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About this blog

I enjoy being a student at IHS and being able to take a lot of classes in the STEM areas. I like to problem solve and create solutions, following them through from design phase to hands on building. Encountering a challenge is rewarding to me, and I believe that is the main reason I picked this class. I also have always been fascinated by concept of putting numbers to nature since I was a kid. To me, physics is like taking a big mess and then breaking it up piece by piece to understand it and bring some order to natural behaviors. That is not to say everything can be, with 100% certainty, explained in the present. After all, there is still theoretical physics and these points of points of possibility can be just as, if not more, exciting.

I look forward to reading all the other posts on here and the topics you guys choose.

-ThePeculiarParticle

Entries in this blog

ThePeculiarParticle

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Anyone who is friends with me knows I love fishing of any kind. The one which I feel is the most labor intensive per cast is most certainly fly fishing, and know any of the friends I’ve taught even the most basic casts will agree. For those who aren't familiar with fly fishing, it separates itself from any other kind with the type of rod, reel, and cats the user makes. Regular fishing uses a reel where the user casts out in one fluid motion where they wish to go. In fly fishing, the flies, or baits, are so small that the caster needs to swing the line through the air in order to get it anywhere they want. So how are casts of over 100 feet possible with flies which weigh less than a gram? Well it is actually the same principle behind a whip.

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A fly cast begins with a person raising the rod tip behind them while keeping tension in the line. Then the caster rockets their wrist forward. This flick of a wrist is all the momentum that is required to rocket the line forward. The small quick movement on the end of the rod translates to an incredibly fast traveling rod tip, acting like a lever arm spanning anywhere between 8 and 10 feet, resulting in a large amount of torque. Once the wrist has finished its flick around 1:30 position, then the momentum is transferred through the rod and to the rod tip which bends similar to a whip. The momentum doesn't stop there though, and this is the secret to a far reaching cast: the line. The momentum is transferred to the line which weighs considerably more than the fly itself in order to travel the needed distance. As the momentum travels from the fisherman’s arm, to rod, to line, the law of conservation of momentum applies. So, when momentum is transferred between each part the mass decreases, resulting in an increasing velocity of said part. By the time it reaches the end of the floating line to the leader, it is whippings through the air at incredible speeds. As mentioned before, this movement parallels the end of a whip.

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This slowed down footage of a cast shows the momentum being transferred through all mediums in order to cast the fly.

 

So, while I can explain the physics behind a cast, I still can't explain why whenever I have the prime opportunity to cast towards a fish, my fly always ends up snagged in a tree. That though is a  problem to be solved another day. I'm guessing it's some kind of undiscovered attractive force between the two.

 

As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

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Ever add too much food coloring or dye to water and wish there was a way to separate it out?

“Yea it happens all the time TPP what about it?” I hear you say. Well I just wanted to show a phenomenon where the mixing of different fluids can be reversed, but it only occurs under certain circumstances.

 Laminar flows only occur in situations depending on the viscosity or velocity of a fluid. When fluids mix slower,  there is less chance of a turbulent flow where the creation of eddies. Eddies are what cause substances to mix in other planes than just lateral. This action is immensely harder to reverse due to the chaos of mixing turbulence brings. When Laminar flows occur, the two parts of the mixture only flow in the lateral plane, allowing the layers to slide past one another. The result is that this mixing can be easily reversed by reversing the motion which mixed it originally.

So, I’m afraid the dyed water will remain a cluster of colors, but, on the bright side, you now have a great party trick to show off and impress your friends.

 

Here is a helpful video on the subject: 

 

As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

 

ThePeculiarParticle

So, as a recap for mid year, I wanted to talk about two types of physics related media . These two  sources have inspired ideas for blog posts, and are things I listen or watch for enjoyment. So without further adieu, here they are:

 

1. Twenty Thousand Hertz - What is it? Well, it is a podcast about sound. Wait don’t leave just yet... It is a lot better than it sounds, I swear. This labor of love connects the sounds we hear everyday to physics, psychology, ecology, and even history. The topics range, with subjects that could interest most listeners, and I cannot recommend this series enough. If you take anything away from this post, it would be give one a try. One of my favorites is simply titled “Space”, where sound is described interacting with different environments, including what a person’s voice would sound like on different planets. Whatever your taste is there is, an episode for it.

https://www.20k.org/archive

2. The next channel is more for those interested in engineering. It is not as widely known as some other favorites such as VSauce or Mark Rober (both of which I cannot recommend enough), but that's because it is a specific niche. If you are more curious in the engineering designs which have shaped current society and how they work alongside physics, then this is the place to be. Whether you are sure of a future in engineering or only dabble, then this is a good place to find out if something like this is a path which interests you.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR1IuLEqb6UEA_zQ81kwXfg/videos

 

As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

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

 

As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

“Alright stop, collaborate and listen
Ice is back with my brand new invention
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly
Will it ever stop yo I don't know
Turn off the lights and I'll glow.”

