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Quarter Review

At the end of last quarter, I wrote a blog post about how I needed to change a few things because of the disaster that had come about in all my classes but especially physics. I feel that over the course of the past 10 weeks, I have changed the way that I learn and study. I find that I am more focused to get things done and understand them in a timely manner. I use all of the time given to me efficiently as well. Before this quarter, I found myself wasting class time and not doing the work that I needed to do in order to understand the content. Now that the learning is almost done for most classes and we move into the studying for exams during the last quarter, I need to remember the success that I have had during this quarter and continue it on. I know I can do it. We are now in the final stretch of high school and I am ready for it all.  Until next time, RK
 

Cell Phones

Something I have always wondered is the way in which a cell phone works. Everyone has them in today's world so now I need an explanation to how they work in a physics sense. From what I understand, when someone talks into the phone, their voice is converted into a signal that is transmitted through waves and then back into sound on the other end. Essentially it sounds like a two way radio. The signal is a type of radio wave that in the end can be dangerous to humans resulting in various health issues in the long run. Are cell phones really worth it if we are exposed to even more radiation that we need to be? Until next time,  RK
 

Waves

Earlier this year, we learned that physics is everywhere. I think that most of us have realized that physics comes up in our daily lives on earth and also in space. One area that I have forgotten about when in comes to physics is how physics relates in the oceans. One major idea is the waves in the ocean that we can hear about. The high tides and low tides impact the shells that we can find on the beaches. Because of gravity and the moon, the tides are on a cycle for high and low tides. The waves that formed through energy moving through the matter of water onto land. The picture below shows how the waves are used in surfing (something that I will never do in my lifetime). It uses that basics of waves that we learned about last year and puts them into the water all over the earth. Until next time, RK
 

Fire in Space

We all know what a candle looks like when we burn it. The blue at the bottom is the heavier and cooler fire. Because of gravity, the blue is at the bottom while the hotter and lighter fire is towards the top. On earth, fire burns up and around and spreads because of the oxygen that it has access to. In space, because there is no gravity and a very low concentration of oxygen, fire burns in spheres and spreads quickly based on where it can get the oxygen.   In the video below, fire in space is explained in further depth with baffling information about combustion as well. Until next time, RK
 

The Bermuda Triangle

Many people know about the infamous Bermuda Triangle because of the ships, planes and people that all go missing in the triangle. The Bermuda Triangle spans from the edge of Florida to Bermuda and then down to Puerto Rico. The disappearances that come about from the triangle are unexplained and this is not something new. In 1492, Christopher Columbus made note in a journal that his compass was not pointing north but decided not to alert the already worried crew. Some evidence has proven that in the triangle, there are certain areas that a magnetic compass will point towards true north instead of magnetic north. In addition to the changing compass, the weather in The Bermuda Triangle has reportedly been another crazy factor in this equation. Because of its location, weather can dramatically change over a short period of time. These weather changes have also been known to become violent which could add to some disappearances.   There are still no actual explanation to the vanishing boats, planes and people in The Bermuda Triangle, but one thing is for sure, something fishy happens down there. Until next time, RK
 

Flying Birds

We all know that birds fly except penguins but they waddle which is better than flying. To fly, a bird must flap its wings to give it lift that is greater than its weight in order to get up off the ground. If the lift is not greater than the weight, the bird will sit there flapping its wings and look like a crazy bird. Another aspect that remains in the mix for all flying birds is the drag forces that go along with their flight. To fly to their destination quickly, a bird wants to minimize drag forces if possible. Drag forces can be a burden for all flying birds sometimes, but on the other hand, when slowing down to land, a bird likes the drag forces because they will help the bird land quickly and without injury.   The statements above apply to all large and small flying birds. For larger birds, they often soar throughout the sky to save energy. This happens because they have larger wing spans that allow them to flap less to get the same amount of lift as a smaller bird.   Now as for the penguins that waddle, they use their feet to shuffle along and stay on the ground. Until next time,  RK
 

