APlusPhysics Blogs

Showing blog entries posted in for the last 365 days.

1. Earlier
2. Public Service Broadcasting "The Race For Space" Essay

Lmao, I'm happy with this story.
3. Eternal Recurrence

Kind of like a donut -- it's hard to tell the beginning and end. Well, unless you eat it, and the first bite is the beginning, and the crumbs are the sad end.
4. School Has Ruined Me

I really think you need a bowl of ice cream. With rainbow sprinkles. Perspective, HegelBot, perspective...

6. KSP for Dummies - Lesson 1: The Interface

I think this tutorial nets your team a bonus \$7.5K.
7. Siphoning Fluids

If you haven't read my last 2 blog posts, you should. They both directly relate to what I'm talking about in this one. Alternatively, if you have even the slightest understanding of fluid dynamics, you don't need to read my last 2 posts. In reality, if you've never even thought about fluids, you don't need to read my last 2 posts, because this is actually pretty simple, especially when compared to what we've done in class this year. Right now, our goal is to get fluid from one cup into another. We could just pick up one cup and pour it into the other, but that's boring, and not very easy to do with large amounts of liquid. We could just scoop it out of one cup and dump it into another over and over, but that's boring and time-consuming. We could just pray to the old gods, but that also comes with its own drawbacks. So what are we going to do? We're going to siphon it through a tube. Now take a look at the following gif. The fluid from the left cup is transferring into the right cup, until they equalize to one height. If we wanted to transfer all of the liquid, we could just put the right cup at a lower level. The issue with siphoning like this is that we can't just drop one end of a tube in each cup and expect it to work. If the tubes were connected from the bottoms, this wouldn't be an issue. In this case, the transfer had to be jump-started, so the fluid travels up-hill into the tube, before it falls back down, and begins dragging more fluid with it. One way to jump-start the transfer is to submerge one end of the tube into the left cup, then suck on the right end a little bit so the fluid starts to flow into the tube, and passes the highest point in the tube. Then, stop sucking, and put the end of the tube into the other cup, and as the fluid falls, it will drag more with it. Another way is a little more tricky, but also more clean. It starts the same, with one end of the tube submerged in the left cup. Then, bend the tube so that it goes down out of the left cup, then back uphill, like a "u". Then, pour a decent amount of liquid into the "u". After, while making sure the part of the tube in the left cup stays submerged, put the other end of the tube facing down into the right cup, so the liquid starts pouring out. When the liquid starts pouring out, it'll drag more behind it, and eventually out of the left cup.
8. Under Pressure

The system above shows a cylinder with a small diameter (Gutter) connected to a cylinder with a larger diameter (Barrel). The force due to gravity by the liquid in the small cylinder is less than the force due to gravity by the liquid in the larger cylinder, since there's much more liquid in the larger cylinder. Shouldn't this make the liquid in the small cylinder rise, until the forces equal each other out? In reality, no. The fluids in a system always like being at the same height. This made absolutely no sense to me until I decided to look it up, and found out that it actually isn't that complicated, and I should feel ashamed. The reason that the fluids are at the same height isn't because they apply the same force, it's because they apply the same pressure. And since pressure is equal to force divided by area, it makes sense that in order to have a small amount of liquid be at the same height in a system with a larger amount of liquid, it would need to be put in a container with a smaller cross-sectional area. Alternatively, it could be put at a different elevation, but that's just cheating.
9. That Good Ol' Straw Trick

Everybody on the planet probably knows this simple trick. All you do is take a straw, submerge part of it inside of a liquid, cover the top hole of it with your finger, then take it out, and voila! The liquid stays inside of the straw rather than draining out, as gravity intended. But how does it work? It's actually pretty simple, but most people don't really think about it. If you just stop reading for a minute and really just think, you'll figure it out. I didn't just make this post to tell you to think. This is for a grade, so I need to put at least some effort into it. It's all a matter of pressure. By plugging the top of the straw, you isolate the air on the inside from the atmosphere. If the liquid were to start draining from the straw, that would increase the volume that the air would have to take up, without increasing the amount of air in the straw. If you were to turn it upside-down, the liquid won't move, it'll stay hovering in the straw, because if it were to start falling down, that would decrease the volume that the air would have to take up, without decreasing the amount of air in the straw.
10. Video games are kinda physicsy