                        

Why would I start this blog up with Vanilla Ice’s song “Ice Ice Baby”? Well Ice is the subject of today’s blog. “BUT TPP, HOW MUCH CAN YOU TALK ABOUT ICE?” I hear you ask off in the distance from behind your computer… well, honestly, a lot. I love ice, from chilling hot summer drinks, to fishing through it in the winter. In the Northeast, we get so much of it that you have to not fully hate it to live up here.

 

Did you know there is more than one type of ice? Actually, there are at least 17! Under normal atmosphere and temperature we see hexagonal ice (or ice I). By changing pressure and temperature, the other forms can be created from here. The table below shows how they are formed. And with hexagonal ice forming polar bonds, it is able to expand up to 9% of its original volume in freshwater. We have all seen the damage this can do in potholes in the road, but how much force does it have? Well ice can withstand 43,511 pounds per square inch before it turns into ice II. So it is very strong, to the point that instead of continuing to expand, it turns into another type of ice altogether.

 

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This table shows a few of the different types of ice and their required conditions they need to form.

 

The first property I want to discuss is why ice is so slippery. The truth is dry ice is not very slippery at all. The problem occurs when melting begins. This can be either due to increasing temperatures melting the top layer, or the amount of pressure being placed on its surface. Pressure has much more to do with the phenomena than you think as the more pressure something applies to the surface the pressure increases and results in a lowered boiling point. This is an obvious problem for drivers in the winter who slip and slide due to the weight of their vehicles. But, while it can cause chaos on the roads, it is what gives joy in ice rinks everywhere. Ever wonder why skates are blades? That's because it centers all of one's body weight on an incredibly small area in order to maximize psi. The result is a smooth glide across a thin layer of water.

 

The second property is that it floats on water. I'll gloss over this since it has been ingrained in us since 3rd grade at the latest, but the truth is that this property is one of the most important. If ice simply sank and became denser whenever it froze then it would make it much harder for life to survive during times of cooling. An example would be the microbes found underneath Antarctic ice which haven't seen the light of day in millions of years. The fact it floats helps us in the summer with our hot drinks, but also when I ice fish in the winter. I can confidently place myself on four inches of black ice (not white ice which is much weaker as air is trapped in it) and I know due to its strength and buoyancy my bodyweight will be safely kept out of the freezing water. Ice is never something I mess around with, just because ice is thick in one spot doesn't mean it is anywhere else. I guess I'm just trying to say don't do anything dumb… on a physics board… filled with incredibly bright kids.

 

Anyways, that's my rant about ice. There's other topics I may touch in the future, such as the triple point of water, but for now I'm just going to chill out. I also have some awesome videos for you guys reading this far.

 

This video, while sounding eerie and like the ice is breaking, is actually the sound of ice forming. As it expands and grows it creates tiny pressure cracks which give off these odd sounds. This clip shows the full range of the ice singing from bass tones all the way to high pings.

 

 

This video is taken from planet Earth and shows another odd behavior of ice as it forms in salt water.

 

As always thanks for reading! - The Peculiar Particle

ThePeculiarParticle

STAR WARS SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!

 

It's never a good idea to go to a science fiction film and look for scientific inaccuracies. That being said, a lot of things from episode VIII a lot of things left a bitter taste in my mouth, but I'm here to talk about one scientific inaccuracy which leaves a Death Star sized hole in the story’s plot for all movies.

 

The one scene I am referring to occurs near the middle of the film when a large resistance ship, called the Raddus, aims itself at Snoke’s ship, called the Supremacy, and rams into it at light speed. This results in the ship being torn in two and a large explosion. Now everywhere I look people say the ships in star wars move through hyperspace, which is skipping dimension to dimension, but multiple times in the movie the term light speed is used. It's even used in the original trilogy by Han Solo. Also, if they were going through dimensions where they cannot interact with the mass of other things as the canon claims, in theory, the ship would not have hit the other ship. The point being is that I always shut my mind off to the idea of a collision at such speeds in order to enjoy the movies, but this changes all of that. Now, knowing that a ship can collide with another with such energy, it basically invalidates all the efforts of the rebels and the empire in the original trilogy.

 

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A shot of the scene where the Supremacy is struck by the Raddus.

 

Let's assume that that the ships are going slower than the speed of light, even 95% (284,802,835 m/s). Also, let’s assume that an object does not gain mass as it approaches the speed of light which would make our energy value greater than it already is. Given the estimate for the mass of an X-wing is around 5500 kg, the kinetic energy of one traveling at this speed is 2.2306E+20 J. The energy of the asteroid which killed the dinosaurs was estimated to be about 1E+23 J. While that is on a different magnitude, it would only take a 25,000 kg object to have the same amount of energy. To put that in perspective, that is about 10 of the 2,300,000 limestone blocks which make up the Great Pyramid. So in this sense, a Death Star was never needed. Just strap a engine onto a random large asteroid and hurl it at a planet. No master death star plans, no single point to be used to blow it up., just a rock with a thruster on it. And as for the rebels, they could have done the same thing with the Death Star and lost many less lives. So there's the little rant I have about that scene, which while cool, puts a bigger hole in the plot than it did in that destroyer.

