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About this blog

Everybody has things that they do and carry with them that make them unique. Some swim, some like plane rides, some people sky dive and some people learn faster than others. Me? I run, hate riding a plane, despise heights and I try my best to learn thoroughly and thoughtfully -- which is not often the fastest process. Since seventh grade, I have been running track because I always felt that I was able to move myself towards the finish line a little bit faster than most. I have, from my experience in seventh grade, developed a thirst to run faster and faster. Now, in senior year, I have the opportunity to win sectionals with three of my friends in a 400 meter dash relay; a sectionals victory has been a great goal of mine for a very long time now, and my hard work and persistence have now paid off. The very same hard work and persistence have contributed towards success in school and in Boy Scouts. I have learned to enjoy learning, and I am only weeks away from achieving Eagle Scout just as my Grandfather and older brother have before me. I enjoy challenges, so for my senior year of high school, I have figured that I should try my hardest to conquer yet another challenge: AP Physics C! This is only one of the reasons which I chose to take this class, I also chose to take this class because I enjoyed taking Physics last year and I plan on majoring in a field of engineering in my future. This year, I am excited to learn alongside some of my favorite peers and understand a topic not many high school students get the chance to take advantage of. However, this also introduces some anxiousness along with the difficulty; I am concerned that all of the work I am taking on this year will be whelming but, at the same time, I also believe that with this hard work, I will put myself in a great position for my upcoming years of college. I am hoping to have a great year in AP Physics C, and I wish the same for my friends, too!

Entries in this blog

 

Aurora Borealis

Many of us know the Aurora Borealis as the 'Northern Lights'. This natural phenomenon is, of course, thanks to the physics of our Earth and its atmosphere! (Photo credit: NASA) The Aurora Borealis is an extremely beautiful event that occurs most often close to the magnetic poles of Earth. It occurs due to charged particles coming from the Sun of which collide with other molecules found in the Earth's atmosphere. Solar winds from the Sun carry these charged particles and when the wind passes by Earth, particles may be trapped in the atmosphere from the Earth's magnetic fields! The charged particles ionize molecules in the atmosphere, which give off light. This creates the Aurora Borealis! I had previously thought that the Northern Lights were from light reflecting somehow, but it awesome to see that it is caused by magnetism, which fits into our past few units very nicely.

etracey99

etracey99

 

Just a Little Hot Air

Have you ever seen a hot air balloon? Personally, I find them terrifying, but I always see a few every year while I'm enjoying time at my cottage on Keuka Lake. Well, it turns out that hot air balloons actually float through the air due to buoyancy, which we generally associate with water. This is based on Archimedes' principle, which says that an object of any shape that is suspended in a fluid is acted on by an opposite force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the said object. So a hot air balloon floats in the air using the same idea as an object that floats in water. In a hot air balloon, the buoyant force is generated by heating the air inside of the balloon, which makes the air less dense than the cooler air around it. This creates a buoyant force and lifts the hot air balloon into the sky as if it were an object less dense than water floating at and above the surface. What is even cooler is that the balloon has enough hot air in it to create enough lift to carry the gondola and the passengers riding along!! Cool!

etracey99

etracey99

 

Bicycles... The Greatest Method of Transportation?

We live in a world where we are constantly trying to better our technology to be greater and more efficient. What if I told you that we achieved the most efficient mode of transportation of all time already? And what if I told you that this transportation was developed as far back as 1817? Behold! The bicycle. Since the first bicycle coming from Germany in 1817 (called the running machine), there have been great advancements in bicycles: Although this invention has been around for about 200 years, the bicycle proves to be one of the greatest and most efficient inventions in transportation. This is simply because bicycles are able to convert 90% of the energy that a human can put into it by pedaling directly into kinetic energy that powers you along. This is over 4x better than the conventional gasoline engine we use in most cars, which clocks in at only being 20% efficient with its fuel. In other words, if people could somehow use gasoline as energy in their bodies and ride a bike, it would be a 4x more efficient use of the same amount of gasoline when used in a normal automobile. So keep that in mind next time you want to go out to get ice cream or visit your friend down the road, a bike is a more efficient machine and it is environmentally friendly!        