Buoyancy

Buoyancy is the upward force that is exerted opposite to gravity with a liquid. In the diagram below, buoyancy is shown acting against gravity keeping up with the laws of Sir Isaac Newton. Buoyancy is the reasons some objects float on the water and some objects sink. Because it is spring break and I am on vacation by the ocean, I thought it was fitting to look into buoyancy. A rock sinks right to the bottom while boats and kayaks float on top of the water. The video below shows how extreme people who kayak work the waters using buoyancy.  Although I did not go kayaking, I watched those who did. They did not go to the extreme that the Olympic teams do, but they still had buoyancy on their side. The boats that we went on to dolphin watch were more like the one in the picture below. It still amazes me that a large amount of people can travel on a boat without the boat sinking or tipping.  Until next time, RK
 

Maglev Monorails

Most people know what a monorail is but what is a Maglev Monorail? Maglev means the transportation system levitates and moves using extremely strong magnets. Maglev Monorails operate using the strong magnets to move the train that has no wheels. The whole concept that the magnets repel their like sides and attract to their opposites help to push the monorail to top speeds. In the United States there is a Maglev Monorail in California at General Atomics in San Francisco.  Below is a video of a brief news reports on the Maglev Monorail in China when it completed its test run. Until next time, RK
 

Luge

I have never heard of the word "luge" until today when looking at events in the Winter Olympics. Luge is a sport where there is a rider on a sled that is sliding down ice feet first. The objective is to get down the track in the fastest amount of time. They often look like this while racing... The rider has to fight air resistance to get down the track as fast as possible. They start at the top of an ramp and then have to go around turns until they reach the finish line. Although this may not seem like a dangerous sport, riders can reach speeds of 95 mph or more. In the 2010 Winter Olympics, rider Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a practice run hours before the opening ceremony. Because of his high speed, he flew off his sled into the air and hit a metal pole. Due to his death, track designers for the 2014 Winter Olympics designed a track that went uphill in some areas which would force riders into slower speeds.    Riders rely on gravity and proper turn times to reach the finish line the fastest. Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Will Physics Pay Off?

So, most of us in Physics C have reached a point where we start to think about college and how this class is going to help us in the future. From what I have heard, most of us in this class plan on going into something that relates to physics in some way whether it be engineering or just a normal physics major. In the classroom, there is a poster that has the 10-Best Paying Majors on it which sparked my idea for this post.  In other math and science classrooms you can see posters like this one that try to keep people involved in these classes. STEM classes have components that are in the top paying jobs overall. More recent information says that the order of top paying jobs include a lot of engineering which includes a lot of physics. 10. Geological and geophysical engineering 9. Computer engineering 8. Mechanical engineering 7. Aerospace engineering 6. Electrical engineering 5. Chemical engineering 4. Mining and mineral engineering 3. Metallurgical engineering 2. Pharmaceutical sciences and administration 1. Petroleum engineering As I think about how hard this class has become, I realize that it will somehow help me in the future even if it just for the challenge of it. Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Second Quarter

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, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Physics in Food

At Boston University, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a class called Physics of Food/Cooking. This class combines learning physics with cooking which every person, even those who do not enjoy science, will fall in love with. The professor, Rama Bansil, teaches her students about the basic principles of thermodynamics, molecular physics with a little bit of molecular biology as well. She uses her cooking techniques with science to create treats and relate them to the curriculum. A perfect example of the idea of physics in food is presented in the video above with a coconut ice cream shell. They use liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze and eliminate the ice crystals that would form with a slow freeze. In doing that, they end up with a creamy coconut ice cream shell! I really want to take a class like this in college! Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Bowling...