I’m just going to get back to work and pretend that milk scene never happened…

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As always, thanks for reading - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

 

Second quarter was a much different quarter than last quarter, specifically the last half. Mechanics ended, giving way to the electricity and magnetism units, and in turn giving me a solid kick in the rear. All other classes are managing to heat up as well, in fact, they have been for a while. I tried doing something different by writing my blogs in a word document, separately from just posting them, to see if I want to add anything. This only resulted I'm me scrapping a few ideas which were mostly written because I had not liked them enough. It also didn't help with staying ahead because no blogs went out. There is a lesson and a half learned. I would say the major success of this quarter was doing a lab in less than 20 minutes because it was so well planned out, and honestly that is a big help for the future. Other than those things, and an 80 question WebAssign, I would say it was a pretty fun and challenging quarter, just as I’ve come to expect. Now that this quarter is coming to an end, it is  time to buckle up and brace for the exams ahead. Good luck everyone! :jig:

 

Thanks for Reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

 

On October 15th 1991, an event which challenged our scientific understanding of our universe occurred.

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The particle that was registered is now referred to as the “Oh My God Particle” after the statement blurted out upon detecting it. Under the night sky of Utah’s Cosmic Ray Detector, a particle was recorded going 99.99999999999999999999951% the speed of light. To put that in perspective, that is faster than even the highest recorded speed of a proton recorded in the Large Hadron Collider, which was 99.999999% the speed of light. It takes increasingly more energy to speed up a particle as it approaches the speed of light, making this difference quite significant. This means if we raced the OMG particle against a particle with plank energy ( 0.00000000000000000000049% speed of light), it would take 2.59×1010 the age of the universe for the particle with plank energy to gain 1 cm on the OMG particle.

 

So how do particles naturally accelerate to these speeds in space? Well that's the question many scientists today are asking. Physicist in Argentina, in the Pierre Auger Observatory, believed they were on the right track when they saw that these types of particles emitted from the hearts of certain galaxies, but over time the data showed this assertion did not hold water.

 

As of 2014, in the same state where the first  particle was recorded, scientists working the Telescope Array, made up of 500 particle detectors found that  these particles seemed to emanate from one portion of our night sky. This indicated a source much closer than previously thought. As of recently, no further findings have been published. Yet another space mystery we may have a chance of solving in my lifetime, but in the meantime we will just have to look up at the skies and wonder.

 

As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

The objective of the lab TheNightKing and I performed this week was to create a functioning top with the given materials of a pencil, 2 paper plates, 6 pennies, and tape. In relation to the engineering design process this would be the problem or objective we need to focus our ideas around.

Our next step would be research, but , due to our lack of time, we pulled from our knowledge gained throughout this past unit and our previous year physics. One of the main principles to keep a top up is angular momentum. The equation for spinning angular momentum is rotational inertia x angular velocity. So we need to spin it as fast as possible and, most importantly, we need to give it the largest quantity of rotational inertia possible. So, ignoring the pencil rod at the moment and plates, we knew we needed to get the pennies as far away from the center as possible since the equation of a mass away from the axis of rotation for a given mass is mr^2.  So, by increasing the radius, we could get a larger quantity of spinning angular momentum.

Stating and listing the requirements would be the next step in the engineering process, but we were already given them in the objective.

The next step is to brainstorm, evaluate, and choose solution. We chose to use the pencil as our main post and then centered and poked it through the two plates. We then taped the pennies to the outskirts of the plate as this would put their mass at the farthest points away from the center of mass as possible.

Our prototype was created and now we began testing. The top originally wobbled so much that it wouldn’t spin so we adjusted the pennies. We Adjusted until we had the top balanced which decreased the wobble dramatically.  That being said, it was not as stable as we ideally would like. This is when FizziksGuy gave us a nudge in the right direction by asking which part was the most unstable. We both noticed that it was the very top of the pencil. In our efforts to make the top more stable, we broke the pencil to a fourth of the size and therefore dramatically lowering the center of mass. Now the top was much more stable as the distance of the center of mass from the ground is substantially less than before.  

After all this testing, we felt our top was substantially more stable and adequately addressed the problem, being able to spin for longer than 30 seconds at a time. The last step in the engineering design process is communicating our results which coincidentally are all explained above. Engineers are used not only to create solutions, but to improve on the efficiency of current ones, so to this effect, had we had a longer time frame I am sure the results could have been even better.

As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

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When I look back to past Thanksgivings, I remember the smell of turkey baking, my sister leaving after the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and clicking over to the Science Channel to watch one of the most prestigious competitions of the year: Pumpkin Chunkin. The goal of the competition is to use a variety of heavy machines to blast pumpkins as far as possible. The different divisions consisted of air cannons,  trebuchets,  torsion, and “centrifugal” machines. While the trebuchets and torsion divisions are the flashiest, and the air cannons blast pumpkins the farthest, the “centrifugal” machines are what I wish to focus on.

