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About this blog

Weekly blogs posts regarding physics content and stuff :geek:

Entries in this blog

 

The physics behind welding

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 l

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Quantum entanglement

I have heard of quantum entanglement before, but really with no concept of what it actually was or how it worked. Turns out, surprise surprise, that it is incredibly complicated but also really amazing. In short, quantum entanglement consists of 2 particles becoming  identical, or having the same spin and charge. After they have become entangled, they remain that way. This means that if one is spun the other way, the other will instantaneously react inversely to the particle it is paired with. A

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Wireless charging

Recently, wireless charging had been catching on in a lot of consumer technology especially smart phones. While almost useless at this point in time, it will hopefully get better over time, but here's the basics of how it works. There is a charging base, that must be connected to some conventional power supply, such as a wall outlet, and in the base, there is an induction coil which generates a changing magnetic field. A phone with wireless charging capabilities also has another induction coil,

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

How drag slicks work

Generally, when your car needs new tires you look for something with good tread so you have good traction with the road (unless you're broke and your only requirement for tires is the cheapest thing they sell at Walmart). But drag slicks are just totally smooth, so why do they hold traction so well? Well the answer is really simple actually, it mostly comes down to surface area. Since slicks are perfectly flat,  the contact patch the tire has with the road is much larger, providing better tracti

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The combustion engine

The combustion engine, while old, is still an impressive technological feat, as seen in its ability to remain the best way to power most vehilcles to this day. Internal combustion engines All work in the same general way, where some fuel is burned in a chamber, and the resulting energy from the explosions is used to move pistons, which in turn move a crank that can then be transferred into whatever energy is necessary to power whatever the engine is moving. The mechanical energy transferred to t

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

How does glow in the dark work?

A lot of things glow in the dark, from toys to stickers to shoes. Just about anything you can imagine, someone's made it glow in the dark. There are several different categories of things that glow in the dark, but i'll be focusing on what makes most consumer products glow in the dark, since it's more relevant to every day life. While researching for this blog post, the second sentence of the Wikipedia page mentioned quantum mechanics, so this could be even more interesting than I initially thou

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Turbo chargers

How do you make a car go faster? Slap a turbo in it, duh. While that certainly isn't as easy as it sounds, how do turbos even work anyways? Well, for starters, turbos really are all about recycling. No really, unlike an old fashioned supercharger that relied on a belt driven system to receive power, a turbocharger is powered by a car's exhaust. The energy from the gas exiting the car's exhaust is used to run a turbine that compresses air coming into the engine. Since conventional combustion engi

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Fingerprint sensors

Recently, just about every phone to come out and even some newer laptops include a finger print sensor. But how does this technology work? Well, in an iPhone and most other mobile phones, the fingerprint sensor used is called a capacitive touch button, which works very similarly to the actual screen of the phone, which fundamentally acts as a capacitor with the button being a conducting plate, the epidermal layer of your finger acting as a dielectric, and the dermal layer acting as the second co

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The boost caboose

A YouTube series that i've been watching recently called roadkill, came up with possibly the best worst idea ever. Previously on the show, they tried to turbocharge a chevy manza using 5 leaf blowers all fed into a single tube that leads directly to the air intake on the engine, and believe it or not, it actually added some horsepower to the car, however had negligible real world use impact. Recently, however, they brought this same car back, but decided to replace the leaf blower turbo with som

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The physics behind touch screens

Before deciding to make this post, I really had no idea how a touchscreen worked. However, after doing some research it's actually pretty interesting. Most modern touch screens, such as what is most likely on your phone is known as a capacitive touchscreen, and that's because it essentially works by acting as a capacitor. A capacitive touch screen is made up of a few essential parts, the LCD or OLED screen itself, a glass or plastic cover used as an insulator that is covered in a clear conductiv

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

the physics of a resident evil helicopter crash

In the spirit of the new resident evil game coming out very soon, it should be interesting to find out how many characters should have died in the previous game in a helicopter crash. Throughout Resident evil 6, the are a few helicopter crashes, and in the usual horror game scare tactic, everyone but the main characters die in these crashes. But should your characters have lived? There is an average of 1.44 fatalities per hundred thousand hours flown in a helicopter, and you can probably make a

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Guitar pickups

Guitar pickups are really interesting technology. most people have seen or played an electric guitar, and the way that the guitar is able to transmit sound to the amplifier is through the pickups. in essence, a guitar pickup is a set of magnets wrapped in wire. while there are different types of pickups such as humbuckers, single coils, and p90's among others, they all operate in generally the same way. It all starts by playing a string on the guitar, and from there, the physics really gets inte

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Physics of a paintball gun

In the interest of simplicity, we're going to talk about how a co2 powered blow-back style paintball gun works, because an electric paintball gun has so many complex parts, each one could have it's own explanation. so, Simply put, a co2 tank is screwed into the back of the gun, the gas flows through the gun, and is used to move the bolt back and forth, creating enough pressure behind the ball so send it flying out of the barrel. So, since this style of paintball gun is mainly gas through (no air