Most people think of bowling and think about how much fun they have with their friends and family. For me, I think of bowling for a team with a focus on hitting every pin down for a clean game. Clean games equal good scores and good scores equal a happy Rachel. (Clean games are games with all strikes and spares) For the past 6 years now, I have bowled for the school and on weekends, I participated in a league to improve. Every season has its ups and downs and currently, I am in a hole that I cannot seem to get myself out of. Consistency is a huge key in bowling and if you do not hit your target on the lanes consistently, everything can go downhill. The game of bowling is also about choices. "Do I use this ball and stand at the center dot and hit the second arrow or do I throw this ball and stand 4 boards to the left of the center dot and hit two boards to the left of the second arrow?" A lot of factors impact your bowling but, one thing will always remain the same: physics. Every lane, no matter which oil pattern, has Newton's Laws all over it. The force that is equal to the mass times the acceleration shown through a grown man throwing a ball that can knock down the pins with a stronger force compared to a six pound ball that is thrown by a little girl. When the darn 10-pin in the corner does not fall down (the worst pin on the planet), the second law is acting on it because there is no outside force meaning that it will stay at rest. Finally, the third law is shown when you life the ball from the return, you are putting a force on the ball and the ball is putting a force on you. Same with the approach that you walk on, you put a force on the ground and the ground puts a force on you. Well that is all for now... Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

So Who is Gauss?

At the beginning of this past unit starting electricity, we learned about Gauss's Law and how it was going to be the start of a lot of work in the future with it. I, as do many, need to spend some more time and focus on getting this figured out soon because I have a strong feeling that this will be something I struggle with for the rest of the year if I do not understand some of it soon! Although this idea was named after Gauss, Joseph-Louis Lagrange started work on this law 40 years prior to Gauss. They both put contributions towards Gauss's Law which relates the distribution of electric charge to the resulting electric field. Now, this post is really going to be about the man that created the law, Carl Friedrich Gauss. Gauss was a German mathematician who huge contributions in many areas including algebra, geophysics, mechanics, electrostatics, magnetic fields and optics. Gauss was a child prodigy when it came to math and science. Growing up, he was a perfectionist and a hard worker who devoted his life to mathematics. He had two wives and six children who, in the course of his life, all died except for one of his children. Due to these tragedies, Gauss lived a depressed and miserable life until he died at 77 in 1855.  Gauss's work paved the way for a whole new understanding in the field of electricity and magnetism which now allows us high school physics students to somewhat understand some electricity in physics! I do not understand it now, but I am now determined to learn and focus on this! Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Levitation?

After my thoughts of flying in the last blog post, I got thinking about the idea of levitation. I started looking into this idea and it actually came up that there is currently a group at the University of Bristol in England that is trying to use sound to levitate objects off of the ground. This idea was first brought up by a Russian physicist, Andrei Geim, who counteracted the gravity on Earth to float a small frog. Physicists are now working to increase the size of what they can levitate to humans and then maybe even cars! They have determined that if they are to place an object at a certain point within a sound wave, the force of gravity and the force of the sound wave will cancel each other out and leave the object floating. The "mini tornado" sound waves work in such a way that it counteracts the gravity it normally feels. Although this has only been tested on very small objects so far, hopefully it will progress to larger items and even humans soon. This is probably the best thing that I have seen all day and maybe we will see more progress with this and find people levitating in the near future!  Until next time,  RK

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crazycrochet20

 

The Incredibles

Last night, my sister brought up the sequel to The Incredibles  which got me thinking about another topic for a blog post. The movie has a lot of physics examples in it; however, there are several examples of where some laws of physics are broken. Each family member has a superpower that makes them unique but they break laws of physics that could not actually be broken in real life. Mr. Incredible has super strength which allows him to pick up cars and stop trains. When he stops the train from falling off of the broken track, he has to put a force on the train equal to the force it is traveling at in order to stop it from falling off. Although this part of it is true, I think that everyone knows that a human could not simply stop a train in the way the Mr. Incredible did in the movie. Next is Dash, the son that can run at extreme speeds which allows him to get away with putting tacks on the teacher's chair without him noticing. In his time to shine, Dash managed to run so fast that he ran across the water. If he were running this fast, why would he have to worry about getting shot at by the bad guys because their machines should not have been able to move as fast as he did. Again, I think we all know that no human can actually run across water like Dash did in the movie. This movie makes me wish that I could have a superpower, too. I think I would want to have super strength or the ability to fly (or both). Since that will never happen, I am just going to keep on dreaming! Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Need a Laugh?

