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The Wizard of Oz

Over the weekend, the movie the Wizard of Oz was playing on TV and my mother was reminiscing about how she was so mesmerized by the colorful movie when she first saw it. This inspired me to do some more research on what is commonly (but mistakenly) thought of as the first movie made in color and how it was filmed.

Image result for the wizard of oz

The Wizard of Oz was filmed in Technicolor, which was also the name of a corporation developed by two physics professors from MIT. An article from the MIT Technology Review titled The Advent of Technicolor says that in the initial model of the Technicolor camera, it "split the light from a scene to simultaneously expose two adjacent frames on the negative, one behind a red filter and the other behind a green filter. As the film ran through a projector, separate beams of light passed through the identical frames; focused by a prism, they combined into a single color image on the screen." This method ended up being pretty difficult to perfect and inefficient, however it touches on the spectrum of light and the effect on light after passing through a prism.


I enjoyed learning about this in physics last year and I hope to learn more about this process in the future. I also included a video that touches on how a modern digital camera works as well as how the human eye works. I can't believe how much I learned and I can't wait to learn more!





As we approach the end of the first quarter, it was a bit of a scramble to get all of my blog posts done. First quarter is always rough for me because it is very busy and hectic; nonetheless, I neglected doing blog posts and held off until the last moment possible to complete them. I regret this decision now that it has come to the final hour. I think it would greatly benefit me to try to work on one blog post each weekend so that I can stay on track and not have to cram at the very end. Over the course of the week, I can develop ideas about what the post should be about and over the weekend I can blog about it and post it. This isn't a new idea that I am suddenly coming up with to solve all my problems. The idea had already been presented to me, and I failed to follow through with it. Going into the second quarter, it would be a large help to have this routine down so that I can confidently complete all the necessary posts for physics class. 


My weekends are usually spent working at Wegmans where people most often pay using a credit card. The new chip readers don’t always work and people always wish they could just go back to the old method of swiping. Interestingly enough, there is a significant amount of physics behind the simple swipe payment that I thought it might be interesting to explore.

To get a basic understanding of how a credit card works, you can think of the black strip on the back of the card as a strip of magnets placed in a specific pattern. When you swipe the card, the credit card machine’s coil of wires causes a change in the magnetic field. This is called electromagnetic induction. The change in magnetic field induces a voltage that creates a current that is used to signal your account information to the machine.

I never knew that all of this went on when someone swiped their card at Wegmans! I hope to learn more about this in the future when we start learning electricity and magnetism. For a more in-depth explanation of how a credit card works, visit this website: http://pages.vassar.edu/ltt/?p=965


Flight is a magnificent natural ability of birds and what seems like a tremendous accomplishment for man-made aircraft's that average at a weight of over 300 tons. So I thought I would explore more into this amazing ability and the physics behind it. Here is what I learned.
In order to fly, a bird or a plane must overcome both the force of gravity and drag forces as it is moving through the air. The force that opposes weight is known as lift and the force that opposes drag is called thrust. Lift is generated from the shape of the wings that cause air to move faster over the top of the wings and slower underneath. This means that there is lower air pressure above the wings and higher air pressure underneath them. The force from the pressure difference which is called the life force, exceeds the weight of the bird and the bird is able to fly. Here is an image demonstrating what is called the Bernoulli effect.
When you look into an amount of lift that a pair of wings can produce, you have to take in to consideration factors such as wing size, air speed, air density, and the angle of the wings with respect to the direction of the flight. A wings lift is directly proportional to the surface area of the wing, so a wing twice as large can carry twice as much weight. To simplify the relationship between lift and airspeed and air density, it can be said that if a bird flies twice as fast, it can generate four times as much lift. And if a plane flies where the air density is a quarter of the density of the air at sea level, then it must fly twice as fast to maintain the same amount of lift. Lastly, lift increases as angle of attack increases, but only up to a certain critical angle. The angle of attack is the angle between the wing and the direction of the oncoming wind. Past that critical angle, stall occurs as the air stops flowing smoothly over the top surface and instead peels away, leaving a turbulent wake. 

