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  1. 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.


  2. 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. 


  3. 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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    This week I focused on chapter 5 in Mechanics.   This included momentum and impulse, conservation of linear momentum and center of mass.

    Areas that went well for me were momentum and impulse and conservation of linear momentum.  What helped me to really understand these two topics were first understand the graphs that went along with them.  This included Force vs. Time graphs showing the impulse to be the area under it.  These graphs gave me a better understanding of what I was solving for when I got to problems.

    Center of mass was the topic I had the most difficulty with.  However plotting the points on a graph helped me with this as well.  The equation Xcm= (m1x1+m2x2).../m1+m2... really helped me understand finding the center of mass of different points.  Finding it for other objects such as rods however was still quite challenging.

    My major key to success this week was working more with graphs.  Once I understood graphs whether it be just plotting point or graphs such as Force vs. Time, they all helped me get a better understanding of the topic I was working on.   

  4. NisaVyv
    Latest Entry

    Not many people put a whole lot of thought into what their morning cereal is made of. Most people would just assume there's some grain and maybe a little sugar, or a lot of sugar if you're more of a Lucky Charms person than a Raisin Bran person. Nobody would suspect, though, that there would be metal in their Cheerios. Turns out, Cheerios are magnetic. Or are they?

    Fill a bowl with water and drop in a couple Cheerios. Take a magnet and hold it just above the Cheerios, the Cheerio will be attracted toward the direction of the magnet. Why is this? If the little cereal ring is magnetic, then there must be metal fragments in it causing the attraction. Now the cereal is all magnetic, and it does contain tiny fragment of iron. This is perfectly reasonable though, as iron is a key nutrient in a human diet. But that's not the whole story, 

    If you were to try this with objects other than cereal, say a small piece of paper or plastic, it would still seem to be attracted to the magnet as it floated in the water. The "attraction" you see is actually all about water, which is diamagnetic, meaning it generates a magnetic field opposite to that of the magnetic field it is in the presence of. Thus, the water is slightly repelled by the magnet. This causes a slight divot in the water, that the object in the bowl actually falls into, making it appear to follow the magnet. In actuality, it isn't being affected directly by the magnetic field, but by the waters reaction to the magnetic field.

  5. When a person swings a baseball bat and hit a ball with a wooden bat rather than a aluminum bat, it will generally not travel nearly as far. Why is this? This is a concept of momentum on the baseball field. The biggest reason for the ability for a person to hit a ball further with an aluminum bat is because when they do, they are able to swing the accelerate the bat to higher speeds than if they were to use a wooden bat. Momentum is directly proportional to velocity therefore the faster the swing of the bat the further the ball with travel in most cases.

  6. In the last decade, the uprise of mobile devices with touchscreens has been prominent, and there are 2 main types of touchscreens. The first, and cheaper style, is known as resistive, which uses 2 separated films that when come in contact they allow current to flow. This is what is used to determine the location of the touch, as wherever the current is flowing is where the user is currently touching. The issue with this system is that it requires physical movement of the plates, meaning it can be triggered by anything pushing it together, also if it's layers are no longer even they can touch if nothing is pushing on them, causing unwanted actions. The solution to these issues is the more complicated design, known as capacitive touch. This uses a system of 4 capacitors on each corner, and when the touch occurs, based on how the capacitance changes, the computer system can determine the position of the touch. This is exceptionally useful for avoiding accidental touches, and for creating a much more durable touch surface. Also, it enables much more precision and ease of use to the user, as they don't have to physically move anything, and so there is less to go wrong. The disadvantage of this is that water and anything else conductive greatly reduces the accuracy and usability of such a touch screen, as it messes with the currents. Thanks to this kind of technology, it is much easier for us to use our mobile devices with ease and precision.

  7. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    When a ball hits the ground or an axe hits a tree, we can hear a noise signaling this collision. Obviously, sound waves are produced, but where exactly do they come from? 

    When two objects collide, one of two things can happen: an elastic or inelastic collision. In the case of elastic, no kinetic energy is lost. Inelastic, however, involves a loss of kinetic energy. Where does it go?

    Part of it goes to heat, but another part of it causes the sound waves to be produced because they need energy. When two objects collide, the molecules of the object vibrate a little, which in turn vibrates the air molecules, creating a longitudinal wave. 

    So, if a tree falls, it does make a sound because the laws of physics don't stop just because there isn't a human to watch it. 

  8. Well its been real Physics C.  Here I am, sitting here, writing my last blog post of high school (and maybe forever).  This class has been a huge undertaking, but also something that I am glad I attempted.  Although the work has been hard and I am far from even coming close to mastering some of these complex concepts, my time with Physics has been amazing and enlightening.  It has opened me up to a totally new way of seeing things, and I cant wait until I can put what I've learned into use while I study to become an Architect.  Without a doubt I will be taking Physics in College, but anything past mechanics I can just leave to the engineers (hey Skylor and Justin ;))  With that said, I know the knowledge I have gained in all aspects of Physics will forever help me through all professional (and maybe some personal) challenges.