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Guitar effects pedals

As legendary guitar player Tom Morello once said, a whammy pedal is essential for making those awesome pterodactyl sounds. but what even is a guitar effects pedal? simply, it changes the sound a guitar makes somewhere between playing the strings and the sound coming out of the amp. For now, we'll just focus on distortion pedals which are probably the most common pedals. Distortion pedals will distort the "clean sound" a guitar makes before the effect of the pedal is added in. When a guitar is pl

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

record players and how they work

So recently, record players have been making a resurgence. While there's no denying that they're pretty cool, and sound way better than a cd or mp3 (if you even care about that) they work in a pretty cool way. Record players as we know them now, work by spinning a record on a turntable, that is usually belt driven to spin a record at a given speed, most commonly either 33.5 rpm or 45 rpm. record players have a needle that runs through the grooves of the record that picks up vibrations which are

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The purpose of an exhaust system

All cars have an exhaust system. Some are loud, some are quiet, and some are just totally broken. And some of them have a tip that functionally does absolutely nothing, but cost $15 and take an entire day to put on and don't even turn blue when you burn them. But what do they do? Well, simply, they filter dangerous and environment harming chemicals out of the exhaust, as well as quiet down the car quite a bit. But the way it actually works is  the catalytic converter creates an oxidizing effect

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

the physics behind diving in the snow

Living in Rochester, I highly doubt anyone has been afforded the luxury of not having to drive in the snow, whether doing the driving yourself or just riding in the car with someone  else. I've certainly had a few terrifying experiences in the snow, from not being able to see, to not being able to stop, to just outright totally losing control, but what factors play into this lovely experience known as winter driving that causes these wonderful situations? Well, to answer this question as well as

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Diet Coke and mentos

Diet Coke explodes when you drop mentos in it, most people have seen it, if not done it themselves, but why? Well, there are a lot of parts to answering this question. First of all, why Diet Coke? Well, Diet Coke generally has slightly more carbonation than regular Coke, which plays into the next part. The bubbles are drawn to the small indentations in the metros, as they search for a way to escape the liquid, which causes a foam, which will create pressure within the bottle eventually causing t

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The guitar amp

What a guitar amp does is pretty self-explanitory, it's even in the name. It amplifies the sound of an electric guitar. Although an acoustic and electric guitar operate fundamentally differently, similar principles apply to both, strings vibrate at a specific frequency, the sound waves then resonate though the wood and air, creating sound, however, electric guitars have their own method of amplifying the sound, an amplifier. Electric guitars all feature some kind of pickups, which pick up the so

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Acoustic Guitar Physics

So just about everyone has played, or at least seen someone play a guitar before. But how does it work? Well in general, it's a pretty simple concept. You strum a string, or multiple strings, which creates a sound wave that enters the sound hole and is amplified inside the body when the sound waves enter the body and resonate within the wood. In order to get this to sound nice, however, the guitar needs to be tuned. In order for this to happen, several factors must be taken into account, suck as

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The physics of is it a good idea to microwave this

People have been putting things in microwaves since they've been invented, and some of those things, should have never gone in a microwave. But why do some things react so violently when put in microwaves? As far as metal goes, a microwave moves around charges in metal, and can result in a spark, possibly causing other things in the microwave to catch on fire. It's also not a very good idea to microwave an airbag, because they have the potential of going off. There isn't much scientific research

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

Picking locks

Lockpickin is a dying art, but there is some pretty cool. Generally the way a lock works is that there are many pins inside the chamber that are attached to springs, that must be pressed in to a certain pressure, in order to disengage the lock and turn the barrel. This is done using a variety of tools, including rakes, picks, bump keys, and probably most importantly, a tension wrench. The tension wrench is used to, you guessed it, keep tension on the lock so you can tell when you have properly e

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

What causes lightning?

So, everyone has seen lighting, and most of us even know what it is. But how does it work? Where does it come from? It all starts when charges build up in clouds. We don't know exactly why this happens, but usually the bottom part of a cloud becomes positively charged, and the top becomes negatively charged, and after enough negative charge builds up, the electrons will jump to the other side of the cloud to stay in equilibrium with the positive side, creating what we all know as lightning. The

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

How to pop a tire on a curb

Everyone has bad days. Some a little worse than others. But nothing ruins a day like hitting a curb, and popping the tire. Since the average tire has a pressure of about 25-30 psi, it's creates quite a force when the tire pops. The force required to pop the tire greatly varries, depending on the speed of the car, the weight of the car, and the quality of the tire. Some larger truck tires can even explode with a force of up to 12 tons, as seen in this video: Tire explosions can be

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

 

The Physics of drifting

Drifting is pretty cool, if it's done right, but how is it possible, why are people able to simply slide their cars around corners? It's is mostly done in rear wheel drive cars, because it is easier to oversteer and break traction between the rear wheels and the road, resulting in a power slide. It is possible to somewhat drift a front wheel drive car, however, this is mainly done by using the handbrake to lock up the back wheels at a higher speed, in order to break traction with the road, but t

NathanKenney

NathanKenney

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