as you probably figured out already. This fall I am on the Varsity Tennis team, but normally, I am a coxswain for Pittsford Crew on the varsity girls team. Now, you are probably asking yourself one of two questions. 1) What is a coxswain? or 2) Isn't that the person that yells "Row!" and sits in the boat? Answer to question #1: A coxswain is in charge of steering the boat, motivating the rowers, and a multitude of other things that you can probably find on Wikipedia. Answer to question #2: Kinda, coxswains don't just yell "Row"...unless you want to boat to move. But, our job can best be described as a person who corrects technique and steers the boat. I look forward to exploring the physics of rowing in later blog posts. I also have been playing the violin for 11 years. As far as careers, I have no clue what I want to do. I am taking physics because I really enjoyed AP Physics 1, have already taken AP Bio, and didn't want to take AP Chem. Physics was the first class that I took in the high school that truly challenged me and didn't come naturally which was refreshing. I'm really excited about challenging myself in this class, and also the freedom and independence this class has. Things I am nervous about this year are the difficulty of the content and heavy workload. 

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    Last Tuesday marked the first day of Physics C. After a long summer vacation and countless times emailing my counselor to either add or drop Physics C, I finally made up my mind to officially take Physics C. But before I get ahead of myself I want to let you know about my interests. I've been cheerleading all my life and I played softball for 8 years. I love watching Space Documentaries and even though science was never my strongest subject I thought it was always interesting so I decided to challenge myself. I'm aspiring to become an architect and hope to be attending Hampton University next fall. I've always been interested in engineering and how/why things work. I've decided to take Physics C because I enjoyed AP Physics 1 and this is the only science that I can apply to everyday life. After taking Physics 1 most of my conversations became Physics based so why not take Physics C. Plus Chemistry and Biology isn't really my thing. I hope to solidify what I learned last year but also expand my knowledge. I'm excited to challenge myself and learn how efficiently do all the work I need to do. However, I'm somewhat anxious for the work load and if I fall behind the class will crush me. But whatever the case may be I bet this will be the best class I have ever taken.


  21. If someone asks why physics is so important, tell them that the world just wouldn't work without it. Not the way we know it at least. As this is my final post of the year, I thought it'd be a cool idea to talk about what the world would be like if certain parts of physics didn't exist. In a previous post, I discussed the difficulty that would come with living in a world without friction, and I also mentioned how without electrostatic force, objects would phase right through each other. It would also mean current electricity would not exist, but what would that matter if we couldn't even use it. If gravity didn't exist, objects would keep moving until they hit something, and everything in space would just drift endlessly in one direction. Which means the earth could potentially drift into another planet or a star, which wouldn't be good. Without magnets, we'd have to find different ways to generate electricity or make power, and compasses would have never been invented, so navigation wouldn't be as easy. So yeah, physics is pretty important, unless you prefer a world that doesn't work. It's what makes our world possible.

  22. Phyzx

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    I'm a big fan of Lego. I wouldn't quite call myself an enthusiast, but I do enjoy a good build every once in a while. I remember when I was little I would always try to build these massive structures and would wonder why they would fall apart. Now I see that It's because of my awful engineering. I would create an immaculate creation with weak pivot points, allowing its natural torque to attack all of the little points I left unguarded, until eventually it would crumble. Or worse yet snap, sending Lego pieces everywhere. The Lego pieces will have fought so hard to remain in place, and once the connection is severed, all of that built up energy goes directly into sending little bricks flying all over the place for you to find months later when you're cleaning behind the couch even though you know for a fact that the Legos never actually left you room and how did they even end up down here... Anyway, here's a Lego particle accelerator...



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