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  1. Who doesn't like magnets and shooting things? Thankfully, a Gauss Rifle includes both!


    This is a simple demonstration of a Gauss Rifle - it's safe, and provides a great visual of what's happening. 

    Quick disclaimer: I'm not what most people call a "smart" person, so chances are I don't actually understand what's happening, but I'll explain it best I can (I think it's simple enough that I shouldn't screw it up too badly, though).

    The setup includes multiple magnets fixed in place, each with two non-fixed ball bearings as shown above. A trigger ball bearing is rolled toward the magnet, and accelerates as it gets closer to the magnet, until it collides. When it collides, it's momentum is transferred through the magnet and to the ball bearings on the opposite side. The second ball bearing on that side then gets the momentum, similar to a newton's cradle. It then disconnects from the magnet, since the force is strong enough to disconnect it from the magnet system due to it being farther away or something (That's what they said in the video). It then rolls at a higher velocity toward the next magnet, and this continues on to the end, where the final ball bearing gets launched into your younger sibling.

    As you can tell, it works. I do have some questions on why, but I'm just going to hold off on further research with the hopes that we learn about it later in class.

    That was a simple demonstration, however. What if we want something that makes a bigger hole? If you recall from last year, current through a wire generates a magnetic field. If a current was going through a wire directed into your screen, then the magnetic field would be directed clockwise around it. Now if this wire were facing left, and wrapped upwards and back leftwards in a loop, the magnetic field would direct into your screen.


    Do that a bunch, and you get an electromagnet. So let's use that to accelerate our projectile rather than wimpy little magnets and the transfer of momentum.

    Behold, the coilgun.


    This animation shows a coilgun in action (When a coil is green, current is going through it). It's the same as the ball bearing experiment: a metal projectile accelerates from a magnetic field, and approaches another magnetic field, where it continues to accelerate until it leaves the barrel of the gun.

    While doing research, I found a guy on YouTube that made a couple home-made coilguns. If you want, check it out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LjnhhtHojM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWeJsaCiGQ0

  2. Usain Bolt: the fastest man alive is 6'5" and 207 pounds. Being this large is rare for a sprinter because 207 pounds takes a lot of work to accelerate. To make up for this disadvantage he sprints quite differently than others. 

    His average stride is 2.44 meters long. This means that in a 100 meter race he only takes 41 strides. That saves a lot of time because the more times that you come in contact with the ground, the more time it takes to complete the race. In the World Championship in Berlin, Bolt's closest competitor made 2.22 meter strides, resulting in about 45 steps through the 100 m race. Bolt finished in 9.58 seconds(the world record), with an average speed of 10.44 m/s and maximum speed of 12.42 m/s. 

    Long strides is not the only thing Usain Bolt does differently to improve his speed. Every time bolts feet touch the ground he rotates his body about 20 degrees from the vertical forward as he pushes off from the ground. Being so tall he has a lot of gravitational torque when he leans forward. He uses this torque to his advantage by allowing his body to free fall forward. 

    Take a look at Bolt's record breaking race in the world championship in Berlin.


  3. giphy.gif.87a88e1d6c4691115b19ebc5c6d34706.gif

    Inspired by AaronSwims’s blog post title, I wanted to make my own post on a completely different topic. I wanted to focus on resonance and, while we briefly touched upon it last year, I feel the need to write about it. Resonance, in its most basic definition, is “the condition in which an object or system is subjected to an oscillating force having a frequency close to its own natural frequency”. So how do we see this every day? Bang a pot, pan, glass, even sheet metal and you will find that a noise of a certain pitch emanates from it. If there is little dampening (energy lost in other forms), then this frequency is close to that material or objects natural frequency. This natural frequency is what a system oscillates at when not disturbed by a continuous external force. A glass breaker sings loud so that the amplitude of air molecules moving is quite large and transferring more energy. If the pitch matches the resonance frequency, then the amplitudes add up, with the common example being compared to pushing a kid on a swing. Small pushes, over a given amount of time, will eventually lead to the swing having a much larger amplitude than when it started. In a material, such as glass, where it is brittle and prone to imperfections, the frequency and volume of a person's voice has the resonance which results in it shattering into hundreds of pieces.