Prettu interesting!! To read more on this topic and where I found most of my information, check out this presentation:




Stranger Things is a popular show on Netflix set in the 80's following the lives of three young boys as they try to rescue their friend Will from "the upside down." Here is a clip of the boys science teacher explaining it a little:

Throughout the show, the upside down is described as a parallel universe, or an alternate dimension. However, as you dive deeper into the physics behind these concepts, there is perhaps a better way to describe the upside down. According to the following video, the upside down could be better described as a parallel reality. The video also dives into some crazy physics that explains how "the upside down" from stranger things could really exist. You can dive a lot deeper into the talk of other dimensions and universes and time travel and string theory, and the list goes on. But for now, I can appreciate the somewhat simplistic explanation that this video provides. 

It's cool to analyze the science behind Stranger Things and dive into what's realistic about parallel realities. But I hope that demogorgon's are in fact fiction.


Many times during our class, our physics teacher, Mr. Fullerton, has said how he would love to sit in on one of Mr. Guercio's classes one day because it seems like it would be really interesting. I found this humorous, but I never expected that physics would make its way into my English classroom in a completely different way. 

As I walked into Mr. Guercio's room the other day, the door started slowly closing on me despite the fact that it had a brick in front of it being used for a doorstop. My first instinct was to suggest that this was caused by the fact that the brick was hollow and not heavy enough to stop the door. However upon speaking to Mr. Guercio, I realized that the door closing on me was caused by a different problem. Mr. Guercio said that the brick used to be part of a wall in the school until they expanded the building. He said that he had found the brick when he started teaching at the school and had been using it as a doorstop for a long time. So it was not the brick that was too light, but that there was not enough friction. Since it had been used for so long as a doorstop, the brick had matted down the carpet and there was no longer enough friction between the floor and the brick to prevent the brick from moving. Thus, it was no longer an effective door stop.

Although this is a very basic application of physics in the real world, it was interesting to find that there is always a different way to look at a physics problem. Sometimes gaining new information from a different perspective can make all the difference. Unfortunately for Mr. Guercio, his door might stay shut for a while until he can find what he called "a carpet rake" to make the brick work again. 


Understanding the physics behind rotational motion can be very challenging and is usually a unit I have to spend more time on to be able to comprehend. But fidget spinners on the other hand are super simple! So I figured why not try to understand something complicated with something a little more basic. One topic about rotational motion that is used a lot when talking about a car breaking is the difference between sliding friction and rolling friction. Rolling friction is much smaller in value than sliding friction, so it is important to take into consideration whether a car is rolling or sliding in certain physics problems. Fidget spinners can be used to demonstrate this difference. Cheap fidget spinners that do not have ball bearings in the center spin for maybe a couple seconds before stopping. But high quality spinners with ball bearings can spin for much longer time periods. In an article from Fatherly.com titled "Fidget Spinner Physics and Rolling Friction Explained" it says that rolling friction is "far weaker than run-of-the-mill sliding friction because the surface of contact between the ball and the floor is relatively insignificant." To read more on this visit https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/fidget-spinner-physics-explainer-rolling-friction/.

And because it's fun to watch, I included a video from Dude Perfect with Fidget Spinner Trick Shots. Enjoy!



In the spirit of Halloween, I created a spooky story that links together a couple of multiple choice problems from the Work, Energy, and Power exam that we took on Wednesday 10/25 last week. I hope you enjoy and Happy Halloween!