Oh like chunks? I remember the days I was really into stuff like this, age kills curiosity though. Also too many blows to the head probably makes lesions on the "curiosity cortex".
11. Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Mr. Gauss!!!
12. Physics of Mario Kart

I don't know if I would go as far to say the greatest game of all time, but still pretty good! Nice to tie some physics into a classic series!
13. 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.
14. Partners in Crime (I Mean Physics)

you're welcome
15. Ukulele Physics!

I think I've done enough violin blogs, so how about my other instrument? That's right, ukulele. And yes, I actually play it, I don't carry it around like an accessory and pretend like I know how to play. Like the violin, the ukulele is a string instrument, so the sound comes from vibrating strings. Unlike a guitar or violin, the strings of a ukulele are made of nylon, which gives it that distinct ukulele sound. Both the length and the tension of the string determine what note it plays. When tuning, if the string is flat, you tighten it to tune it. This increases the tension and frequency. If it's sharp, loosen the string. How loud the ukulele is depends on how hard you strum. The harder you strum, the higher the amplitude of the vibrating strings, resulting in higher volume. The noise also comes from the sound of the vibrating strings echoing in the hollow chamber in the body of the ukulele. If there were no chamber, the ukulele would not produce much sound. Enjoy this picture of my ukulele with my violins on top of a piano. I'm bad at piano by the way.
16. Physics Followed Me to London!

It is the study of everything...
17. A Review and Conclusion

This year, I really pushed myself with new challenges that were difficult, but also very rewarding. I took on the challenge of a flipped classroom and learned a new way to be a student that will help prepare me for college. While at times it was a struggle to keep up, this course kept helped me prepare for college by forcing me to work on my time management skills. I think that I have a lot more of improvement to do on this, but I have come a long way from the beginning of the year. I think before I go to college, it might be a good idea to review Dr. Chew's videos and brush up on some of the proper learning techniques that he taught. Another new thing that I took on this year was completing blog posts for this class. This activity taught me a lot of new things about how what we are learning in physics applies to the real world and I really appreciate all that I have learned. Going forward, I will have to apply the math and physics of the classroom to the real world, and doing the blog posts gave me a little bit of insight into the connections between the two. Although it may have been a challenge at times to complete the necessary blog post on time, I enjoyed learning new things about the world around me.
18. Mechanics vs. Electricity and Magnetism

At this point, we have finished mechanics, and we are starting to finish up electricity and magnetism. Each of these courses had it's own set of challenges. However, with mechanics, even when I didn't fully understand something, I could still sort of visualize it and try to make sense out of it. Mechanics definitely felt more straight forward and understandable than electricity and magnetism, except dealing with drag forces is still very difficult. With electricity and magnetism, my main struggle has been not being able to just see how everything works. Things don't really click with me like they often did in mechanics. This is why I would say I've had more trouble with this course than mechanics. I can't see things the same way. When it comes time to review for both exams, I'll have to keep this in mind, and maybe dedicate a little more time to electricity and magnetism just to make sure I understand what I need to in order to be successful.
19. This Year in Review

This year has been a wild ride, and the AP weeks are approaching fast. With the third quarter ending, and soon most AP classes to have not much work to do, I need to take the time to look back on this year. Physics was a struggle, but that made it a lot of fun. I have learned a lot, and have learned new was of how to learn based on the style and difficulty of a class. It was a great choice to make and it has really helped me to learn what is in store for the future at college. Calc didn't catch up to physics until it was toward the end of the second quarter, which made the math fun, but that was a good learning opportunity as well. As the year slowly comes to an end I am happy but sad as this year has been rough, but I couldn't have asked for a better year to end on.
20. The Pokeball Explained with Quantum Entanglement