    As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

  4. crazycrochet20
    Latest Entry

    These past few weeks have been some of the hardest weeks in high school. College applications were due during this quarter and once those were in, there was a sudden loss of motivation to do anything at school. In every class, I have noticed that I simply try and if I do not understand, I leave it and pray that it will not be important to know for the future. Sadly, this method has proved to be extremely unsuccessful. Midterm week has proved to me that I need to refocus myself for the rest of this school year or my grades will continue to plummet all around. I have self diagnosed myself with "Senioritis" which is curable with hard work and effort. I need to majorly fix my time management for the next semester and hopefully that will help me as well!

    Now on to studying for the rest of this week and praying that I can get a good grade on at least 2 of my next exams! Third quarter here I come!

    Until next time,


  5. Even though it is well past Christmas, I figured why not use physics to try to prove a myth that many kids believe, the myth of Santa and his reindeer. While Santa is said to have magical abilities that allow him to deliver presents in one night all over the world, let’s pretend that Santa doesn’t have magic and he just obeys the laws of physics.

    So, Santa has to visit around 500 million houses in the span of 31 hours (taking into consideration different time zones and the rotation of the Earth) and deliver at least one present to at least one child. This means that Santa has to visit about 4480 houses per second, or spend .0002 seconds at each house. In order to travel fast enough to make this trip in one night, Santa would have to travel at around 6500 mph, which is completely doable (in a rocket). Since Santa would be travelling this fast, he would definitely need some type of heat shield for himself and the reindeer to endure trillions of joules of heat, or else he would just be a flaming ball shooting through the sky. Now, what about all the cookies and milk? Well, these could *easily* be converted into energy to fuel his sleigh using the equation E=mc2.

    So, I guess Santa could be real, it’s just not very plausible. It’s much easier to just stick with the Santa has magical abilities thing!

    Check out this fascinating article that goes much more in-depth than I do (it uses different numbers than me as well):


  6. We are now only a few weeks out from the unofficial start to the Major League Baseball season, pitchers and catcher reporting. This day, February 13th, 2018, begins the spring training process that leads up to the start of the season on March 29th. My realization of the nearing call, lead me to think about how many different breaking and off-speed pitches that exist in baseball today. What i discovered is that only two main factors contribute to how pitchers manipulate their throws to be more than just a simple thrown ball. Every curve-ball for  example moves based on the position in which the ball lies in the pitchers hand, and the spin applied.  Of these two factors, spin seems to have the greatest effect and the most physics tucked away. 

    The physics of pitching starts by looking at air as the fluid it is and knowing it fallows Bernoulli's law. This states that an increase in the velocity of a fluid decreases its pressure. When a pitcher throws a curve-ball they spin the ball to use this principle to do deceive the batter. A baseball has three axis on which it can spin, X. Y, and Z. Forward spin along the x-axis is known as top spin while backwards spin along the x-axis is what we know as backspin. These two spins carry great effects on balls as they introduce rotation either in the direction or against the direction of travel. As the ball flies through the air, the bumps on a ball cause drag that allows the sin of a ball to change the pitches placement and direction. As the ball spins in either direction it causes a pressure differential on either side of the ball due to Bernoulli's principle. Then combine topspin and backspin with a spin along another axis, it is easy to see how all other pitches are created, simply by some combination of these spins.

    This all holds true until we consider the one, rare, odd ball pitch: the knuckle-ball. The knuckle ball has little to no spin on it and thus is considered by some to be a cheap pitch and many are not taught to throw it. Simple thought justifies that it would be simple to hit a ball with no spin since it wont move like previously stated. That's where things get complicated. The knuckle-ball benefits from chaotic fluid dynamics where each imperfection in the balls surface leads to an impact on its flight. Since this is so subtle, it only requires a slight change in the balls path to completely change the balls direction. As a result, the ball wiggles uncontrollably and unpredictably fooling even expert batters.