 

Now we are aware that referring to the forces exerted on the pumpkin being referred to as centrifugal does not make sense. The net force acting on the pumpkin as a result of its rotation is actually referred to as centripetal due to it being directed towards the focal point of the machine (center of the circular path). The reason the pumpkin flies is because once it's released, wherever that may be on the rotational path, the instantaneous tangential velocity dictates in which direction the pumpkin will travel.

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This diagram shows the behaviors of an object on a rotating path which I mentioned above.

 

 

 

This team is titled “Bad to the Bone”, and besides having a machine which terrifies me from behind a computer screen, their contraption can fling a pumpkin up to 3,245.58 feet. I’ve been doing my research, trying to find a measurement for the pumpkin’s initial velocity, even trying to see how fast the arm gets before it launches the pumpkin, but nothing shows up. I even tried to look at numerous videos, but the arm is always swinging too fast to make any reasonable assumptions. In fact, there is little to no data on ANY of the machines for that matter. I would have loved to calculate the pumpkin’s initial speed or revolutions per minute, but there are too many uncertainties.

 

Oh well, sometimes you are the pumpkin and sometimes you are the ground. In this case I guess I am the pumpkin as knowing so little leaves me a little… crushed.giphy-downsized-large.gif.e501ada76c4c03f6846c1b1b9ccfd833.gif

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

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I was a fan of Pokémon for a very brief time as a kid, but it stopped the same summer it started.  So, when a recent post went around about an Onix’s size compared to a Pokéball, courtesy of etracey99, I was a little interested in the subject.  I began wondering, what exactly is this rock monster made out of?

The answer shocked me.

In order to do this, we need the density of the Pokémon. The first step is to find the volume of this behemoth.  To do this, I gathered information such as that it is 28’ 1’’ in length.  Now this is nice, but since it is made up of a series of boulders, I can’t easily calculate the volume like a cylinder. Instead, I made the assumption each part of the Pokémon was a uniform sphere. I know it is an estimate, but just remember it is an animated monster so please just relax.

Anyways, from the picture above, some string, and some guess work, I calculated the diameter of a single bolder to be the length of Brock’s leg. His height is never given, so, knowing that the average height for a 15 year old is 5’ 7’’, it can be estimated that the diameter of a single rock is 33.5 inches.

From there the length of the Onix at 28’ 1’’ can be converted to 337’’, and divided by 33.5’ to give us a rounded 10 whole boulders which make up the body. The volume of a single boulder is 19,684.89 in^3, so, multiplying by ten for each bolder results in a total volume of 196,848.9 in^3. This seems like a lot, but when translated to metric it results in 3.22577 m^3.

Now, as for the mass, we can get this information from the official Bulbapedia which etracey99 used to gain his information. The mass is 210kg, which seems very low, but I used it in my calculations anyways.

The calculation for density is mass/volume so plugging in (210kg)/(3.22577m^3) resulted in a density of 65.1 kg/m^3 . Now came the time to look it up, and the results shocked me. The closest values it came to were sawdust (64.1 kg/m^3), carbon black powder (64.1 kg/m^3), peanut shell refuse (64.1 kg/m^3), and talcum powder (64.1 kg/m^3).

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 So there you have it, the rock Pokémon made out of BABY POWDER!!! The science doesn’t really give any closure here. It just proves that things are not always what they seem, but then again, I’m a student trying to rationalize a rock monster.

 

As always, thanks for reading! –ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

To sum up this quarter, it has had ups and downs, but gladly a majority of it was ups. The biggest lesson I learned is that, while this is an applied calculus class, it is more of a learned calculus class because so much calculus is used in physics before it is learned in the classroom. The best thing to compare it to is a special kind of road trip. You know where you are starting and the final destination and, most importantly, why you need to get there, but the second you look down at your road map, you remember you can’t read, understand symbols, and heck, the road map hasn’t even been fully unfolded yet.

The good news is that you have the resources to figure it out. I remember watching the educator video on air resistance and the use of differential equations and integrals to a level I hadn’t seen before, and while it honestly left me kind of fuzzy, it was a lot of fun knowing that’s where we were going.  I can understand why it can be somewhat jarring, but as a class I know we have the persistence and resources to figure this out. We have the textbook which gives an overview of these principles, the educator videos which can give overviews and practice, the internet is basically an open book where we could self teach ourselves, we have other students, and the man who wrote the textbook is our teacher.

This brings me to our next point. Many people look at this class and see how independent it is. After the first quarter, I’m going to have to disagree with that statement. The support and cooperation of other students in the class is more than I have seen in any other class, both inside and outside of the classroom. If someone takes this class thinking it is meant to be fully independent they will fail. Just remember, there are others to help and deadlines… lots and lots of deadlines.

Thanks for reading-ThePeculiarParticle

 

ThePeculiarParticle

 

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That standard blue glow associated with radiation has much more behind it than meets the eye. This phenomenon is called Cherenkov radiation. The blue glow is a result of particles moving faster than the speed of light.