Monday's seem to be the worse days of the week for me. I feel like my worst days always are on Monday. Since today is a Monday and it was another bad day, I thought I should do a blog post about some funny physics things that I found on Google and Pinterest. These all made my day a little bit better and I think they will make yours better too. I hope you all enjoy and let me know if you find anymore good ones! I love a good laugh! Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Medical Physics

Have you ever noticed how physics is everywhere and in every little thing that you do? Well of course you have because gravity is great and all. Anyways, there are so many topics and ideas that physics can relate to and it is absolutely incredible! I had originally wanted to talk about physics in the human body but then I came across the topic of medical physics. MEDICAL PHYSICS IS A THING! Medical physics is exactly as it sounds, physics that is applied to the medical field. That might not sound like a cool thing to you but it is actually really cool to look into. Medical physicists can often be found in hospital and universities where they are either working with patients or doing research. The ones who work in hospitals often work with radiotherapy, radiology, x-ray, ultrasound and nuclear magnetic resonance. Medical physicists can often play key roles in a patient's treatment plans. One prominent example is helping to treat cancer patients. Physics can contribute to saving lives! Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Foucault's Pendulum

A Foucault pendulum is a device that has been used to prove that the earth rotates. It was discovered in 1851 by a French physicist, Leon Foucault, who wanted to prove the earth's rotation and did so with his pendulum. Ideally, a Foucault's pendulum should rotate at a fixed point on surface of the earth but unless it is located at the poles, the pendulum is rotating as the earth rotates. When gravity is the only acting force on the pendulum, the pendulum will swing and rotate back to its original point in approximately 24 hours. Although the pendulum's would eventually stop due to air resistance, there is often an electromagnetic drive that is used to keep the pendulum going as it swings. All around the world, there are now pendulums often in science museums and colleges. In our area, there are several within driving distance and I would love to go an see one soon. Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Creating a Top

Wow! It is already December and we are working on rotation in class! Last year, this unit was one of the worst for me because I truly did not understand any of the concepts. I have started to figure out some of the equations and concepts but, I am going to have to work hard all this week in order to really understand the unit. In class last week, Mr. Fullerton gave us a challenge to solve. He gave us a pencil, two small paper plates and six pennies. Our task was to make a top that would spin for a longer period of time from those materials. For the blog post this week, we have to explain how this activity relates to the engineering design process. If I am being honest, I had no idea what it was and typed it right into the handy dandy Google. I found a website (sciencebuddies.org) which gave me the steps to the engineering process.  Those steps are: Define the Problem Do Background Research Specify Requirements Brainstorm Solutions Choose the Best Solution Do Development Work Build a Prototype Test and Redesign I definitely think that all of these were used in the activity with some of them slightly combined and happening all at once. Our problem was creating the top that would stay spinning for more than just a few seconds. Our research came from the information that we could see coming from the actual top and our background knowledge from the physics we had been learning. The requirements came in the form of the items we could use to make the spinning top which were the pencil, paper plates and pennies. The next few steps were combined because of time and we began to use trial and error to try and build the top. Brandon and I immediately knew that the the plates would have to have the pencil going through the center. We tested out where the plates would have to go on the pencil and eventually found that it had to be placed towards the bottom of the pencil. On the plates we tested the different distances of where to put the pennies and ended up putting the pennies at about an even distance towards the outside of the plates. Our final aspect that we fixed to make the top spin longer was put a small piece of tape at the tip of the pencil to keep it from spinning around all over the table. After that, we had created a top that spun for a decent amount of time with the many aspects we changed and tested. The next question we have to answer is relating this activity to moment of inertia and angular momentum. For the moment of inertia, the mass and radius are the factors that change moment of inertia. Since we could not really change the mass of the object, spreading out the pennies to create a larger radius impacted the moment of inertia for our top. For the angular momentum of the top, the moment of inertia and angular velocity impacted the top and allowed it to spin for a longer period of time. These two concepts combined created the top with lots of trial and error for the perfect one. Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

More Weather... Lightning!