  7. I'm guessing all of us in this class have seen at least one movie with Thor in it, right? (And if you haven't, don't talk to me)  As anyone who is familiar with Thor would know, he carries a hammer (until the latest movie, but we won't talk about that) that only the worthy can lift.  Other members of the Avengers like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America have tried, but all have failed.  How is this possible?  Well, according to Marvel, the hammer weighs about 42 pounds.  That's certainly something The Incredible Hulk could lift.  However, when a force greater than 42 pounds is applied upward, the hammer still remains at rest.  Well, friends, apparently this very special hammer has the ability to change mass by emitting graviton particles.  This changes the gravitational field around it so it can be light enough for Thor to pick up, but too heavy for others.  So, now what I want to know is... where can I get one?

    Image result for thor

  8. One of the world's favorite characters is Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue hedgehog who runs incredibly fast. Sonic can run at around Mach 15, which is 5,104.4 m/s (11,509 MPH). That is incredibly fast! He also weighs about 34.93 kg, which means that at full speed, his kinetic energy is about 455,048,817.3 J.

    If a normal hedgehog which weighs about 0.91 kg, were to run at its top speed of 5.3 m/s, its kinetic energy would be around 12.8 J. This is about 0.000003% of the energy that Sonic generates.


  9. BrandyBoy72
    Latest Entry

    My good ol' guitar has been getting out of tune recently, I think it's time for a restring. The strings were not strung in the best possible way to begin with so they have slowly over time been slipping out of the tuners. Even if the guitar is re-tuned, the strings will continue to slip more and more, so they need to be taken off and replaced. I have however been putting this off for a while, while the guitar is still playable it sounds not the best. The first time I restrung my guitar, I was tuning it and a string broke, luckily it didn't hit me while flying off, because those things hurt. There's a lot of tension in those strings, they have to have lots of tensile strength to not break under the force that they are being stretched out with. Between the broken guitar and my exuberance with the skill, things have been slow going recently...

  10. Where do elements get their physical properties? Well the short answer is inter-molecular forces and that's really all the time I have to spare before the second quarter. Several inter-molecular forces keep an element at a certain phase of matter. The tenacity of these forces depends a great deal on the circumstances of pressure and temperature but for blog purposes, it is safe to think of these at standard pressure and temperate so it if easily visualized. These so-called inter-molecular forces exist in four main types. The first is dipole-dipole bonding which includes hydrogen bonding. This type entails the attraction of oppositely charged particles which are already included in chemical and typically organizes the molecules into some sort of crystalline solid. Secondly, network covalent bonding is where atoms are never truly singular compounds and bond with themselves continuously in a relatively massive "macromolecular" network. An example of this is diamond, a typical example with hardness and high melting point. The third is metallic bonding. For metals, the electrons that occupy their outermost energy level are distant from the positive nucleus and are so feebly attracted that they can transfer from the radius of one nucleus to a neighboring positive charge. In a sense, their electrons are in constant flux which allows metal to conduct electricity. The final are the London dispersion forces. If one could imagine the electrons surrounding the nucleus as a mobile cloud, then the electron of neighboring molecules would repel each other and also be attracted to the positive nucleus. This is a very mild force and often falls by the way side but it it is the reason why gases sometimes freeze at extremely low temperature, that ever-present weak force.

  11. At this time of year, when the weather gets colder and the ground is covered with snow and ice, there are many activities that people take part in that physics plays a crucial role in. These festivities include skiing, sledding, and skating as well as even simpler things like driving on icy roads and cutting down your Christmas tree. So in spirit of the holidays, I thought I would explore the physics behind some of these activities in a series of winter blog posts. In my first post, I will be exploring the physics behind skating. 

    Figure skating, ice hockey, and even just leisure skating are fun to watch and participate in because of the low level of friction between the ice and the blades of skates that allows one to go so fast. With such little friction, in order to start moving forward, a skater must apply a force perpendicular to the blade of the skate. You can see this concept demonstrated in the image below.