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Handy Dandy Internal Combustion Engine

Today, the internal combustion engine is a very important part of the average person's life. We experience the wonder of this engine in most automobiles that use gasoline as a fuel. As one could guess, the Internal Combustion Engine is an engine in which combustion occurs internally... just kidding! (oversimplification at its finest). In all seriousness, let us discuss the four-stroke internal combustion engine since it is not too difficult to understand! It is called a four-stroke engine because there are four 'strokes' per combustion cycle (up, down, up, down). It goes like this: The first stroke is for the intake. The intake valve opens as the piston goes into its down position and lets in an oxygen-gasoline mixture (known as the fuel-air mixture). Going back to another post I wrote, the fuel-air mixture can be tuned for better gas mileage and/or power! The second stroke is to compress the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. While the piston is on its way up, the intake valve quickly shuts and an airtight situation is created, which allows for the compression. The third stroke, or the combustion stroke, occurs directly as the piston is reaching the top of the chamber. The fuel-air mixture, in its extremely compressed state, is extremely flammable and when the spark plug goes off, explodes! This creates a great force and shoots the piston down. The fourth and final stroke is to push the exhaust out. As the piston is on its way back up, the exhaust valve is opened, and the air that is created after the explosion is let out so fresh air can be let in. After this, the cycle repeats itself! I found a diagram from keveney.com that I believe will help to imagine what it all means: This process is the origin of how your car actually moves! The combustion pushes the pistons, which turn the crankshaft, which turns gears in the transmission, which turns the drive shaft, which turns the differential, which turns the axles which turns your wheels! A lot of steps, but very useful to know!  

etracey99

etracey99

 

Ball Bearings

Some common sense physics is that in most cases, things roll better than they slide. For example, roller blades work a lot better on asphalt than a pair of snow skis do. This is because there is a lot of friction created with sliding, but when something can roll over the ground, the friction is greatly reduced. A ball bearing is a device that 'bears' a load and rolls over smoothly. This is done by having round objects enclosed in a smooth inner and outer shell. There are several types of bearings in existence, but let us discuss ball bearings since they are the most common type of bearing and we have all most likely experienced. Ball bearings are best known for being in skateboards, longboards, roller blades and even bikes. The round objects that ball bearings use are, (you guessed it) balls! This is cool since the balls only touch the inside and outer smooth shells a very small amount. This creates a very small amount of friction, which results in wheels that can spin a very long time! Often times, longboarders search for the best and most efficient ball bearings so their rides are smooth and do not require a lot of pushing. Here is a diagram of a ball bearing: A little animation of a ball bearing, see how the balls rotate and let the outer shell move:   And finally, some ball bearing action!:

etracey99

etracey99

 

Kangaroos!

This is a kangaroo: Kangaroos are large marsupials that have an iconic talent for jumping extremely far due to their well developed musculoskeletal system. How far can they jump? On a flat strip of land, a kangaroo can jump approx. 9 meters far and about 3 meters high. This is almost 30' long and 9'10" high! That is truly amazing! How do they do it? The musculoskeletal system of kangaroos are extremely efficient and is made for jumping far and quickly! The kangaroo is able to store potential energy in their legs every time they land, and this potential energy assists them in jumping. Imagine a living spring; the spring could use the energy it has stored up through life processes to jump high, but if it compresses itself to build up potential energy, it can exert that energy in addition to the energy it would normally use. This results in a very high and far jump!     832 × 429 - chegg.com

etracey99

etracey99

 

Let's Waterski!

Have you ever waterskiied? If you have, I'm sure that you would agree that it is very fun and thrilling! I have been waterskiing for about 9 years, and I have always been fascinated by how it works. When I was taught to waterski when I was 9, my Dad and Grandpa told me that it was just like getting pulled up out of a chair and standing up. So untl I was older, that is all that it ever was to me.   Well, it turns out that the physics behind waterskiing is actually very simple! But first, I will show you how waterskiing is done: (These are pictures of me from 2011)   First you sit in the water with the rope in your hand, and your skiis out of the water:   Then you let the boat pull you and you gradually stand up and give a little resistance to the skiiis (look at those super big muscles):   You continue standing up until you are out of the water until you are nearly straight up, it is important to lean back!:   After you're up, you can ski around! I like to go in and out of the wake of the boat so I can go fast and corner quickly! I also enjoy dropping one of the skiis, and I go on only one:   Anyway, the physics side of things is not too bad: We know that Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When the boat is pulling you, you will create an equal and opposite force back. When you lean back, you're countering enough force of the boat so that you do not fall over frontwards, and you will skid along the top of the water. This is all demonstrated in this graphic: Needless to say, waterskiing is a very interesting sport and just like everything, can be explained with a little bit of simple physics! I hope that one day, if you get the chance, that you will try waterskiing since it is so fun!   

etracey99

etracey99

 

Tuning a Car?