“WAIT THEY CAN’T DO THAT! STOP LYING! OH THE HUMANITY!” I hear off in the distance. Yes, in certain circumstances it is possible. We learned last year about the refractive index which is a ratio of velocity of light in a vacuum ( c ) which is 3x10^8m/s over how fast it can travel in a medium.

 

The equation is shown below:

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The larger the n value, the slower light moves in a certain medium. In water, which is common in most reactors, light travels at 75% of the speed it would in a vacuum. As a result of this, certain particles such as electrons which are shot off as a result of nuclear fission can move faster than light in the particular medium.

The result is like a jet as it flies and creates a sonic boom from over lapping sound waves. The photons emitted by the water collect behind the moving electron and give off a blue light.

 

The animation bellow shows what it looks like in action.

Cherenkov_radiation-animation.gif

So, this is not new information to change science as we know it, just a natural behavior which gives off an unnatural glow.

 

As always thanks for reading. - ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

So, we always talk about the coefficient of friction in dynamics, but we don’t talk about what causes it. The truth is there are multiple factors. The one most people think of is based upon how rough a surface is.  Coarse grit sandpaper requires more force, and takes more material off an object, than fine grit. The same idea applies to smooth objects on a much smaller scale. Even something as smooth as the surface of a polished table, on a much smaller scale, has ridges and valleys. These imperfections are known as asperities (such an odd vocabulary word) and look similar to this.

220px-Asperities.svg.png

The top shows asperities between two objects before a load (force) is applied and the bottom shows after.

 

These ridges and valleys are shaped in a way so that they oppose the movement in the direction the force is being applied. This seems pretty intuitive, but then there are instances of smooth surfaces sticking together, such as gauge blocks or wafers.

 

I remember hearing about how gauge blocks could be “stuck” together and measured for more specific tolerances, but never understood why. Well the answer is a result of how they are made. Both gauge blocks and silicon wafers are polished very accurately for their uses, resulting in an extremely flat surface. The result is that the asperities are very limited leaving the contact between the two materials at a maximum.

Van der Waals forces then take into effect if limited material or residue is on either surface. To sum up the effect, atoms have electron clouds, and while we ideally picture them as uniform, they naturally are not.  One side will have a slightly greater negative charge and the other will have a slightly greater positive. The surrounding atoms, will align themselves negative to positive resulting in a “sticky” force between them also known as London dispersion force.  It is also important to mention each individual electron cloud’s orientation is momentary, but across all atoms there are enough places where it occurs for the resulting force to be noticeable on a macro scale.

Image result for van der waals forces

This animation shows Van der Waals force in action.

 

So, while the rougher a surface becomes the more friction it can have, the same can be said for how smooth a surface is.

This is a very basic overview of what I learned, and I’m sure there is even more science behind these things the higher up you go, and I’ll see if I can update this, but consider this an overview.

 

I also found a very interesting related video which will be linked bellow.

 

As always thanks for reading – ThePeculiarParticle

 

 

ThePeculiarParticle

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What is this?

Over the summer I participated in Photon Camp at  the University of Rochester with a few classmates. It was an awesome experience by the way! The main reason I’m here is to talk about the project I worked on in a group of 4. Each student had a different project. So, if you need an idea for a blog post, there you go.

My group was studying photolithography which is the process of creating patterns using light. We worked with Professor Bryan McIntire and were able to go into the clean room and actually perform the process on a series of silicon wafers coated in the photoresist. The first step was to coat the plate in primer, which applied via spin adhesion, so that a layer 1.4 micrometers thick was evenly spread across the surface. Then it was time to perform the actual process.

The main component which allows this process to work is the photoresist. There are two kinds: positive, which breaks down when exposed to light, and negative, which polymerizes when exposed to light. We used a negative photoresist when exposing our wafers to light.

We performed two different processes when exposing them. In the first, UV light can be run through a mask, projecting the image of the mask onto the surface coated in the photoresist.  The other option was to laser-write, by placing the wafer under a 405 nanometer laser, exposing the wafer in a designated pattern. The chemical structure of the photoresist is changed, becoming soluble and then is washed away, revealing the Silicon Dioxide layer underneath. The etching process is next, using Hydrofluoric acid to wash away the Silicon Dioxide. Afterwards, the wafer is washed with Acetone, removing the protective layer, and showing the true colors of the wafer. If the piece is multiple layers, then Hydrofluoric Acid would be withheld and another layer of  Silicon Dioxide can be placed over the first layer to act as a base layer for photoresist to be applied onto. In the final step, the Silicon Dioxide between layers is removed, leaving only silicon, creating the final product.

 

So why is this important?

 

Large amounts of energy and money go into cooling the information systems we use on a daily basis. As internet usage increases so will the amount of facilities and power needed to support this. It is theorized this system will not be viable in the future without breakthroughs in energy production, but photonics may promise another solution. Using photonics to transmit information does not create nearly as much heat, causing many scientists to look to it as a way to alleviate the dependence on energy used to cool electronics.