     I just hope and pray that whatever physics god may be out there will here these last few simple requests:

    1.  May the downward force of all of my dorm supplies be much less than the maximum possible opposing force of that ratty box I dug out of my garage.

    2.  Also, when all that crap does come falling out of the bottom of the box,  please make sure I'm not halfway up the stairs in front of a group of upperclassmen.

    3. And if both of those things do end up happening, please oh please make sure the friction provided by that shirt that got under my feet from the box is enough to keep my feet static on the step.

    4. And lastly, please keep any torque on my UCL below 70 ft-lbs - that would be great.

    But for real, I am so excited to see what the rest of this year of physics has in store for me and for the adventures that are bound to follow.

  9. Hot air balloons are very fascinating mechanisms in that they allow humans to fly without physically flying. Hot air balloons consists of a basket used to carry people, an envelope (the top piece), and a burner which consists of several megawatts is also present. When heat is released from the burner, it creates buoyancy. This is because the hot air is less dense than the cooler air that surrounds it. This is known as Archimedes' principle, which states that any object regardless of its shape that is suspended in a fluid, is acted upon by an upward buoyant force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

  10. This year has been amazing for me. I never thought that I would be able to do things such as a drag force derivation, or transient analysis of circuits, but I proved myself wrong. Through hard work and a lot of time, I matured through this year into an independent student who has faith in his own intellectual abilities which can all be attributed to the workload of AP Physics C. I learned that it isn't bad to ask questions as long as you have tried your hardest and thought about it until you cannot anymore. I have also learned to attack problems with other people, and combine knowledge in order to come to a solution which is extremely satisfying in the end. I now feel much more prepared for college and the challenges that I will face there. I have learned that it is OK to fail as long as you have put your best effort forward, because it only means you have room for improvement. Physics C has brought me many emotions both happy and sad, and has pushed my thinking to places It has never been before. I will undoubtedly miss Physics C, but will look back on it as a stepping stone in my path towards higher learning and eventually a career.

  11. This Thursday, the Irondequoit High School Philharmonic Orchestra and Choirs will be performing their major works concert at the St. Mary's Church, right next to the Geva theater. It's quite the interesting concert to perform, in that we're all playing in an unfamiliar venue, and have had only a single day where we ALL got together to practice. Oh, and it doesn't help that the acoustics in the church are terrible, arguably only a little better than the IHS gymnasium.

    Why are they terrible, you ask? Let me tell you. In a real theater or concert hall, the entire venue is designed with the acoustics in mind. For simplicity's sake, imagine sound waves as transverse instead of longitudinal. As Physics 1 taught us, if there's more than one source of sound, the sound will be amplified where peak meets peak and trough meets trough, and nullified where trough meets peak. Because the architects who designed the building know, in general, where the performers will be, they'll have a good idea of where the sound will be loudest (likes meet), and quietest (opposites meet), and will thus place the aisles at quiet points and the seats in louder areas, to maximize the enjoy-ability of the performance. Churches, however, (like St. Mary's) are not designed with acoustics in mind. Churches are designed for masses in which they generally have only a single person speaking, meaning that even if sound reflects off the walls, there's generally going to be a pretty similar listening experience everywhere. As such, the seats are organized in straight rows which are evenly spaced, meaning that when the orchestra starts playing, there's going to be some odd spots in which the sound dwindles more. Add to that the cramped feel of squeezing an ~20 person orchestra and ~50 person choir onto and in front of an altar, and it makes for a really interesting performance.

  12. Crossbows are a very a cool weapon. They use tension and potential energy to shoot arrows. You first pull the string back, which requires a large amount of force, lock it in place with the spring system and then pull the trigger which drops the lock and sends the string and arrow launching forward at a high velocity. When the string is pulled back and locked in place, potential energy is built up. The more potential energy that is built up, the faster and stronger the arrow will launch once the trigger is pulled. Crossbows are fairly simple, yet very deadly. 

  13. OcktoByte
    Latest Entry

    This post will delve less into video games and more into science fiction. Holograms are often shown in sci-fi movies and tv to show futuristic technology. Holograms are usually depicted as images created purely by light. Currently, we have digital projectors, able to display a color image on a flat surface. However, most holograms in pop culture have a 3d image. This would be difficult to accomplish realistically, since in order to create a 3 dimensional image, the light would need something to refract off of. The same way that a laser pointer will show a line through smoke or fog, but only shows a dot through the air. Creating a 3d hologram would require that light be refracted in specific regions in order to create an image. Figuring out a way to do this for a moving image, especially at a high framerate, would be difficult. I hope that one day technology advances to a point where I can see this happen.