I've been playing some Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox lately, and I have been having a lot of fun! I personally enjoy racing games a lot and I have been trying to get a little bit of playing in during this spring break. Something I have never done in another game, however, that I can do in Forza Horizon, is tune my cars. Just like musicians tune their instruments, many avid drivers often tune their cars to run exactly how they want them to. For example, you could tune your car's shift points so the car shifts into the next gear at different times, and you could tune the fuel-air mixture to create the perfect situation for your car to have in its combustion chambers. This is all done to increase or perfect the way that the car runs -- to increase acceleration, to increase top speed, to make it easier to drift, the list goes on. Tuning cars has become easier and easier as of late due to the increased level of technology in computers that are in cars. One could tune anything! I was tuning a Lamborghini Countach, and the car I was trying to perfect had both adjustable front and back spoilers. The car was converted to all-wheel drive, so having downforce in the front and back is extremely advantageous so the car's wheels are pushed to the ground as it accelerates, which creates more grip. Furthermore, the downforce in the front is great for cornering, which is especially needed for highspeed racing on a car with reduced weight. All in all, I just wanted to share how a silly video game could simulate such a real situation for cars across the world, and how a little bit of physics could boost the performance of a car extremely well! Lamborghini Countach:   Front Spoiler (Black piece at the bottom):   Rear Spoiler (on Countach):     Rear Spoiler (Custom on Countach in Horizon 3):   And Some Physics:

etracey99

etracey99

 

Why do Bananas Have a Curve?

As many of you know, the banana is my favorite fruit. An apple banana* a day keeps the doctor away! Bananas start off by being very short and straight: As time goes on, however, they begin to curve upwards... Due to a process known as negative geotropism, which means that the bananas grow away from the force of gravity! They do this because in the forests, if they started to grow sideways towards the light that penetrates through the trees and plants above them, they would topple over. So bananas figured out that if they grew up towards the light instead of sideways, their plant would not topple over, and they would all be safe. Thank you for existing, bananas.

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Physics Midterm

What I thought was going to be the hardest midterm I had this year, actually turned out to be not too bad! For the entire first half of the year, I have now found that practicing physics at the level we have been working on has prepared us very well for the midterm and the AP. As a person who struggled through a lot of the review packet and put in a lot of studying for the weeks leading up to the test, I think it is safe to say that practicing physics and learning it so far this year has been difficult, but rewarding. For the rest of the year, I think that my studies can get even better and efficient, and reviewing the mechanics part of the class will progressively get better and better. For the E&M section, I am going to have to continue pushing through the difficult learning curve and remain confident in myself so when the AP's come around, I am ready to conquer them. Stay confident and be proud!

etracey99

etracey99

 

How do Planes Fly?

To many, planes fly because they go fast and they have wings. When I was younger, that is how simple I thought it was. Well, there is a little more to it than that. There are four forces of flight: lift, drag, weight, and thrust, which correspond to upward, backward, downward, and forward forces, respectively. Thrust is what moves the aircraft forward through the air, it overcomes the drag and the weight of the plane. The thrust for a normal plane comes from an engine/propulsion systems such as a propellor, turbine or a rocket. Weight is simply the force on the airplane caused by gravity. Drag is the force that opposes the plane's motion through the air and is generated on every part of the airplane. There is even drag that is caused by the generation of lift called induced drag. Lift is a very complicated force. It is the force that is the opposite of the plane's weight and it holds the plane in the air. Some lift is generated all over the entire plane, but a majority of it is generated on the airplane's wings. This is what we will discuss a little further, because lift is extremely interesting: How is lift generated? Lift occurs when there is a flow of a fluid turned by a solid. A fluid can actually be catorgorized as either a liquid or gas, so when lift occurs, the plane and its wings turn the air. The wings are designed so that a low pressure area is developed with air that moves very quickly along the top of the solid, and a high pressure area is developed with air that moves more slowly along the bottom of the solid. The result is an upward movement as the high pressure pushes the plane into low pressure with an equal, opposite force. Needless to say, planes have incredibly well designed wings that create lift, which is the vital part to why planes fly, and is very awesome to see the physics behind!

etracey99

etracey99

 

A Heated Runway?