 

The process of making technology more compact is hindered greatly by the amount of transistors which would be located on an integrated circuit. A concept referred to as Moore's Law states that the amount of transistors on a given area for the same price doubles every two years. The process of photolithography is the next step in this process as the resolution achieved using smaller wavelengths allows for a dramatic increase in the concentration in the amount of transistors placed. The resolution achieved by EUV radiation can be 18nm. Looking further past this, in order to get an even better resolution, a process using an electron beam would be needed.  Photonics may hold the solution to the problem it has created.

 

Equation for resolution (how small the patterns can be) R~ (Wavelength)/(Numerical Aperture)  

 

Here are some pictures of the wafers we made:

 

This is the first plate which we made light channels on.

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This image shows two waveguides(light tunnels) converging.  Each waveguide measures 2 microns across. Some professors use this to study how light rays behave as they get close to one another.

 

This is the second plate that had a series of patterns etched onto it in order to create different types of diffraction gratings.

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These dots were made by drawing lines 5 microns wide and are the same ones shown in the first image of this blog.

 

J1MBPbuF1o7DR9UoDEfKHl665OPR9TNw6PspF7b3bQnpaaeo_MgIbpYsy2VBX9wJaxdHeti3K8nQsQtYVZKD5hJ6gY5jBpt84EgNYPhJwFAQFB2vec-twB3kgPOeOZh88aEkAkKq

This picture shows the edge of a horizontal diffraction grating.



 

And finally this is the third plate which the universities crest was etched on.

image.png.4e3356e34689ef7098ec62df999410e1.png

 

Thanks for reading, and if you have any younger siblings interested in the camp I highly recommend it!

 

-ThePeculiarParticle

ThePeculiarParticle

 

Image result for guitar pickups

Yes, there has been some delay between posts, I apologize, but life is busy as usual. This week I wanted to cover the topic of pickups for string instruments. So I play electric bass and wondered the other day how different pickups get different tones and sounds out of them. You can have warm, mellow, fuzzy, even screechy tones all based on the different models.

 

To answer this, we need to see how a pickup actually “picks up” the string vibrations, and it does so through Faraday’s Law. Faraday’s Law states that changing a magnetic field creates an electric current. Now the magnets mounted on the instrument are static, but the strings which vibrate are not. The vibration of a string disrupts the field and causes an electrical signal to be the output. The only time this is a problem is when a harmonic results in a node occurring over the pickup and  register as silent due to the string not oscillating at that point. This is where multiple pickups can be handy as they  can add a signal together if both register a frequency or one can register a frequency if the other has a node above it.

 

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 Here is a picture of the system used to pick up an electrical signal.

 

Many pickups are single coil as shown by a single row of magnets. While this may be a cheaper option, it is more prone to interference from surrounding equipment and signals. The most commonly used alternative is a Humbucker.

 

Humbuckers work by using two coils housing magnets of opposite polarity. This creates signals out of phase in each coil. If these coils connect correctly it results in external electromagnetic  fields, such as from power lines, to be canceled out and the guitar signal is doubled.

 

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This diagram shows a simple circuit for a pickup. The resistor for tone effectively acts as a filter for higher level frequencies. Adjust the resistor and the frequencies which get cut also changes. The resistor bellow controls volume or amplitude of the signal before it travels through the cable to the larger amplifier. Every single one differs slightly so that the signals to every pickup on an instrument can combine and create a unique sound.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

-ThePeculiarParticle

 

ThePeculiarParticle

 

 

 

gravitywave.gif.023ea53a1a185a19a04a6b14d72d8681.gif

Besides acting as an eye catching graphic, this animation shows the interaction between two bodies which causes gravitational waves.

Amidst increasing international and domestic tensions, it is hard to find any news agencies talking about 1.8 billion year old news anymore. This week, LIGO observatories announced the detection of gravitational waves back in August caused by two colliding black holes. It is estimated that both black holes had the mass of 53 suns.

As for what gravitational waves are, they are ripples in spacetime caused by usually very large gravitational interactions. This is not the first time they have been detected.  The two VIRGO observatories, one located in Washington and one located in Louisiana, were able to narrow down the region of space for prior waves origins to arcs which could fit over 3000 full moons. A new detector in Italy, named Virgo, became the key piece in triangulating this signal to a smaller point in space of only 300 full moons.

 FourthGravitationalWaveSignal.jpg.00defe7bb996d9581413e6bca594db34.jpg

This image shows the areas of detection for the previous gravitational phenomena projected onto a spherical representation of the milky way.  The latest (GW170814) is substantially  smaller in area than the others. 

As for why this matters, within the next few years another LIGO detector is scheduled to go online in India and another, named KAGRA, in Japan in order to make this area smaller. The more observatories we have means more accurate readings and decreases the likelihood of any false signals. The more data we can receive the more we can learn about the behavior of the universe.
This latest reading confirms that gravitational waves have 3 dimensional polarization further proving another part of relativity. In the future, scientists wish to learn more about the exact moment of the collision, specifically, if they are lucky enough to catch two neutron stars and see any radiation. They also wish to know if any matter or light is emitted from these collisions. Frankly, the information we know about is practically nothing. At this point, any data is vital to expanding our understanding of the universe and bring some method to its madness. Hope everyone enjoys their week and puts their ear to the ground on any future information.