Pokemon is weird and so, even the simplist things in the games must also be complicated. The pokeball is how you capture and transport pokemon. However, it cannot simply store a pokemons mass as it would cause serious problems outside of weight. For example, the pokeball seems to be about 9.52 cm in diamter giving it a volume (3/4(3.14)(4.76^3)) of 452.11 cm^3 so that the most massive pokemon, Groudon with a mass of 950kg would result in a mass density of 2101 kg/m^3 which is denser than the sun. That's a problem if I've ever heard of one. So this is how I came to Quantum Entanglement, after reading an article that gave a very simple explanation to it on reddit. So when two particles interact in the exact perfect way, they become entangled. This means that whatever happens to one happens to the other, and weirdest part is that the distance between the two particles doesn't matter. Research has been able to do this with particles as large as a grain of sand at a distance of up to 10 miles apart. So, pokeball's are then just quantum computers which turn a pokemon into data somewhere in the universe on how to reconstruct a pokemon. The worst part of this comes with the no-cloning theorem, so that in order for the copy to be made, the original must be destroyed. So every time a pokemon enters a pokeball, the original would be destroyed. If the pokemon breaks free, it is not the original that was encountered, and were it to be caught, when it came time to battle, it wouldn't be the same as when it were caught. This makes the whole pokemon world a lot more grusome.
21. Weird Aspects of the Pokedex

The pokemon games are full of weird situations and ideas, especially those relating to the all knowing pokedex. This post will highlight how weird the game is about first generation pokemon, Ponyta. One pokedex entry states that it can clear ayers rock in one leap. This rock in central Austrailia, standing at 348 meters tall and its average width across is about 1500 meters. This then becomes a projectile motion problem. The pokedex also states that its evolution can run at 67 m/s and so this is Ponyta's intial horizontal velocity. Ignoring air resistance, ponyta will keep this horizontal velocity through out its jump. To calculate the air time (x/v = t) giving that it takes ponyta 22.4s to clear the rock and 11.2s to reach maximum height. Then solving for the initial vertical velocity give 137 m/s and thus by Pythagorean theorem, p963onyta launches itself at an angle of 64 degree with a velocity of 153 m/s. Then, how high does Ponyta jump? Solving -V^2/2a for height gives 963 meters. That's taller than the worlds tallest building. This universe is just weird.
22. Vortexes and Mushroom Clouds

While doing some exploring on the internet, I stumbled across this video that does a pretty decent job of explaining a crazy pool vortex that forms when you push a plate through pool water. The woman in the video lists some examples of vortexes which include water going down a drain, hurricanes, tornadoes, and air going over a plane. In the example with the plate, the difference in velocity between the water moving with the plate and the stationary water next to it causes a shear force and makes the water spin. The vortexes keep spinning because of angular momentum and minor friction. She also examines what happens when a vortex line is curved or a complete circle like in a smoke ring, bubble ring, or even the plume rising up from an explosion. This seemed interesting to me so I decided to explore more behind what creates a plume after an explosion. The plume formed after an explosion, often called a mushroom cloud, is best known for occurring after nuclear explosions. Below is a picture from WWII of the atomic bomb explosion over Nagasaki, Japan. Some simple physics can explain the phenomenon behind the forming of this cloud. When the explosion occurs, the hot burning gases which are less dense than the surrounding air, rises up fast, creating a vacuum affect that pulls cool air up into the cloud. This is called the Raleigh-Taylor instability which occurs when two different substances of different densities interact. I've included an additional video that better explains this stunning affect. Enjoy!
23. The Physics in Album Covers