Last night while I was watching the news, one of the featured stories was about a heated runway at Des Moines International Airport in Iowa. The runway was being kept at 62 degrees Fahrenheit so any snow that landed on the strip of the heated runway would melt very quickly. To do this, researchers at Iowa State University embedded electrodes into the concrete and powered the electrodes. When they turned on the electricity the electrodes began to heat up the concrete around them, which would make the snow on top melt. The even cooler part is that although an entire runway costs about 200 million dollars to heat, it is projected to save passengers, airlines, and airports 273 million per heated runway. Useful and money well spent! https://www.today.com/money/could-heated-runways-melt-away-your-winter-travel-headaches-t121729

etracey99

etracey99

 

Eardrum vs Sound

Believe it or not, sounds are one of the most common and dangerous hazards a person may face on any given day. Generally, we measure how "loud" a sound can be in decibels (dB). By definition, a decibel is " a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound or the power level of an electrical signal..." (Google Search). We will be discussing decibels in regard to "intensity of a sound." If you enjoy listening to music loudly, I am sure that somebody at some point has said that your music is too loud, and it could damage your ears. Well, they are not wrong; according to http://dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/noise-induced-hearing-loss/, it is possible to experience damage to your ears while listening to your music through earphones for only fifteen minutes a day. This damage is caused by music at about 100 dB. Furthermore, sitting front row at a concert of your favorite band will likely produce a sound intensity of around 110 dB. At this intensity, damage to your ears will be caused a lot more quickly but, you will not feel the damage or pain while it is happening. The intensity of which you would be experiencing pain in your ears is at 130 dB, which is close to what a concert sounds like. And lastly, the intensity of which that will rupture your eardrums is at 160 dB. Bursting eardrums... I don't like the sound of that (pun). If you would like to look at some more physics on this topic, look at: https://metinmediamath.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/intensity-or-how-much-power-will-burst-your-eardrums/

etracey99

etracey99

 

Would You Rather: Get Hit by a Hummer or a Lamborghini?

The answer is most likely neither, but... physics! So, a Hummer (H1) weighs around 8113 pounds, or 3680 kg, and can travel at a top speed of 55 m/s. This results in a Hummer having a max momentum of 202,400 kg*m/s. A Lamborghini Aventador, on the other hand, weighs around 4085 pounds, or 1852 kg, and has a top speed of 97.22 m/s. The Lamborghini's max momentum is 180,051.44 kg*m/s. So although the Lamborghini can travel at a much higher speed than the Hummer can, the Hummer's weight overpowers the difference in speed. Therefore, if you have a choice for some odd reason, to choose what car to get hit by, go for the Lamborghini. Either way, ouch!

etracey99

etracey99

 

Sonic vs The Average Hedgehog

One of the world's favorite characters is Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue hedgehog who runs incredibly fast. Sonic can run at around Mach 15, which is 5,104.4 m/s (11,509 MPH). That is incredibly fast! He also weighs about 34.93 kg, which means that at full speed, his kinetic energy is about 455,048,817.3 J. If a normal hedgehog which weighs about 0.91 kg, were to run at its top speed of 5.3 m/s, its kinetic energy would be around 12.8 J. This is about 0.000003% of the energy that Sonic generates.

etracey99

etracey99

 

Minecraft VS Real Life!

CREATE NEW WORLD Bam. You spawn on a beach and you think to yourself: "Wow, this place would be a nice area to make a huge cottage!" But you look over to the right and there is a big mound of sand in your way. Well luckily for you, it is Minecraft, so you get some tools and you dig it. After it is all said and done, you have three whole stacks of sand in your inventory. That is a lot of sand! How much sand is it, you may ask. For those of you who have never played Minecraft, the game consists of a randomly generated world where you can mine, and where you can craft... hence the name Minecraft. Each block in the game, whether it be stone, dirt, sand, glass or obsidian, is a cubic meter. In Minecraft, you can also hold blocks in your inventory in stacks of 64 and earlier, you dug up three stacks of sand. Three stacks of 64! That is 192 sand blocks or 192 cubic meters of sand. To put that in perspective, that is almost a (roughly) three-foot wide and three-foot tall line of sand that goes halfway around a track. Now, how much does that weigh? It is clearly impossible that you could not hold 192 cubic meters in your hand (holding only one cubic meter of sand would probably be hard, too), but how much would somebody have to lift if it were actually possible? Well, one cubic meter of sand weighs approximately 1,529.2 kg. This means that 192 cubic meters of sand weighs 293,606.4 kg which is around 647,291.31 pounds. So if it was not obvious that it was impossible to hole that much sand before, it is indeed impossible to hold that much. Finally, a character in Minecraft has 36 inventory spots. This means that it is possible to hold 2304 blocks of sand which would weigh 35,177,716.80 kg or 77,553,590.24 pounds. That is quite heavy!