    While watching a hockey game the other day, someone asked how the players are able to skate backwards. This seems to come very easily to those who play hockey or figure skate regularly. But for the rest of us, we can use physics to help us understand how to skate backwards. It is actually quite similar to skating forwards, but instead of turning your skate outward, you turn it inward. However, a skaters blades usually never leave the ice when they are skating backwards and they instead glide in a type of "S" pattern. It is pretty cool to see someone skate backwards at fast speeds because it is harder to push off against the ice 

                                                                   schematic of skater pushing off the ice and skating backward

    Another part of skating that we talk a lot about in physics has to do with figure skaters spinning. When a figure skater enters a spin, they start off slow with their arms outstretched, but as they bring their arms in tight they are able to increase their speed. If you look at the equation for angular momentum, L = Iw it can help you make sense of this change. When they pull their arms in close to their body, they are essentially decreasing their radius and thus reducing their moment of inertia. Then, due to the law of conservation of momentum, their rotational velocity increases. Here is a short old video that demonstrates this. 


    Speed skaters also take advantage of physics to increase their speed in numerous ways. They reduce their air resistance by crouching which decreases their frontal area and allows them to accelerate and maintain a greater speed. Speed skaters also take advantage of slip streams, which I talked about in more depth in one of my recent blog posts. 

    Many different elements pertaining to physics can be manipulated to create faster, more efficient athletes in the world of skating. With the winter Olympics approaching, it will be interesting to see what new things the athletes can accomplish and examine the physics behind it. But its also pretty amusing to examine what happens when non-professional athletes put on skates. Thanks for reading and enjoy this video!


  12. Did you know that if you run really fast, you gain weight? Don't freak out, it's not permanent nor a noticeable amount. But say you ran as fast as the speed of light, the speed limit of the universe, and someone gave you a push. You wouldn't be able to go any faster, but you gain extra energy, and it's got to go somewhere. Where else but mass? Due to relativity, mass and energy are equivalent. This is highlighted by the universal equation of E=mc2. The more energy you put in, the greater the mass becomes. Unfortunately, this is basically negligible at human speeds, so Usain Bolt isn't noticeable heavier when running than when still. However, once you reach a decent chunk as a fraction of the speed of light, your mass will start to increase rapidly. Thanks, Einstein!

    Gotta go feast

    I'm not sure if you will get this meme but it's sonic the hedgehog, notorious for being fast, clearly enthralled by this knowledge. I found it pretty amusing.

    And thank you, for tuning in. 

  13. A partial derivative uses this nice formula. (f)/(x), where f:R^2->R is lim h->0 (f(x+h,y)-f(x,y))/h. Physics is everywhere, waiting, watching. 

  14. Hey y'all,

    Chris, a student at Cornell, wakes up at 8:59am for his 9:05 class. If the class is 1.5 km away, at what constant velocity does he need to travel in order to make it to class at 9:05? Neglect air resistance.

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    Recent Entries

    Recently in an MLB game a fan was struck by a foul ball. This person was severely injured from the baseball. My initial question was why didn't this person just move out of the way. Well, easier said than done. An official league baseball has a mass of .145 kg, and the average velocity of a major league fastball is 40.3 m/s. this means that when the ball hits the bat, if the batter perfectly squares up the baseball, the ball can leave the bat at approximately 49 m/s which is equivalent to 110 mph. The individual that was hit by the ball was on the third base side, first row. This means that there was a distance of 50 meters between the batter and the person hit. The time it took for the ball to reach the fan was 0.92 seconds. Would you be able to react that fast?


  15. madyrice419
    Latest Entry

    I was scrolling through Instagram and found this hilarious meme of someone's Tinder profile. It reminded me of earlier this week when Mr. Fullerton said that if a girl had the quadratic formula tattooed on her forehead, she wouldn't get a date. I guess nerds don't need love. Anyways, I entitled this blog "Dying" because, first of all, that meme made me die of laughter and, second of all, the first AP Physics C test killed me. With reflection I realized that this year is going to be a lot harder than I even first anticipated. I am not the smartest student on Earth, but I have an ambition and unwavering optimism in everything I do. Seeing that I "failed" a test really killed my spirits, and I am hoping that this class will not be the death of me. But deep down I know I can do it. AND YOU CAN TOO. We've just got to keep up with the work and keep trying. I learned that if I get slapped in the face by physics problems, I need to slap them back twice as hard. 


  16. So, in economics, we read this thing about someone who took all  the mints from a restaurant cashier. He was subtle at first, but eventually he just shoved them all in his pocket and left. So that was pretty funny, I'd like to dare one of my friends to try it some time.