Physics is all around us, and sometimes it is so visually awesome that it can make for great album covers. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon One of the highest selling albums of all time, and having one of the most identifiable covers of all time, Pink Floyd should rightfully start up this list. The phenomenon shown is called dispersion of light. This occurs when white light hits an optically permeable surface. In this case, white light is hitting a prism. As white light passes through the prism, all the different components of white light separate by wavelength. This occurs due to each wavelength having a different angle of deviation. Shorter wavelengths, such as violet, have greater angles of refraction than longer wavelength colors, such as red. The result is a splay of colors each aligned in a rainbow to their corresponding wavelengths. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures Another cover which can be easily recognized, or at least will be noticed, is Joy Division’s debut album. What you are actually seeing is a visualization of radio waves from a pulsar, in fact the first pulsar ever discovered. A radio pulsar is a neutron star which is spinning at incredibly high speeds. So this star, with a density ten trillion times denser than lead, is also generating a strong magnetic field from moving electrons. Due to this spin, electrical charges, and magnetic field, a radio signal was received at 1.337 second intervals. The picture above depicts eighty successive periods stacked on top of one another, and was taken straight from The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy published in 1977. Despite being in earlier publications, the true creator of the design is not know, but if one thing is for sure, the image can still be found everywhere and this usage in 1979 was only the beginning of its use in pop culture. The Strokes: Is This It The cover to The Strokes Is This It was chosen for release of the 2001 album due to its beautiful psychedelic appearance. But what is it? Well, it is a picture taken from inside a bubble chamber. A bubble chamber is used to study electrically charged particles. How it works is that large bubble chambers are filled with incredibly hot liquid hydrogen. As the particles enter the chamber, a piston opens decreasing the pressure in the chamber. Charge particles created an ionized track which vaporizes the hydrogen creating visible bubble trails. Since the hydrogen is transparent, pictures can be taken in all three dimensions, mapping out the movements of the particles. So why is a different bubble chamber photo my profile picture? Well it has nothing to do with The Strokes. It's just a beautiful image, and that's what made most of these artists choose their own covers. Nature is beautiful in many ways, and being able to explain it with physics makes it just that much more enjoyable. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
24. Third Quarter in Review

No doubt the course has gotten much harder in the transition to electricity and magnetism. The result is that I've needed to adapt a new approach to the course. I have tried watching videos then filling in my notes with information from the book and vice versa. For me watching the videos first worked much better. So, if anyone finds this blog, I'll certainly recommend that. But one of the most important things I can do is look back at the course and experience as a whole, despite having induction left, and say I wouldn't have it any other way. It's like climbing a mountain and, while it seems like a heavy task at first, the top is now in sight, with a bit of work left. The most exciting part of this year, besides writing these blogs, had to be finally finding where all these formulas came from, such as how work and forces are so interconnected now that we understand integrals and derivatives. The good news is that it only builds on from here. Well, my group agreed we would do a blog post sharing our future endeavors, and I'm happy to say that I will be attending the University of Rochester to pursue Optical Engineering. It specifically interests me in the area of integrating electrical and digital circuits but, since optics is such a wide field, that can only be compared to dipping my toe in the deep end of an Olympic sized swimming pool. This course has probably prepared me the most, compared to any other course, for what to expect in college, and for that I'm immensely grateful. Thank you FizziksGuy. The road isn't over yet but this year has been a large stepping off point into the next and I can't thank you enough for the help. This is kinda sad, being one of the last assigned blog posts I do, but it is not the end. There will be one more after this, which I am really excited for, and I will post a couple in fourth quarter. I legitimately love writing these and need to thank all of my readers and those who gave support, and even criticism, as this was one of the most fun projects I have had this year. As always thanks for reading! - ThePeculiarParticle
25. (BEST SHOW)GAME OF THRONES!!!!!(SO COOL)

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. “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. 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!
26. (NETFLIX)STRANGER THINGS THEORY!!!(SEE NOW)

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, minuscule particles would be able to travel in other dimensions! The more you know! Thanks for tuning in folks! Edit: I hadn't realized that Kara posted about the exact same thing until after I posted this, oops

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