-ThePeculiarParticle

 

I don't claim to be an expert in this field. In fact, I am not even close, so if you wish to know more here is the link to their website:

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news

 

 

ThePeculiarParticle

The holy grail of serves in volleyball is the jump spin serve. A serve going over a 2.43 m (7' 11 5/8”) can be understandably difficult for many, but higher level players are constantly trying to deliver more speed and directional movement to the ball in order to make it harder for the opposing team to return. The jump spin’s first benefit is, that by jumping, added height is given to the point at which the ball is contacted.  By doing this, the difference in height between the ball and the top of the net decreases, allowing for the serve to follow a flatter path than if hit while standing. This effectively reduces the travel time of the ball by making it a one sided curve rather than a parabola.

The added benefits of a spin serve is that the ball can handle much higher speeds than a float (no spin) serve, and requires more effort to pass. The Magnus effect is to thank for this.

 What happens is that, as the volleyball player starts their approach, they throw the ball up giving it spin away from themselves. They then jump and contact the ball as it spins, giving it the topspin required to achieve the effect. To summarize the Magnus effect, when an object rotates, it has air which clings to its surface and follows its rotation. This layer then collides with oncoming air, which hits the ball as it travels in the horizontal plane. The deceleration caused by this collision creates, in this case, a high pressure pocket of air above the ball and a low pocket of pressure below. The object then is acted upon by a lift force, in this case known as a Magnus force, due to the object being compelled to travel in the direction away from the high pressure pocket of air to the low pressure pocket.

 

 image.png.4a24a29e9255d7cc1971bc6ccbfc869b.png

This illustration shows the top spin given to the ball, the low air pressure below the ball, and high pressure above the ball, and the resulting force.

 

Effectively, the velocity can be increased since the greater the spin the faster the ball will drop.  When passing the ball, players must also be cautious.  If it hits their arms without providing some sort of counter spin, like pulling their arms in as it hits, then the ball will keep its spin from friction, and go off the passers arms behind them.

The jump spin serve is a mean serve on many levels, and those, like TheNightKing (shout out), who can do it fairly consistently, are valuable at varsity level and nearly necessary to play in higher levels. Just make sure you put spin on the ball before you contact it as hard as possible, otherwise it will fly into the next county instead of hitting the court.

Here are some other videos on the Magnus effect:

 Jump serve:

Magnus effect explained and its applications:

 

Added Note:

Here is that KFC I was talking about...

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ThePeculiarParticle

 

1.

A.) There are several misconceptions about studying that can hurt you in the long run which include:

  • Learning is fast

  • Knowledge is composed of isolated facts

  • Being good is a born talent

  • I can multitask

B.) The misconception which resonates with me the most is that “knowledge is composed of isolated facts”. It seems that many teachers, when focusing on studying, believe that vocabulary is the best way to digest information. Personally, I have always had trouble studying in this way. Now, knowing that mapping out information is the way to go, I feel like my study habits are already better prepared than I once thought for this year.

C.) Many students need to develop a new sense of metacognition once they arrive at college. This is the perceived sense of awareness on a certain topic. Many students when taking their first exam, go in overconfident not realizing that they have not prepared well enough to pass the exam. Only through good study skills, along with trial and error can a person develop an accurate sense of metacognition.

 

2.

A.) Many students have misconceptions on what factor plays the biggest role in successful learning. The truth is that what you think about when studying is most important. The less distractions a person has, the more focused a studying experience they can have by using methods of deep processing.

B.) Deep processing is going beyond simply trying to store the information given to you, as it is unlikely your brain will retain it. It is expected that deeper connections are made with the material which include: creating an emotional connection, organizing and visualizing how information goes together, or asking yourself questions how a teacher would. Deep processing is much more about comprehending the whole subject matter rather than being able to pull out tiny bits of information. This will be much more valuable on a test, and even in the long run, when future topics build off the same information.

C.)

1.Minimizing Distractions - With more distractions more time is spent not studying and not absorbing the information.

2.)Developing accurate metacognition- It is important, as a student, to know one's limits and when they can push themselves further in order show they have mastered the work.

3.)Deep, appropriate processing of critical concepts - Using deep thought and connecting all information can be quite difficult but it is one of the only ways to learn a topic thoroughly.

4. Practicing retrieval and application - This acts as a simulated testing situation forpeople as they need to be able to recite and connect information in a coherent and quick manner.


 

3.