    So I just finished that, and then I remembered I had to do a blog post (whoa, bye fourth wall), and it got me thinking about something I learned not to long ago. It's about napkin rings - more technically, spherical rings. I thought about them because, well, mints are toruses, as are napkin rings. That's about it.

    A napkin ring is an object that's the result of taking a solid sphere, and cutting out a cylinder from the center of it, all the way through the sphere. They look like, well, napkin rings. Now, there's a pretty interesting property of napkin rings, that is kinda physics-y, but it's more just mathematical. Although I'm sure there's some interesting physics going along with these, maybe some cool rotational inertia properties. Anyway, the property I'm talking about has to do with the volume of the ring. You see, if you have two napkin rings that are the same height - that being measure one the same axis along which the cylindrical hole was cut - they will always have the exact same volume. Isn't that kinda cool? You could take an orange (well, a spherically perfect orange, in the shape of a perfect sphere), and the Earth (again, a spherically perfect Earth - ours is actually fairly eccentric) and you cut them into napkin rings of the same exact height, they will have the same exact volume.

    Here's a video Vsauce made on the topic (I'll admit, it's not a very exciting video, it's just him going through some basic algebra, and proving this equal-volume property):

    So yeah, there. Something kinda (probably not really for most people, but whatever, I think it's cool) cool about a physical object. See what I did there? It's totally physics related.

    Hey! The first legitimate post, on what's sure to become a pretty cringey blog. See you next week!

  17. Dr. Chew was very helpful in giving me strategies for studying. I have turned in my questions to the videos on a separate sheet of paper in class. 

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    Recent Entries

    Latest Entry

    I am a student at IHS. As I dive into my senior year I hope to discover new opportunities and interests. I play baseball in the spring and summer. During my free time I like to watch sports or read; however, one of my greatest interests has always been science. I am taking AP physics C this year to further my understanding of the universe. I always knew I liked science, but taking AP physics 1 last year helped me find out that I have a specific passion for physics. In the future I would like to continue my interest in physics by taking it in college and having a career in the engineering field. This year in physics I would like to become more skillful in becoming self taught. This will give me opportunities to become a more innovative person. This year I am most excited about the independence that comes with being a senior. I am anxious for my college research process to come to an end so I can finally apply to the schools and decide where I want to go.

  18. So, it’s been a few years since I’ve detailed how I make my screencasts, and my workflow and equipment have evolved as I’ve added a few bells and whistles in an attempt to make the screencasts look a touch more professional (and more fun).  Some things have stayed the same, and others, well, not so much.  Here’s the basic workflow.

    The Computer

    27" iMac27″ iMac

    I’m still working on a Mac platform, doing most of my work on a 27-inch 2013-vintage iMac.  I try to keep up to date with the latest version of the operating system, which is currently OS X Sierra.  The iMac includes the higher-end graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB), has an i7 processor, and I’ve installed 32 GB of RAM.  Typically when I purchase a computer I shoot for a five to six year productive life span, at which point I’ll upgrade to a newer model.  This has worked pretty well for me with respect to my Mac laptops (a MacBook Pro), as the last one was in service for about six years, but I’m anticipating this iMac may continue well past that mark.  It still looks beautiful, runs quickly, and with the amount of RAM and the built-in Fusion Drive, its performance doesn’t appear to be in any danger of slowing down in the near future.

    Pen Displays

    Wacom Cintiq 22HDWacom Cintiq 22HD

    Attached to the iMac I have a Wacom Cintiq 22HD pen display unit, which is basically an external monitor that I can “write on” with a special pen, allowing me to annotate the screen as I talk through the video.  I’ve previously used a Wacom DTU-1631, and am looking forward to trying out the newly-released Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 with a USB-C enabled MacBook Pro.  Though the Wacom pen displays are a very significant investment, I’ve been very impressed with their quality and longevity.  The DTU-1631 has lasted five years in the classroom with heavy daily use, and the Cintiq 22HD is just shy of five years of service (though a much lighter workload) and could easily pass for brand new.  These monitors also hold their value extremely well over time.

