Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

About this blog

Coming to you weekly with a brand new blogventure!

Entries in this blog


This class has shown me multiple times that I'm not doing enough preparation or work to succeed. It's no ordinary class where if you just put minimal effort in you will be crushed. I've learned that the hard way. I've never been more thankful for grade buffers like web assign or these blog posts, and even then I'm still procrastinating. However, one must fail in order to succeed. I strongly believe that applies to me right now. I didn't put the effort in first semester and was surprised that the class actually beat me to a pulp instead of cruising along senior year. But I've now learned from my mistakes. Stick to the schedule, put the work in, don't make up excuses to procrastinate. I'm motivated to step it up a notch and end off the second half of the year with a bang. 



I've always wanted to use a boomerang and see it somehow curve and come right back to me. As of right now, all I can do is explain the physics behind it to whoever is reading. 

Main components involve aerodynamic lift and gyroscopic precession. In this case I will be talking about the traditional-shaped boomerang:

Image result for boomerang

Anyways. When thrown from one end, the top end instantly has a higher airspeed. The boomerang itself is crafted with whats called an airfoil. The airfoil is a curved shape, if you took a cross section of the boomerang, that allows for lift and drag to act upon the boomerang. This then causes the toy to 'fly' in the direction thrown, but the higher lift on the top end creates a torque, thus causing the angular momentum to gradually shift and causes the boomerang to curve mid-flight. And the amazing part is that it is supposed to end up pretty close to where you threw it from. Crazy cool physics!


Yes the video is fake! However, the magic act of pulling the tablecloth out from under the settings was very real and a 'fun' at-home experiment! It's a trick of inertia and friction. Heavier plates are easier to perform with because they have more inertia (tendency to stay put). Also, a slippery cloth with no hems or edges is best to use because it reduces the force of friction on the table settings. Pull down, not out. This lets it come off all at once along the edge. Ta-da! Just like that, you're now a magician.



The game of momentum. The heavier the ball, the greater the momentum of that ball. The faster you throw it down the lane, the more momentum it carries. The lane of the bowling alley is designed to be as friction-less as possible, making the ball 'slip' although professionals can really put spin on the ball after years of practice. 

Isn't it the worst when you hit the right spot on the pins and you're 99% sure you're gonna get a strike, the pins go flying, you're all excited, and then... there's either a split of two pins or one random pin left. The cruel game of bowling has played a trick on you. somehow the angle at which you hit the first pin didn't line up with the last pin in the row, and your hopes and dreams shatter.

But then there's the beautiful scene of the ball hitting that perfect spot, all pins go flying into the chute, and the big 'X' pops up on the scorecard. That's what fuels an addiction for bowling.


Spider Man

The guy shoots webs everywhere and yet is one of the most popular superheroes worldwide. That web must be pretty strong in order to hold him up, theoretically speaking, I wonder what kind of physics go into it? 

No. Peter Parker doesn't shoot webs out of holes in his wrists. He made devices that shoot them. But how strong are they actually? We can solve this using the momentum principle and a scene where his webs catch a car and slow it down to a stop. Let's say the car weighs 2000kg, and he slowed it down in 1 second to rest. Through calculations of initial and final momentum, the web would have a tension of 39,200 Newtons. Just as a comparison, a steel cable's maximum tensile strength is only 6,503 Newtons. 


Have you ever rubbed an object, say a balloon, in your hair and then held it next to a running faucet to find that the water actually bends towards the balloon? That fun yet simple experiment describes the fundamentals of electric charge!

Electrons have a negative charge. When you rub the balloon on your hair, those electrons collect onto the balloon, thus causing the balloon to hold a negative charge. Negatives attract towards neutral and positive things, so when the negatively charged balloon is held close to the positively charged water, the water attracts towards the balloon, bending like magic!



Two paper plates. One pencil. Six pennies. Tape. Task: make a top. No further instructions nor help was given. We were left with our minds and hands to create this device. At the end of the activity we were given two questions to answer in a blog.

1.How did today's opening activity relate to the engineering design process?

The engineering design process involves designing, building, testing, and reflecting. This relates to what we did in class because first we brainstormed solutions to the task, and then we built, tested, and rebuild based on the results of our tests. For example, we tried moving the pennies farther from the center of the plate, we experimented with moving the plates farther up and down the pencil. We accidentally poked a hole through the plates that was off-center and caused us to start over from square one with the other plate. Near the end of the activity, I snapped the pencil in half based off of an educated guess and the 'top' worked perfectly!