A.) Optimising learning is the number one way to prepare yourself for any exam or future instances where you need to need to look back upon learned information. The first strategy is elaboration, such as, how do concepts relate to other concepts. An example would be relating derivatives to finding instantaneous forms of motion on a graph, as it spans the gap between physics and calculus and provides real world applications. The next aspect is distinctiveness. For this unit alone, recognizing that average velocity is different than instantaneous velocity can mean the difference of understanding a problem or getting the incorrect answer. Another aspect is making information personal. I believe many of the problems in class already achieve this by focusing on topics which center around comedic scenarios or people’s interests. The blog posts will be our personal time to relate physics to what we are passionate about. The fourth aspect is practicing appropriate retrieval and application. I feel the best way to do this is by helping others as you need to know the information to teach it and it truly makes a person verbalize the varying concepts in their head. The second to last aspect is Automaticity, which usually lends itself to practicing an excessive amount of problems on the subject. If you can look at a problem, and have done so many practice problems where you know how to start it and then work through it without truly struggling, you have achieved this level of mastery. The final aspect is overlearning. To do this one must study the information to the point it can be recalled quickly and easily. I believe the best way to do this, for me, is to sit down with someone else and try having a conversation/interview about the topic to the point where it seems natural. At this point, a person should be able to tackle the comprehensive questions which are given to them.

 

4.

A.)  What is metacognition? Metacognition is the ability to tell how well you have mastered a material.

In the video, how did the teacher test for metacognition? Prof. Chew asks his students what they predict they shall score on their first test. He then compares it to their actual scores. The estimated percent is a x coordinate with the actual being the y coordinate. A line with a slope of 1 was created and anyone who scored lower than the line shows a sense of overconfidence and lack of metacognition.

How does poor metacognition hurt academic success? Poor metacognition can fool a person into feeling they are ready for a test when they are not causing them to fail.

Why would metacognition that was good in high school be bad in college? In high school the curriculum focuses more on shallow learning and memorizing small facts while college focuses on deep learning over prolonged periods of time.  

What are the critical differences between deep and shallow processing? Deep processing centers much more around why and how things work and connect. Shallow processing is more simply reciting information.

Name a task you already do where you automatically use deep processing.  When I play volleyball I use deep processing especially when analyzing a hitter that I am supposed to be blocking. How is he an asset to the team? What are his strengths? What are his weaknesses? How does he plan to perform this play and how can I react to his move in the best possible way? All of these questions bounce around in nearly an instant between play.

 

B.) Just as in a real world lecture, writing down everything the video tells you is a bad idea and will leave the important notes lost in a sea of less usefull information. Notes should paraphrase and summarize in order to be a useful tool. Video lectures are nice as they are already recorded so any information missed can be gone back to if not fully understood or needed to be explored further. While it is much harder to miss a video lecture than an in class lecture, taking the notes and copying them from someone else is a horrible idea, as you are using second hand information as your first hand. The best source to get it from is the lecture itself and, most importantly, a person can have faith that they are not writing down any misinformation.The tip for organizing notes is necessary for both, as notes are not a one time source of information. When a person inevitably looks back on them, they want to be able to quickly access the topic and information they are looking for amidst all the others.

C.) A study group is very valuable in this class. I already have a small one forming and, so far, it has worked out tremendously with each member contributing to different problems which the others were stuck on. The best method of learning is through teaching others and, when that can happen equally amongst people in a group setting, then it is a beneficial relationship for all parties involved.

 

5.

A.)There are appropriate ways to handle an exam which can aid you in future exams, but there are other habits which shall certainly hurt you. Some behaviors to avoid while preparing are: studying the same as you did for prior exams, waiting to ask for help, skipping class to catch up on others, cramming, falling behind, and skipping assignments. The main things to avoid directly after you do poorly on an exam are panicking and going into denial. A person should look at this moment and take it as the learning experience that it is and take the steps necessary to do better in the future.

B.) If you do end up failing, there are some strategies which help greatly. The strategies recommended are: to honestly examine how you prepared, review the exam, compare it with your notes, talk with your professor, examine your study habits and develop a plan for your future.

C.) A few helpful strategies can guarantee a good grade for the future. These steps include: committing an appropriate amount of time and effort to your work, minimizing any distractions you experience, attending class, setting realistic study goals, not letting work slide, as it will only build up, and not giving away easy points (not following simple instructions). With these tips grades can improve along with your outlook on failure not being an obstacle but a learning point.  

ThePeculiarParticle

Who I Am

I enjoy being a student at IHS and being able to take a lot of classes in the STEM areas. I like to problem solve and create solutions, following them through from design phase to hands on building. Encountering a challenge is rewarding to me, and I believe that is the main reason I picked this class. I also have always been fascinated by concept of putting numbers to nature since I was a kid. To me, physics is like taking a big mess and then breaking it up piece by piece to understand it and bring some order to natural behaviors. That is not to say everything can be, with 100% certainty, explained in the present. After all, there is still theoretical physics and these points of points of possibility can be just as, if not more, exciting.

What I am mainly looking forward to about the class is the university feel of it. It is easily one of the most independent classes in the school and will be a good course in preparation for next year. The thing I look the least forward to is the workload, but it seems, with some time management and determination, the workload will be fine. I look forward to reading all the other posts on here and the topics you guys choose.

-ThePeculiarParticle

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