    Audio & Video

    Blue Yeti MicrophoneBlue Yeti Microphone

    I’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of my Blue Yeti USB microphone… I’ve tried a number of other mics, including lapel mics, and microphones that cost more than three or four Blue Yeti’s, but I haven’t found anything that compares to the quality of the Blue Yeti, especially at its very reasonable price point.  If you want to upgrade your audio from the built-in microphones, this is a very solid choice, and another piece of electronics that has held up well for more than five years of service.

    Canon Vixia HF G20Canon Vixia HF G20

    I’ve put together a small office in my basement to allow for a fairly quick and seamless transition to video creation mode, which includes a foam green screen (and stand).  Especially if you’re just getting started, something as simple as a green flannel blanket can work, though I have to admit, the foam green screen has held up extremely well these past few years (even with the dog sleeping on the portion that sits on the floor at least daily).  They sell rather expensive lighting clips to hold the green screen to the stand, but I found quality clips at a much more reasonable price at the local hardware store.

    Genaray SpectroLEDGenaray SpectroLED

    For illumination, I use a couple of super-cheap reflector work lights coupled with a Utilitech Pro floor LED and a Genaray SpectroLED SP-E-240D mounted on the ceiling.  With a little bit of playing, I can obtain pretty reasonable uniform green screen illumination.  I also use a couple of desktop clip-on lamps to illuminate the foreground (i.e. — my face) in the videos.

    To record my face in the videos, I’m using a Canon Vixia HF G20, saving the digital video file onto an SD card.  Most any digital camcorder or webcam can do the job, however.  While the Canon is recording my face, I’m separately using the iMac and Telestream’s Screenflow 6 (Telestream JUST released Screenflow 7, but I haven’t tried it out yet) to record the Wacom Cintiq screen, as well as recording the input from the Blue Yeti microphone.


    Prior to any recording, however, I create my “slides” for the screencasts using Apple’s Keynote software, and export those slides as a PDF.  I then open the PDF using Zengobi’s Curio software, which is the software actively running on the Wacom screen that I use to annotate the slides.  If you haven’t tried it out, Curio is a pretty amazing piece of software that allows you to do so much more than just write on PDF slides…  if you have a Mac, it’s worth checking out for a variety of purposes!

    So, the workflow.  With everything set up, I have Screenflow 6 start recording the Wacom screen while recording the Blue Yeti mic, and simultaneously I start up the Canon video camera.  Once I’ve gone through the lesson, I stop Screenflow from recording and stop the Canon video camera.  I should now have an SD card that contains the digital video file of my face (with sound recorded from the Canon’s rather poor microphone), and a Screenflow 6 file that has video from the Wacom screen coupled with the Blue Yeti-recorded sound.

    Now it’s time to put the video all together.  First I export the digital video file from Screenflow 6, taking care to export at 29.97 fps and not 30 fps so that it will match up to the Canon digital video file.  Then, using Final Cut Pro on the Mac (coupled with the Motion and Compressor add-ons), I create a project and import both the recorded screen video file and the video camera file.  Using Final Cut, I create a combined clip from these two files and have Final Cut Pro sync them up based on the audio (although the sound from the Canon camera is poor, it’s good enough to sync the clips together).  Next, I mute the sound from the Canon camera, so that I now have my recorded screen video below my “live action” video, but using only the sound from the recorded video screen, which was recorded with the Blue Yeti mic.


    Chroma Key EffectChroma Key Effect

    Next it’s time to edit.  First step is to take care of the green screen effect (formally known as chroma key), which Final Cut Pro does quite easily.  I remove the green color from the “live action” file using the “Keyer” effect, and tweak it as needed to get the desired result.  I then shrink the clip down and position it where I want, so that I have the live video taking up just a small portion of the screen, the background green from the video shows as transparent, and what shows through from underneath is the recorded video from the Wacom screen.

    The hard part’s done.  Final steps now involve fixing any audio issues, clip editing if necessary, adding any titles, and appending on the opening and closing video sequences, which were created using Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition from Adobe Creative Cloud.  Once I have the video looking the way I want in Final Cut Pro, I use Compressor to export it in multiple formats — high definition video for YouTube, and an APlusPhysics-specific size and quality for viewing directly from the APlusPhysics site.