2. How did today's opening activity relate to moment of inertia and angular momentum?

Moment of Inertia involves masses and the distance from the centers at which they lay (penny placement). Also poking the hole in a plate through the direct center was important because the moment of inertia would be inconsistent. Due to varied radii. Angular momentum is also important because friction is a thing. We had to increase the angular momentum so it takes longer for friction to stop the top. To do this we increased the moment of inertia by making the pennies farther from the center point on the plate which led to higher success.


Image result for caster boarding physics

This thing above may seem like a rad casterboard on the outside, but moving it involves crazy amounts of physics. The main component is its caster wheels. 

Image result for ripstik physics wheels Notice how they are on an angle compared to normal wheels. There is a reason for this.

The angle causes friction-through newtons 3rd law (every force has an equal and opposite force)- to act forward on the ripstik. However, in order to propel the board, a torque motion must cause the rear end of the board to rotate in the opposite direction of the front end. This creates the friction that causes the board to move as a whole. The tricky part is staying balanced by using the center of mass. 


Like, foam foam? Or.. Styrofoam? No and no. Quantum foam. It's safe to say empty space is- empty. Right? Wrong. The universe can't tolerate that which is why particles are constantly popping into and out of existence all over the place. They’re called virtual particles, but they are proven to be very real. The catch is that they exist for only a fraction of a second, which is long enough to break some fundamental laws of physics but quick enough that this doesn’t actually matter. For instance, say you stole something from a store, but put it back on the shelf half a second later. You broke a rule but, in the end it doesn't effect anything. Reminding them of the shifting bubbles in the head of a soft drink, scientists have respectively named this phenomenon ‘quantum foam.'

 Image result for quantum foam


Super fun yet super tiring: jumping rope! Not to mention pretty difficult to get down. It actually takes quite a bit of physics you might not have thought of in order to time that jump perfectly and keep going.

First and foremost, jumping. Gravity forces you to have to jump up and over the rope as it swings under, otherwise the rope would whip your legs, probably leaving some red marks. It pulls the jumper down in between jumps so the cycle can continue. 

So what about the rope? How come it doesn't hit you in the back of the head when it's on the top of its rhythm? That's due to a centrifugal force, pushing outwards, caused by the circling of the jumper's wrists, which keeps the rope in a uniform circular motion. Generally, to get the timing of your jump to be spot on, you should jump when the rope is at eye level, on its way down. Just try to maintain a constant speed and practice makes perfect!


Did you know that if you run really fast, you gain weight? Don't freak out, it's not permanent nor a noticeable amount. But say you ran as fast as the speed of light, the speed limit of the universe, and someone gave you a push. You wouldn't be able to go any faster, but you gain extra energy, and it's got to go somewhere. Where else but mass? Due to relativity, mass and energy are equivalent. This is highlighted by the universal equation of E=mc2. The more energy you put in, the greater the mass becomes. Unfortunately, this is basically negligible at human speeds, so Usain Bolt isn't noticeable heavier when running than when still. However, once you reach a decent chunk as a fraction of the speed of light, your mass will start to increase rapidly. Thanks, Einstein!

Gotta go feast

I'm not sure if you will get this meme but it's sonic the hedgehog, notorious for being fast, clearly enthralled by this knowledge. I found it pretty amusing.

And thank you, for tuning in. 


Stranger Things Fun

Edit: I hadn't realized that Kara posted about the exact same thing until after I posted this, oops

The popular mystery/horror TV show features a regular group of kids with a big discovery: parallel universes. More specifically it features the String Theory. This states that there are extra dimensions curled up into little balls. The teacher in the show does a good analogy to understand it: Picture our dimension as a tightrope, and we are an acrobat on this rope. The acrobat walking along the tightrope is huge compared to the thickness of the skinny rope! So, we see the rope as a one-dimensional line; we can only move back and forth along this surface. We never walk around the circular direction of the rope, because we'd fall off and we're too big for it. However, a flea walking on that same rope could not only walk back and forth, but also around the rope. The flea could also crawl down the side of the rope, and even underneath it. This suggests that tiny, miniscule particles would be able to travel in other dimensions!

Image result for acrobat on a tightrope and flea analogyThe more you know!

Thanks for tuning in folks!


Speed of Light Fun

I read an article the other day that I thought was the coolest thing. It was about the speed of light and how it doesn't always travel very fast. In a vacuum, the speed of light is 300,000 km a second; however, light doesn't always travel in a vacuum. In water, for instance, light travels three quarters of that speed. 

The article goes on to mention what I thought was super interesting. In nuclear reactors, particles can be forced up to speeds so high they are often within a fraction of the speed of light. To add on, if they are travelling through a medium that slows light down, they could potentially travel faster that light around them. That's not even the cool part. 