etracey99

etracey99

 

Let's Talk About Webassign

Let's face it, Webassign.net is great. Even coming from a student, Webassign.net is my favorite ways to do homework. There is something about Webassign.net that makes the miserable part about doing homework enjoyable. Just picture all the times that you have sat down with Webassign.net in front of you and you get that one killer question correct -- you put in the answer, the page reloads, and oh my goodness! there is the green check that you have desired to see! And we cannot forget the progress bar at the top, it is so satisfying to watch that number increase from 0% to 100%, and every increase in completion percentage feels phenomenal. But, there is one thing that I believe Webassign.net could potentially do to make their service even greater. Just imagine if Webassign.net made an app for mobile phones! Now some people may argue that yeah, it is indeed possible to visit Webassign.net on your browser. But have you tried that? It is not the most enjoyable Webassign experience that I have had. It is often that when working with my usual group in Physics class, that I sit in a seat without access to the computer because somebody else is using it, so I am left with my cell phone to access Webassign.net. It is a pain. I want to be able to access the Google Play Store or App Store and have the ability to download a Webassign App so I can access Webassign.net wherever I please. With this app, I would love if the "sign-in" button was larger and easier to press, if the words were better fit to a smaller screen and if I did not need to zoom in in order to select the box to type my answer in or select "submit answer." Perhaps this is simply a personal problem, but I believe that there are benefits in accessing your homework wherever you want and having as many user-friendly ways to access the service as possible. Do you agree?

etracey99

etracey99

 

Let's Make a Top

This past week, we did a small partner lab. Our mission was to make a top out of the following materials: 2 paper plates, a plain wood pencil, 6 pennies, and tape. The top also had to be able to spin for more than only a few seconds. However, there were no instructions other than to make a top. Immediately, each student in the room with his or her partner immediately began undergoing the engineering process, whether they knew it or not. The engineering process has steps to be done in this order -- Define the problem, do background research, specify requirements, brainstorm solutions, choose the best solution, do development work, build a prototype, test and redesign. We already knew the problem, and we were presented with a top to look at in the back of the room, so we already defined the problem and did a little research on tops. The requirements were to make the top with the materials provided, and the top must spin for more than only a few seconds. We brainstormed quickly and then talked about our ideas on how to make the top. We then chose to mix our ideas together to get the best solution possible and we discussed who was to make it and walked through it together. Soon, we had a prototype and we were able to test that design. If it did not work that well, we tried something new. This lab, in a nutshell, was a little simulation of the engineering process! This lab also shows a relationship between tops, angular momentum and moment of inertia. As the top spins, the angular momentum generated points straight up into the air, and if there were no friction, the top would spin forever because the momentum that holds the top up is forever conserved unless acted on by an outside force. The moment of inertia of the top is the rotational analog of the mass of the top. The angular momentum discussed above is the result of the top's moment of inertia times the rotational velocity.

etracey99

etracey99

 

Why Do We Look for the "Perfect Spiral" When Throwing a Football?

This blog post was inspired by MyloXyloto's post: "Frisbee Fysics," Check it out! In football, throwing the ball with spin is called throwing a spiral. The better the spiral, generally the better the pass and the easier it is to catch. But why in football does spin make the ball easier to catch while in baseball spin makes the ball harder to hit? Well, in baseball, spin makes the ball curve. Different amounts of spin will make the ball curve at certain times or certain speeds, making the baseball harder to hit with bat. However, in football, the spin on the ball does not do that. When the football is thrown it immediately has angular momentum, and if thrown without being tipped or hit somehow, the football will remain in the same orientation. This is valuable because it makes the ball land in the receiver's hands quite easily because it will generally be caught the same way every time. In addition, because the football is in the same orientation throughout its entire flight, the ball will experience the same amount of air resistance and will therefore keep a straighter path. Imagine a football flying at you in a random pattern, and it is moving side to side slightly in the air. It will be hard for you to predict how and where to catch it compared to if the football was on a straight path right to you. In all, the importance of the spiral when throwing a football is accuracy! Tight spiral = quality pass.

