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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. 

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 


  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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

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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.


  16. 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.

  17. 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...



  18. ncharles
    Latest Entry

    If you have ever went to see a concert, play, musical or any other performance on a stage, it is very likely that there were curtains involved. Tonight, i was partly responsible for the curtains at the IHS Talent show. The contraption that allows the curtains to move across the stage is a simple pulley system using two pulleys and a rope in-between. When the rope is pulled in one direction, it creates a torque on the pulley and causes it to spin. This spinning either opens or closes the curtain (depending the direction pulled). This contraption is also very common with close-able curtains in your home. And this is a very simple example but i realized thats some of the most simple things help the most!

  19. ZZ
    Latest Entry

    The other day I was watching a soccer game, West Ham United vs Arsenal FC. I know I do blogs on soccer all the time but it's because I am just so fascinated by the things these players are able to do, hence why they are professionals. One of the players, Andy Carroll scored a bicycle kick, where a player flips himself/herself upside down with their foot in the air and kicking it over their head (sometimes referred to as an "overhead kick"). While this one was good, it reminded me of one from several years ago that another professional, Wayne Rooney performed in a game. Here's the video:

    While this goal may still have you in awe (this happens maybe once every several years by the way), I'd like to start talking about the physics. So it all started with the crosser, Nani, who crossed the ball in at about 22 mph (the speed of an average cross). This speed of the ball means the reaction window for Rooney was microscopic, even to just put the ball on target - much less the upper corner of the net. A half second too quick or too slow and this bicycle kick will end up on the blooper section of sportcenter. Upon timing the jump, Rooney is in the air for about 3/4 of a second, meaning the margin for error is quite small. Rooney's foot has also been measured to be 1.80 meters above the ground (5'9") which is about the same height as Rooney. So you might ask, what is the advantage of doing this if he could've headed the ball instead? While this is normally what players do in this scenario, a header simply wouldn't have provided the same force (and thus acceleration) on the ball. This is because of the net torque on the ball. With a header, one really only uses a little less than half of their body to cock back and snap into the header to deliver a net force upon it. However, with a bicycle kick the whole body is involved. Since the body in midair experiences no outside forces, it acts as if it were a rotating object, where both halves of the body contribute to a clockwise motion to allow a well powered kick.

    In addition, you will notice that he kicks one leg first and then the other. This has to do with momentum. as he generates momentum in one direction, this allows him to change the motion with the other leg and allow a greater velocity with his kicking leg before it makes contact with the ball. 

    All in all this stands as one of the best premier league goals of all time, ask anybody. It's really cool now to understand how Rooney did this (I know I never could):notfair:

  20. zlessard
    Latest Entry

    I Googled "how much force is in a single keystroke" and I'm going to trust a source that says 12.9 N. This will help me in my overall (obviously hypothetical) analysis.

    Since this is my final blog post of the year I wanted to sort of wrap it up as well as possible and somehow tie in all of my other blogs. Using an online "character counter", I found out that there are a combined 50,015 characters across my 29 other blog posts, which have an array of topics ranging from pole vaulting to doomsday to Monte Alban. Not accounting for any backspacing, 50,015 is an accurate count of all of the characters I've put into these blogs. Utilizing the accepted force of a keystroke as being 12.9 N, that means I applied an accumulative 645,193.5 N to my keyboard for the purpose of these blogs. That's over 145,000 lbs of force, which seems like far too high of a number but I'm going to accept it regardless for the purpose of making this more interesting. I now wonder what type of things I could accomplish utilizing this much force that does not involve analyzing the physics behind a bladeless fan or a Mexican resturaunt.

    I could:

    Break 230 backboards (see blog no. 29)

    Throw a football very far

    Probably jump pretty high

    Write 28 blog posts and have enough left over force to perfectly emulate the biting force of an adult Great White Shark

    Push the ground really hard and pretend that the dent was caused by 32 1/4 Ford Explorers being stacked on top of each other. 


    As you can see, if I could somehow have concentrated all of the force that I put into the creation of these blogs into a single motion, then I could have pulled off some of the most incredible feats in the history of mankind. But alas, the people are left with 30 thoughtful, well crafted and occasionally humorous blog posts that will some day be hanging in a digital art gallery. Oh what could have been...


  21. IVIR
    Latest Entry

    This past weekend, I saw a giant game of Jenga at MIT. Literally. The blocks were nearly 2x4s, and the structure was taller than I am. While I did not stay to watch, it is interesting to think about a few of the different strategies that I remember from my childhood days. First of all, I used to believe that the faster you pulled the object out, the less chance a collapse would occur. While I'm not sure of my logic behind this reasoning, I most likely imagined that hopefully the structure just wouldn't have time to collapse if I pulled it fast enough (Yeah, I know). However, after the block is removed, whether quick or slow, the structure will still have the exact same properties regardless of speed. Another theory may be to reduce friction, but it is important to note that the frictional force does not rely on velocity, it relies on the normal force. The one factor that does effect the result of the turn is how straight you are able to pull the block out. By pulling the block straight out, you are minimizing the normal force, but if you tilt to one side or another, you are increasing the normal force and creating a larger frictional force. 

    Another concept of the game Jenga is torque. Since torque is F x r and the r in most jenga games is relatively small, the structure can often withstand the removal of blocks that may have seemed impossible. The middle block is at the center of the fulcrum, so the r would be 0, allowing players to theoretically remove all of the outside blocks while keeping a cross pattern in the middle. This is much easier said than done due to the friction caused by uneven pulls (an even perfect pulls as the wood has a large surface area) and the fact that even a small breeze can cause enough torque in the other direction to knock the tower down. A horizontal breeze may have a small force, but since the center point is technically the ground in this plane, the r would be as tall as the tower. 

    Hopefully, the physics of Jenga could help people improve their gameplay, but to be honest, isn't the best part watching it all fall? 


  22. tjpapaleo
    Latest Entry

    So, I was watching The Flash awhile ago and they were dealing with particle accelerators. As you know, Flash was created by a particle accelerator explosion that caused him to transform into a man with super speed. I know that doesn't actually but what is in a particle accelerator? What is a particle accelerator? A particle accelerator is a machine that uses electromagnetic fields to shoot charged particles to almost the speed of light, while containing them in beams. Particle accelerators have made big discovers, especially in medicine. They have been used for finding x-rays as well as the discover of a neutron. As of today, there are 10,000 scientists using particle accelerators for x-rays for research in physics, chemistry, biology, etc. Basically they are used for research purposes. That's all for now on particle accelerators. Tune in next time for more physics. 

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