    Next Steps

    Moving forward, I would really like to spend some time working with my old iPad to see if I can re-purpose it for use as a teleprompter.  I tend to spend a lot of time up front planning my videos, but still have yet to come up with a slick, efficient way of presenting notes to myself while I’m making a video.  I have to believe there’s a reasonable way to have my notes show up on my iPad and use some sort of remote (perhaps my phone?) to scroll through PDF notes on my iPad as necessary.  Currently I tend to tape my paper notes to the bottom of the camera, which is chock-full of problems, messiness, and opportunity for improvement.

    Back to Reality

    If it sounds like there’s quite a bit of work involved, you’re not wrong, but don’t think you have to go to anywhere near this level of complexity or expense to make quality screencasts.  My workflow has evolved over the years as I’ve tinkered and gone through a length set of try/fail sequences to learn what works for me and provides the level of quality I’m after.  Much of what I do can be accomplished in a similar manner using fairly basic tools — Techsmith’s Camtasia software coupled with a Webcam, a USB lapel mic, and most any digitizing tablet will get you pretty solid results without a huge investment.

    Even though this article is a technical how-to / what do I use, I’d still like to end with two bits of advice I’ve learned from doing things the hard way more times than I can count.

    • First, and foremost, a flipped classroom is NOT about the videos, it is about building more in-class time for active learning strategies such as hands-on activities, group problem solving, deep-dives into a topic, discussions, etc.  The videos themselves are such a tiny part of the whole equation, and are primarily a means to create more available class time.
    • Second, though it can be fun to doctor-up your videos and add all sorts of bells and whistles, realize that these embellishments and investments of time and resources have extremely minimal payback in the form of student learning and performance.  If you’re interested in doing these things, make sure you’re doing them because you want to and think it’s going to be fun, but don’t expect to see any sort of substantial learning improvement with higher quality videos (which brings me back to item one… it’s not about the videos!)

    Useful References

    The post Creating Screencasts (Mac) – 2017 Update #edtech #flipclass appeared first on Physics In Flux.


  19. Hey Mr. Fullerton and anyone whos reading this, its been a pleasure grinding this year. Hope you enjoy this great video and maybe even chuckle a bit. 


  20. Launch Time: 10:37 am

    Team Members Present: Jason Stack, Marcus Nicholas and Michael Kennedy were all present for this launch.

    Play-by-Play: Initially the rocket was created using the parts listed in the pre-flight briefing. The rocket was launched from Kerbin and angled in order to successfully travel outside of Kerbin's atmosphere. The rocket was then directed into orbit around Kerbin. Kerbin was orbited a few times. The rocket was then returned back to Kerbin by using a maneuver that brought the rocket back into Kerbin's atmosphere. The bottom engines were released, then the second engines, leaving only the pod left. The pod descended to 1,000 meters above Kerbin and then the parachute was deployed. The pod landed safely on Kerbin. 

    Photographs: dsd.pngdsds.pngscreenshot0.pngscreenshot11.pngscreenshot12.pngscreenshot2.pngscreenshot3.pngscreenshot4.pngscreenshot5.pngscreenshot6.pngscreenshot8.pngscreenshot9.png

    Time-of-Flight: 4 hours and 5 minutes

    Summary: Our flight was a great success. We planned to accomplish all initial milestones, including a successful manned orbit and a successful Kerbal EVA. All of these desired milestones were accomplished. Our spaceship and Kerbal manning the ship returned safely to Kerbin after successfully reaching orbit around Kerbin. By reaching a manned orbit around Kerbin, all the initial milestones were accomplished by this launch. 

    Opportunities / Learnings: Establishing what the launch goals are and designing the rocket accordingly is very important. Failure to do so will result in an inability to accomplish any milestones.

    Strategies / Project Timeline: After this accomplishment, our next goal is to reach orbit around the moon and land on the moon. 

    Milestone Awards Presented: 

    • Launch to 10 km - $10,000
    • Manned launch to 10 km - $20,000
    • Manned launch to 50 km - $30,000
    • Achieving stable orbit - $40,000
    • Achieving stable manned orbit - $50,000
    • First Kerbal EVA - $60,000

    Available Funds: $257,818

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