etracey99

etracey99

 

Musical Chords: C and C# vs. C and G

Since I have a piano recital tonight, I have had music on my mind all day long. Seriously, I have practiced this piece for several weeks and now whenever I hear a piano, I think about the Maple Leaf Rag. Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about the chords in the song and how the different notes react with each other to make that chord sound the way it does. I have found some videos that show how different notes react with one another. Both of the examples compare C to every interval all the way up to the next octave. For both examples, see how the waves react when C is played with C# versus how the waves react when C is played with G because there is a big difference between the sounds of those chords. This first video is of sound in sine waves, which is most likely the most common and recognizable wave shape.   This next video is similar to the last one, however, instead of sine waves they use saw waves. Saw waves are cool because they sound more futuristic/robotic and are extremely recognizable. A notable example of the use of saw waves in music is on Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" off of their record, Wish You Were Here. Saw waves are also prevalent in a lot of modern music, especially a lot of rap such as the beginning of Kanye West's "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" off of The Life of Pablo right after the sample. (Very recognizable part of the song).   I hope you enjoyed listening to noises for a few minutes. It is quite interesting how the different frequencies of the notes react with one another when put together!  

etracey99

etracey99

 

How Would it Feel to be Sacked by Clay Matthews?

Clay Matthews, 52 on the Green Bay Packers, is a famous linebacker. He has the all-time sack record for the Packers and has been in many commercials from Old Spice to Play Station. Let us look at some stats: Weight: 225 lbs (102.06 kg). Top Speed: 20.03 MPH (8.95 m/s) Imagine you are a quarterback, and Clay Matthews is running at you... You try to get out of the way but you simply cannot... all of a sudden... BOOM, you just got rekt because Clay Matthews sacked the snot out of you. How much force did you get hit with? Let's look. p=mv -> p=(102.06 kg)(8.95 m/s) -> p= 913.44 N*s. Clay Matthews, at top speed, has a momentum of 913.44 N*s.  Now, let us suppose that from the first point of contact to the point that Clay Matthews has fully hit you, arms wrapped around you and everything, is about 0.15 seconds. (913.44 N*s)/(0.15 s) = 6089.6 N... Newtons -> Pounds = (6089.6)(0.224809) = 1368.99 pounds of force. Congratulations, your defensive line did not defend you and Clay Matthews has tackled you with 1368.99 pounds of force. Ouch

etracey99

etracey99

 

Some Physics Behind Garage Doors

Did you know that the average double door (two car garage size) is around 200 pounds? Imagine if every time you had to open the garage, you had to lift that much weight by yourself. Many people would probably not be able to lift their garage door if that was the case. The solution to this problem? Springs. Let us discuss torsion springs: A torsion spring is a spring that works by storing mechanical energy when it is twisted. Generally, 16'x7' garage doors are installed with torsion springs that must be turned 7 1/2 times, or 30 quarter turns. Twisting the spring this much puts enough energy into the spring so that when it connected to the door, the person will be able to lift it. Other doors have different springs that are meant for that size and type of door. Because of this, the garage door should only weigh about 7-10 pounds when a person lifts it because the spring is doing the rest of the work!

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Portal Gun

This fancy looking device is called the Portal Gun. What does it do? Well, it is a gun that shoots portals -- one orange and one blue. If you shoot the portal gun onto two surfaces, lets say you shoot the orange portal onto the wall behind you, and the blue portal on the wall to your right, if you look at the wall to your right, you will see the side profile of your face looking at the blue portal. This is because what you see in the blue portal is through the perspective of the orange portal. What if you walk through a portal? If you walk through the blue portal, you pop out of the orange portal and if you walk in the orange portal, you pop out of the blue one! This would be an extremely useful tool, but is it realistic? I have seen two theories on the portal gun, let us begin with the wormhole theory: This is a wormhole, it is a theoretical passage through space-time. Imagine space-time being a piece of paper with two dots drawn on opposite ends of the same side of the paper. There are two ways to connect the dots that would result with the fastest route from one dot to another. 1) A straight line between the two and 2) folding the paper onto itself so that the dots are touching directly. A wormhole is the second option connecting from one dot to another or in the case of the portal gun, one portal to another. Would this work? Well if the portal gun could somehow create this circumstance, it is highly unlikely that a human would be able to walk through it because wormholes experience high instability, and it would most likely collapse upon itself. Wormhole = no good! The second theory has to do with Quantum Entanglement. Since I am not well versed on this phenomenon, let us just think of it as if you were born as a photon and you have a twin that you have been connected to for your whole life. Regardless of the distance between you, what happens to you will happen to your twin photon and what happens to your twin photon will happen to you (thank you Washington Post for providing an explanation close to that). So in portal talk, if the portal gun had the ability to entangle the particles of any two surfaces with one surface destroying whatever it touched and another surface recreating it, the portal could work. This would happen by your body being destroyed and put back together instantly by walking through the portal. In the process however, you would become a mirrored image of yourself, which would be fine and dandy if you do not mind being backwards, but the Quantum Entanglement would also mirror all of your chemical particles which would be no good. Simply walk through another set of portals and you would be returned to your normal, and safe, form. So could the portal gun work? If we master Quantum Entanglement, than yes. Otherwise, the portal gun is a fantasy that I am sure everybody would like! If you would like another explanation, please visit where I discovered the Quantum Entanglement theory of portal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzRvmNaPxdA&t=306s