A person pushes a box across a horizontal surface, but there is so much more to the story. The boy pushing the box across the creaking floorboards of a desolate hallway looks over his shoulder, fearing for his life. Someone had blackmailed him into bringing the 40 kilogram package to room number 207 in the haunted hotel on Mansfield Street, so he put all 20 bottles into a box and went to the hotel precisely at 10 o’clock. Despite the fact that his bones were shaking, he continued to push the box at a constant speed of 0.5 meters per second. The box slides along the dusty floor with a coefficient of friction of 0.25 and creaks with every step he takes closer towards room 207. He reaches the door and slowly enters. The first thing he notices is a massive grandfather clock covered in cob webs that stands directly in the center of the room. Its frictionless pendulum has a length of 3m long and swings with an amplitude of 10°. He stares long and hard at the clock as its pendulum swings from its maximum displacement where it has a potential energy of 10J, to its lowest point at vertical position where it has 10 J of kinetic energy. But he knows that somewhere along its path it has an even amount of both kinetic and potential energy of 5 J. He is so mesmerized by the massive clock that he doesn't hear a 2000 kg car accelerating from rest at 3 m/s^2 down the street. Lucky for the boy, the car goes by the hotel at a speed of 20 m/s. With his eyes still transfixed on the clock, moving in sync with the clocks pendulum, he begins to feel like he is floating in a void of black space. The clock is the only thing in sight besides darkness. Suddenly he is blinded by a flash of bright lights and the sound of loud screaming fills his ears. As he snaps back to reality and his eyes begin to adjust to the light, he realizes that he is surrounded by a large group of grotesque zombies that are slowly closing in on him. He grabs on tightly to the massive grandfather clock and squeezes his eyes shut. A cold hand touches his shoulder and he lets out an ear piercing scream. Just when he thinks he has reached the end, he hears laughter. Upon opening his eyes, he recognizes the faces of the zombies. They are his friends! And they have thrown him a surprise birthday party inspired by his favorite TV show, The Walking Dead! Good thing that he brought the soda!

Happy Halloween y'all! 


This week on Wednesday, I had to get an MRI for my knee to make sure everything was ok after I injured myself playing soccer a couple weeks earlier. While I was there, I was very curious about how the whole process worked and how it relates to physics so I did some research and here is what I found.

In an article from medicalnewstoday.com titled MRI Scans: All You Need To Know by Peter Lam, I learned that "an MRI scanner contains two powerful magnets" and "upon entering an MRI scanner, the first magnet causes the body's water molecules to align in one direction, either north or south." So this is why I had to take off my earrings before going into the scanner because otherwise it would've been attracted to the magnet and cause problems. 

I then learned that "the second magnetic field is then turned on and off in a series of quick pulses, causing each hydrogen atom to alter its alignment and then quickly switch back to its original relaxed state when switched off. The magnetic field is created by passing electricity  through gradient coils, which also cause the coils to vibrate, resulting in a knocking sound inside the scanner." This would explain why the machine was so loud and I had to wear headphones to block out the noise. But luckily, I got to listen to some country music to block out the sound of the banging. 

The scanner then detects these changes "and, in conjunction with a computer, cman create a detailed cross-sectional image for the radiologist to interpret." Lucky for me, my MRI showed that my knee looked very good and my injury was most likely a bone bruise. 

MRI's are very helpful tools for diagnosing patients and getting a better look inside the human body and I can appreciate knowing a little bit more about how they work!

Visit: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146309.php to read the full article. 


How to Get the Most out of Studying: A Summarization of Questions Following Dr. Chew’s Video Series

            In this blog post, I will detail the important things I took away from Dr. Chew’s video series “How to Get the Most out of Studying.” In the first video, he listed some common beliefs that make you fail and upon reflecting on my study habits, I realized that I had some of these beliefs. For example, I often forget that learning is not fast and that fully comprehending a subject takes time and effort. I get frustrated easily when I don’t understand things immediately and I often underestimate how much time and effort it will take to fully master a certain topic. I feel as though I have a pretty good metacognition, but my laziness sometimes persuades me to disregard how poorly I understand a topic. For example, last year during many physics units, I thought I could survive without fully comprehending the logic behind the equations. The result was a bit disastrous. This year I know that I will have to work a lot harder at learning many topics if I want to succeed.

            In the next video, I learned some major keys to effective studying. What you think about while studying and “deep processing” are the most important. In order to develop a deep understanding of a topic, it helps to make deep connections with concepts by applying them to your own experience. To accomplish this, I can minimize distractions by creating a neat study environment where I try to put my phone away while I am studying. I can also get real with myself about how well I actually understand a topic. By recognizing when my understanding is weak, I can work hard to process the information on a deeper level and improve my comprehension.  One way to accomplish deep processing is by practicing retrieval and application. I can do that for physics class by doing multiple different kinds of practice problems until I have mastered a topic.