In my previous post, I discussed the physics behind hurricanes and their formation. After the crazy lightning storm we had last night, I think writing about lightning and how it connects to physics is a good topic for this next blog post.  Lightning storms are an example of the electrostatic that occurs in nature. The result of the build up of the electrostatic charge in the clouds are those terrifying strikes. The lightning wants to take the path of least resistance where it branches out and grows. The negative particles in the clouds want to reach the ground which leaves the strikes coming down. Just like hurricanes, lightning is quite dangerous and everyone should avoid being outside during lightning storms. Everyone should also avoid standing outside with a large metal pole during one of these lightning storms unless you the desire to get struck by said lightning.  Until next time,  RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Hurricanes

Physics is everywhere in real life! Most people don't think about it, but weather is an aspect of physics. After all of the major hurricanes this year, I think looking at the physics behind the hurricane is a good idea. Hurricanes are formed when high air pressure intrudes in cold air pressure space which then rises and starts swirling and forming extremely high winds and destructive storms in a matter of days. The picture below shows why these storms are formed in the tropical regions and are able to create so much damage once it reaches land. The major physics aspect that I took from hurricanes is the Coriolis Force. This force follows Newton's Second Law but it has a rotating reference frame. When the force is applied to the Earth, it is often times called the Coriolis Effect. In most cases, the rotating object is the earth which helps account for some of the motion of objects on the earth. Looking from above, the object appears to move straight out, yet when looked at from a different angle, the object seems to have a curved path outwards. When hurricanes start to form, the air that is brought in is deflected perpendicular which also creates the spiral motion. This force also initiates the movement of the hurricane often towards land due to the rotation of the air. Once a hurricane reaches land, destruction will soon follow and remain. Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

Roller Coasters

Roller coasters are great examples the concept of conservation of energy. Using the knowledge that the initial energy should equal the final energy, we can use the equation Ui + KEi = Uf+ KEf . An example of a real life roller coaster that this equation works with is the Ride of Steel.   The website gives the information that it is a 205 ft drop (62.5 m) but the total height of the ride is 208 ft (63.4). Even though the max speed of about 75 mph (33.5 m/s) is listed on the website, we want to confirm that information through the use of conservation of energy. We are looking for the max speed at the bottom of the first large hill. For this problem, we are going to say that the velocity at the top of the hill is about 0 m/s. mgh+(1/2)mv2=mgh+(1/2)mv2 ----mass cancels out---> gh+(1/2)v2=gh+(1/2)v2 -----plug in variables-----> (9.8 m/s2)(63.4 m)+(1/2)(0m/s)2=(9.8 m/s2)(.9 m)+(1/2)(v)2 -----solve for v-----> v=35 m/s Because some values were rounded to make the math easier, the velocity for the Ride of Steel does appear to be around 75 mph. Until next time, RK

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crazycrochet20

 

William Rowan Hamilton

Before today, I would have never known who William Rowan Hamilton was. The only reason that I now know of him is because of a fantastic singing video about him. (It's a cool video, you should watch it!) Hamilton was an Irish mathematician in the 19th century who made many contributions to optics and classic mechanics. He was crazy smart. He spent his youth learning languages and then at 15 went on to discover an error in a physics theory along with contributing to other ideas. Hamilton discovered a number system that extends the complex number system as well. (ijk=-1) Overall, he was a pretty cool guy that now has a pretty cool song.   RK

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crazycrochet20

 

A Box of Minions

At the start, many of the yellow minions with cool goggles and a few strands of hair were captured by the evil Gru. Gru did not want them anymore so he decided to throw them all into a box to ship them off to an island in the middle of nowhere. Gru pushed the box at a constant speed along the ground that had friction. Once he got to the car, he realized that he would have to lift the box with a certain force. The work that Gru does is equal to the negative change in potential energy. He then flies the box of screaming minions to the island. Instead of just kicking them out of his vehicle, he uses a pulley system to reach a platform above him. He is standing with the box and himself on a platform and holding the rope. The power that Gru would have to use to sustain a constant velocity would equal the force times the velocity. From that point on the platform, Gru has a 1000 W electric motor that will raise the platform up a certain height. In 10 seconds, the box will raise that height as Gru runs away as fast as he can. However, Gru did not know that the minions had stolen the freeze ray and were waiting for the perfect time to use it... The minions stole the vehicle while Gru watched, frozen in place. Gru learned his lesson, never become an enemy of the minions. RK  

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