etracey99

etracey99

 

Pokeball vs Pokemon

Here I present to you, the Poke Ball. The Poke Ball is probably the most recognizable thing from Pokemon besides the popular Pokemon, Pikachu. They are very important to a Pokemon trainer's career of catching Pokemon because they are used to catch and store Pokemon. In the world of Pokemon, when the ball is thrown at a Pokemon, the Pokemon converts to energy and resides inside of the ball, until it is brought forth again by the trainer and the energy is returned to matter. However, let us look at the size of the Poke Ball vs the size of a Pokemon in a real life setting where turning a creature into energy and back into matter is not realistic. A Poke Ball can change sizes for easy travel but in the most common form, the Poke Ball is 2.5 inches in diameter and has a volume of around 8.18 inches cubed. With this information, we can see that a Poke Ball is not very large. There are many famous and large Pokemon in the Pokemon universe, but let us examine Onix. Onix is a Rock/Ground type Pokemon with an average length of 28'10". Onix is very large, and yet, there are Pokemon even larger than it. If we were to lay Onix flat next to a line of Poke Balls, it would take 139 Poke Balls to cover the length of an Onix. That means that Onix is just under 139 times bigger than one Poke Ball not even considering the average height and width of an Onix. As much as we would like to catch an Onix, using a Poke Ball would unfortunately not be a feasible option to do so.

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Terminal Velocity of a Kitty

Now that I have gotten your attention with this gif of a kitty skydiving, welcome to the science of cats surviving large falls. Everybody says "Cats always land on their feet!" They say this because it is not often that cats fail miserably and crash to the ground in a big fluffy mess. Cats do not land on their feet just because they are awesome, but due to their fantastic reflexes and skills, as well as their great surface area compared to their small weight. Before we discuss these factors of kitty science, we must understand that cats like to live in trees. Cat owners most likely find their cats in high places and it is common to see a neighborhood cat on a roof of a house. Cats do what cats do, and cats do enjoy doing cat things in trees. Now, science! Cats have evolved over the course of their existence to survive falls from trees and other high places. Imagine a cat is hunting a squirrel to eat for lunch and it jumps from one branch to the branch the squirrel is on, and for some reason the cat misses and falls. The cat's instincts have been developed enough to turn it right side up. This sort of cat magic is observed in this awesome video: This video is so awesome because the cat is dropped from a safe distance and every time except for one, it is dropped into a cushioned box. (No animal cruelty here!) It also shows slow motion of the cat flipping its body so it lands on its feet! In the video, it is also easy to see the cat using its legs to lengthen the time of the impact and putting a lot of the energy from the impact into its joints like a spring. Cats have well developed legs for impact, which is another evolutionary trait they have that helps them survive their falls. But what about that one cat that fell from a building 32 stories up and survived? Well, a human would probably not survive that kind of fall because the terminal velocity of a human is around 120 MPH and we do not have super springy legs or magic to make us upright. Kitties, on the other hand, have a terminal velocity of around 60 MPH -- this is due to the spreading of their legs as seen in the gif above, and the large surface area they have compared to their weight. 60 MPH is a lot easier to survive than 120 MPH when hitting the ground! In all: 60 MPH terminal velocity + springy kitty legs + spread kitty legs + super kitty surface area + light kitty weight + superb kitty evolution + right side up kitty wizardry = Kitty survives!

etracey99

etracey99

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