  14. Welding, as most people know, is when you use a torch to melt a material to another material, as well as add some filler material for strength. However, there are a lot of different welds that can be made, and a lot of different ways you can make them. For example, some common types of energy sources for welding include a gas flame, lasers, electric arcs, electron beams, ultrasound, and friction. For the purpose of this post, I'll be talking about laser welding, since it is newer, and involves lasers which are just inherently cool. Welding using a laser beam consists of a concentrated laser beam, which provides a lot of energy making a weld fast, deep, and within a small area. Because of the extreme heat of the laser, however, some materials can be prone to cracking. It is also important to focus the laser properly, as the weld is the most effective when the focal point is just below the surface of the material being welded. Laser welding also has some advantages over electron beam welding, primarily that it can be done in air and is not required to be done in a vacuum, and does not produce x-rays. Welding is just one of those things you dont think about that much, and don't realize how important it is to so many every day things, and it is really cool that innovations are still being made in welding to adapt new technologies, such as lasers, into a hundred year old proscess. 


  15. Not that long ago I came up with a fun project idea when I was bored. I had some spare speakers laying around and felt like a fun thing to do would to add them to my current speaker system to help fill the room with sound better. To do this I drilled small holes in the back of my current computer speakers and then connected some wire in parallel, I then ran this wire through the ceiling and then soldered the leads to the speakers. By connecting them in parallel I reduced the resistance of the circuit but I also increased the current, thanks Ohms law! I thought this was all good, but then my dad brought up a good point, would the increase in current cause the amp in the speakers to blow. To my luck it seems like it all worked out fine as a few weeks later the speakers are working just as they were before. Another bit of physics that helped me in this project is magnetism. At the back of all speakers there is a sizable magnet used to vibrate the membrane and create the frequency of the music.  I used this magnet as a form of mounting, I have ceiling tiles in this room so I just stuck the speakers to the ceiling where the metal was in the ceiling and I was done!

  16. jwdiehl88
    Latest Entry

    A simple snap-back mousetrap is a clever machine. With just a few parts (a wooden base, a spring, a metal bar, and a trigger mechanism) it can do its job quickly and efficiently.  When a mousetrap is set, the spring in the center is compressed, becoming a source full of potential energy. This energy is being stored, not used, but as soon as the trap is released, it is converted to kinetic energy (the energy of motion) that propels the snapper arm forward.  This is a perfect example of conservation of energy.  It takes an amount of force to set the mousetrap and when the trap is triggered, it creates a force onto the mouse that triggered it.  

    the levers of a mousetrap

  17. In high school physics we've always been told that test will try to trick you. They'll ask if a 10kg person goes from the earth to the moon how will their mass change. And the answer is always it doesn't. Mass doesn't change, mass doesn't change, mass doesn't change. It's been hammered into our brains. But it's a lie. So the speed of light in a vacuum is 300,000 km/s. This is the fastest speed any object in the universe can travel at. So what happens if you try to accelerate an object going the speed of light? Well picture this: a rocket accelerate to the speed of light, but the thrusters are still pushing on the rocket. You might be tempted to say that the frictional force balances with the thrust of the rocket, so there's no net force. But then how would the rocket have accelerated to the speed of light? There must be a net force. Given that there is a net force, work is being done on the rocket. Therefore, there is a change in kinetic energy, but velocity isn't increasing. That means the other component of kinetic energy must be increasing: mass. In most cases mass is a constant, but when energy cannot be transferred into speed any longer, it has to be transferred into mass instead. 

  18. Sampapaleo12
    Latest Entry

    Double domino's are relatively hard to explain so you should watch the video to get a good idea of what it is. 

    This is possible because the bricks are very wide. when the bricks fall, they lay on top of the one before it. the last brick in the sequence does not have anything to lay on so it falls to the floor. this causes the brick that is laying on it to fall as well and the next brick to fall and so on. This happens only when the bricks are placed a certain distance away from each other. this distance cant be too close or the bricks will just rest on top of each other. this distance also cant be too far away or the bricks will lay flat on the floor after hitting. Untitled.thumb.png.ba95da2ff1d630a31fa1bd6d9466c4c2.png

  19. A couple days ago, a Swiss skier named Andri Ragettli landed the first ever 'Quad Cork 1800', in which he flew 38 yards off of a jump in Italy, making five full rotations and four head-under-body spins. The video of the jump is attached below. The true difficulty of landing such a trick is very clear when considering the physics behind it. First, in order to be in the air long enough to perform such a trick, a skier needs to gain a great amount of kinetic energy as he descends from the top of the hill. In order to do this, the height of the top of the hill should be maximized so as to maximize gravitational potential energy, which is then converted into kinetic energy as the skier descends. Additionally, once Ragettli is in the air, you may notice that he crouches down low, which minimizes the rotational inertia of his body, allowing him to experience a more rapid angular acceleration. After Ragettli rotates multiple times in mid air, just before landing, he straightens his body, which increases his rotational inertia. Since angular momentum is conserved, an increasing rotational inertia causes a decreasing angular speed. Therefore, by straightening his body, his angular speed decreases, making it easier to stick the landing.




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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!

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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.


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