            In the third video, I learned six important aspects for optimizing learning and how I can apply them to improve my learning in this class.

1.     Elaboration: making meaningful associations between the concepts being studied and related concepts. I can consider how new topics relate to previous units to create a foundation for new understanding.

2.     Distinctiveness: clear contrast between the concepts being studied and other concepts. I can work to confidently know the differences between important concepts that seem similar by making an effort to understand the differences.

3.     Relate concepts to my personal experiences. By staying on top of blog posts this year, I can take what I have learned and apply it to the real world.

4.     Appropriate retrieval and application of material. I can practice real world problems and review and recall information from the videos and textbooks.

5.     Automaticity: a process so highly practiced that it can be completed without any conscious effort. I will need to make a conscious effort to practice better study skills so that I can get the most out of studying.

6.     Overlearning: continuing to study beyond just knowing the information to where it can be recalled quickly and easily. This year I cannot underestimate the amount of time and effort that is necessary to fully comprehend information. I have to work hard and keep practicing.

      In the fourth video, I learned that it is important to generate questions about a topic. The questions should force you to compare and contrast, make connections, generate examples, recall facts, analyze concepts, or address key ideas. I learned that note taking is important even when watching videos because it helps you stay actively engaged in the material and limits distractions. I also learned that study groups can be very effective if everyone makes important contributions that help everyone learn and improve.

      Finally, the fifth video discussed recovering from a failed exam. Here are some things to do to in the aftermath of a failed test:

·       Don’t panic or go into denial

·       Examine how you prepared and be honest with yourself

·       Review the exam

·       Talk with your teacher

·       Examine your study habits

·       Develop a plan

·       Commit time and effort

·       Minimize distractions

·       Attend class

·       Set realistic goals

·       Don’t begin to slide

·       Don’t give away points

        *         DON’T PANIC AND GIVE UP!! Having good study habits that improve your learning will take time and effort and there may be setbacks along the way.

            Since watching the Dr. Chew videos, I have unfortunately come close to failing an exam. Despite all that he said, I still did exactly what he said I would. I went in to the test feeling confident, thought the test went well, and was surprised to see that I had done so poorly. So this is what I have done so far and what I plan to do to get a better outcome next time.

1.     I did panic a little at first, but I am trying to keep calm and carry on.

2.     I realized that I was scrambling right before the test to finish all my work. I did not have enough time to thoroughly go over the information I learned to check for understanding. I also did not have enough time to do practice problems and develop automaticity.

3.     I examined my study habits and found that I was not consistent and only did what I felt was the minimum amount necessary to succeed, which was clearly not enough.

4.     My new game plan is to actually take the time every day to watch videos, read the textbooks, practice problems, ask questions, develop a better metacognition, and take the time to overlearn so that I can deeply process concepts and develop an accurate and complete understanding of topics as a whole.

5.     I am going to use as much free time as I have to get the most out of studying and avoiding putting things off until the last moment possible.

6.     Any time I am feeling discouraged or find myself at a major setback, I will not panic and go into denial. I will come back to this post, recollect myself and keep pushing forward because I believe in myself and I have the will power to succeed.  


About Me

I am a senior at IHS this year. Most of my time is spent on the soccer field, whether I am playing, coaching, or refing. I have always enjoyed the challenge of math and problem solving. Although science is not my favorite subject, I found physics last year very interesting, especially the electricity unit. One of the main reasons I am taking AP Physics C is because I would like to become an engineer (environmental/energy and electrical engineering interest me the most). 

This year I am excited to learn about physics on a new and more challenging level. I think I'll enjoy the independence and being able to work at my own pace, but I am also concerned that I will fall into the trap of procrastinating without a lot of structure. However, I am ready for the challenge and I hope that this class will help prepare me for taking college courses. 

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