When the particles travel faster than the speed of light, they emit a blue glow, known as "Cherenkov radiation." It's sort of comparable to a sonic boom but with light, which is why nuclear reactors glow in the dark. 

Image result for cherenkov radiationHere's an example of the Cherenkov Radiation. 

Additionally, the article goes on to mention that the slowest that light has ever been recorded moving was 17 m/s, or 38 mph. I can drive a car faster than that! And if that wasn't impressive enough, they top it off by saying that light has been brought to a complete stop. I don't know about you, but personally, that's mind boggling. 

Thanks for tuning in folks!


Game of Thrones Fun

As an avid fan of this show, it's really interesting to think about the physics that the creators had to make in order for this fictional realm to seem realistic. In fact, perhaps one of the most well known scientists, Neil deGrasse Tyson, has commented on both the good and the bad physics of the tv show.

First of course, are the dragons' flight capabilities. Game of Thrones

“The dragon wingspans are sensibly large, as their body weight would require for flight,” he wrote. Also, note the fact that they don't have arms, as they have their wings as a replacement. Now lets talk about how they get off the ground. Based off some general consensus from aeronautical engineers, one dragon weighs about 2600 kg. Therefore, its weight is 26,000 Newtons. Each wing's area approximates out to roughly 32m2. Assuming the dragon takes off at its stalling speed, like airplanes do, that estimates to be 4.3 m/s, as its body length of 13 meters passes by in 3 seconds. 


Another thing is their flame spitting breath.DKhTdJqX0AAmje-.jpg

Tyson comments that the blue fire breath would be at least 3 times hotter than the red fire breath, which is super cool and makes sense. Blue light requires more thermal energy to emit and therefore has a higher temperature.

Its totally cool if you don't understand the context of this blog if you don't watch Game of Thrones, but dragons are cool too.

Thanks for tuning in!



Here's a little do-it-yourself physics experiment for anyone who cares: Ask your parents for a crystal wine glass. Be careful not to break it. Set it on a table and hold it firmly by its base. Now, get your finger wet by dipping it in water and slowly drag it across the top of the wine glass in a circular motion. If you have found the right frequency, you should hear a decently loud ringing sound.

Why does this happen? Thanks to the delightful physics of resonance, we can understand this experiment. But first, here's a video of me performing the experiment. 

(I'm not sure if this works or not but I took a video on my phone and emailed it to myself to attach as a file so I don't know if it shows or not)


When you rub your moistened finger along the edge of the glass, your finger sticks as it encounters friction. The water acts as a cushion to reduce the friction. When the friction is ideal so that your finger slips around the glass, vibrations occur on the sides of the glass. That vibration is then transmitted to the surrounding air creating a sound wave with a certain frequency, measured in per seconds (Hz). This is called a resonant frequency. A wine glass's resonant frequency is typically in the range of human hearing (20-20,000 Hz), allowing for us to hear the ringing. 

Thanks for tuning in folks!


Polar Bear Fun

What do you get when you cross a polar bear and a seal?

Image result for polar bearImage result for arctic seal

A polar bear. Image result for polar bear laughing(Cause it ate the seal)

Just kidding. However, I do want to talk about these bears' fur. Did you know that Polar bears have clear fur, but black skin? But somehow their fur looks white. Here we ago again. 

A polar bear's coat consists of two layers of hair. A 5-15 cm long outer layer of guard hairs that are transparent, and a thick undercoat of shorter hair. Thanks to optics, these hairs appear white. Luminescence is the emission of light. When the sun's rays (Ultra Violet, or UV light) reflect off a polar bear's transparent fur, some light energy gets trapped causing the luminescence to occur. As the UV light shoots down to the base of the guard hair, the light makes contact with the bears skin, producing a whitish color. There's some useless trivia for y'all. 

Thanks for tuning in folks!


This classic viral video sparked a nationwide disturbance of young kids annoyingly flipping water bottles to no end. At the same time, we've all tried it. But those kids are still annoying.

Anyways, ever wonder how the water bottle is actually able to land perfectly on its bottom after being spun? Me neither! Until the other day when I was brainstorming ideas for blog posts. So I'll tell ya. 

First of all, you need the ideal amount of water inside your bottle. The most preferred type is a 16.9 oz classic. Fill that bad boy to as close as 1/3 of the bottle as your eyes can measure.

Holding the bottle by the top, the water and center of gravity rest in the base. On a perfect throw, the ideal amount angular momentum causes the bottle to rotate. While it is rotating, the water doesn't stay at the base. It sloshes around, shifting the center of mass towards the center. The light bottle allows for the angular momentum to transfer with the heavier water, resulting in a decline in spin speed. At this point the bottle is basically upright and gravity does its thang the rest of the way to the table.

I know you were dying to hear about the physics of the most aggravating fad of 2016. You're welcome. Thanks for tuning in folks!




Basketball Fun

Anyone who has ever held a basketball has tossed it up, spun it, and let it bounce on the ground. Don't deny it. You'd watch it bounce back up to you just like you should have. But did you notice how it was spinning? Perhaps you spun it towards yourself, and without noticing after it bounced, I can guarantee it came back up spinning away from you. What sorcery is this? I know you are dying to know, so I'll tell ya. 

Optical Illusions are fun!                    animated-basketball-image-0074(which way is it spinning?)

First things first, this doesn't only happen with basketballs, but the basketball is a good example. 

A basketball is elastic. This means that when it hits the floor, the part of the ball in contact with the floor stops moving momentarily, yet the rest of the ball is still spinning. Consequently, this creates tensions between the two sides of the ball, slowing the rotation down, and storing some elastic energy. When the entire ball stops spinning, this energy will reach its maximum, releasing in the opposite direction while the basketball will leave the ground. And finally, this causes the ball to rotate in the other direction. I think it's crazy that all this can happen in one instant! 

Well there ya have it. Your curiosity is cured. You are welcome!

Thanks for tuning in, folks!:money:



Video 1: 

A) “Beliefs That Make You Stupid”:

-Learning is fast

-Knowledge is composed of isolated facts

-Being good at a subject is a born talent

-I’m really good at multi-tasking


The belief that “learning is fast” relates to me because procrastination is clearly a big struggle with me, which shortens the time I give myself to learn something new immensely.


C) Metacognition is a student’s awareness of their level of understanding of a topic.


Video 2: 

A) The most important factor in successful learning is “what you think about while studying”. It’s important to deeply process material rather than skimming the information.


B)”Deep processing” means being able to relate this new information to prior knowledge and making it personal


C) Items That Help Learning:

-Minimizing distractions; maximizing focus: I can make sure that I am in a quiet study area without my phone.

-Developing accurate metacognition: I should ask for help instead of settling for a basic understanding.

-Deep, appropriate processing of critical concepts: I need  to make sure I understand something before moving on.

-Practicing retrieval and application: I should use the information I learn to help with homework.


Video 3: 

A) Aspects of Optimizing Learning:

1. Elaboration: the ability to relate concepts.

2. Distinctiveness: the ability to separate the concepts.

3. Personal:the ability to relate to experiences.

4. Appropriate to Retrieval and Application: the ability to recall the information.

5. Automaticity: a process so highly practiced that it occurs without any conscious effort.

6. Overlearning: continue studying beyond just knowing information to where it can be recalled easily


Video 4: 


  1. What’s the best way to minimize distractions?

  2. How do I develop Automaticity?

  3. Why would it be worse to take notes on a laptop rather than by hand?

  4. What are the four beliefs that make you stupid?

  5. Provide an example of a time where you overlearned a subject and it benefitted you.


-”Provides a key summary”: writing down the main terms that will be called upon later

-”Creates a set of memory cues”: help remind you of what you missed

-”Engages you in the class”: determines whether or not you processed the information deeply or superficially


C) I will get a study group formed with my classmates with goals like these:

  1. Create a calendar and schedule

  2. Set daily tasks

  3. Split up work so that everyone can ask/ answer questions


Video 5: 

A) If an exam goes poorly, I shouldn’t panic or go into denial.


B) Helpful Strategies to Raise One’s Grade include identifying how you prepared for the test and acknowledging your mistakes, going over the exam to see what you did wrong, analyzing your weak areas, checking key concepts missed in your notes, and improving your study strategies.


C)Commit your time and effort, go to class, do all the homework, don’t slide and let the homework for one class prioritize over another.


I am thee.

    I like cookies and chicken. Two Cs. Just like AP Physics C. I also enjoy playing guitar in my free time and long walks on the beach. I am also an avid fan of the series Game of Thrones. As a varsity setter on the volleyball team, I have to take in each unique play and react based on the situations on the court. This relates to physics in which every problem is a new situation and I like a challenge. I hope to get a real sense of what careers in this field I may be interested in. I'm most excited about teaching ourselves. Not because it sounds like a blast, but because I can use the skills I develop to help me succeed in college. However, I'm super anxious about the tests and workload because I know how difficult they can get. Thanks for tuning in on my first blogventure. Catch ya next time.  

Sign in to follow this  

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.