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APlusPhysics Blogs

Showing blog entries posted in for the last 365 days.

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  1. Last week
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Partners in Crime (I Mean Physics)

    you're welcome
  5. Earlier
  6. 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.
  7. Physics Followed Me to London!

    It is the study of everything...
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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
  15. 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

    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!
  17. 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
  18. Galileo Thermometer

    Have you ever seen a Galileo Thermometer? They are a pretty cool way of telling what the temperature is and it also serves as a cool decoration for your home. The thermometer has little glass bubbles with different color liquid inside of them. Each little bubble has a tag on them with a different reading of the temperature. You read a Galileo thermometer by reading the tag on the lowest bubble that is still floating. The way the thermometer works to change to different temperatures involves a bit of physics. An object immersed in fluid experiences two forces, the downward force of gravity and the upward force of buoyancy. In the Galileo thermometer, its the downward force of gravity that makes it work. Each of the tags on the different bubbles has a different calibrated weight, making each one a slightly different weight from the others. The liquid inside the each of the bubbles has the same density, so that when the weighted tags are added, each bubble has a slightly different density then the others due to the ratio of mass to volume. The density of all of the bubbles is very close to the density of the surrounding water. Therefore, as the temperature outside the thermometer changes, the temperature of the water the bubbles are immersed in also changes. When the temperature of the water changes, it either expands or contracts which changes its density. So at any given density, some of the bubbles will float and others will sink. So for example, if the temperature is increasing, the waters density decreases. So the bubble with a tag that says 72 degrees, for example, will have now have a weight per unit volume that is greater than that of the surrounding water rather than lighter, and it will sink to the bottom. Very neat!
  19. The Sound Shadow

    Mechanical waves move through matter as a medium and as such many of the natural laws that pertain to motion and dynamics have special places in the study of mechanical waves. One type of wave is sound which most easily propagates through air however because of the laws of momentum one could expect that a mechanical wave is maintained through any matter. A solid barrier for example would be so rigid that it would absorb the impact of a wave and impede passage slightly beyond the barrier. This would produce a sound shadow where the sound loses its momentum in passage through the solid. Anyways this is the last blog post. Thanks FizziksGuy, even in the darkest of nights, you were by my side all along, my true mentor,
  20. 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.'

    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.

    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!
  23. 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. It's all in the suit, folks.(just kidding he gets bit by a spider and has super powers but the suit helps too).
  24. Jacob's Ladders Are Cool

    Electricity is cool. Electricity travelling through air is cooler. Well, it looks cooler at least. It's actually really hot. Jacob's Ladders are neat little devices that send a roughly-horizontal electrical arc travelling upward between two electrodes. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_gap#Visual_entertainment This is a long exposure picture of a Jacob's Ladder - there's actually only one arc at any given time. The mechanism behind the ladder effect is actually pretty simple. When the arc initially forms, it heats the air up quite a bit, as is evident from the glow it produces. This hot air has more energy, so it expands, which decreases its density relative to the air around it. Since it's less dense, it experiences a buoyant force upward, and since the electrons can more freely travel through already-ionized air, the arc follows the hot air upwards. Once the arc reaches a length at which it can't keep the air hot enough to remain ionized, the arc breaks apart and the path of least resistance returns to being the very base of the ladder, so the process repeats.
  25. 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.
  26. Maglev

    The technology for maglev has existed since the 1960's, the first trains weren't really developed and used till the 1980's and only since the 2000's has humanity had high speed maglev trains. The principle for a maglev train is fairly simple, as it runs using the knowledge that like magnetic poles with repel each other. Maglev trains use magnetic poles to oppose the magnetic field enduced by the train. Then the train is propelled forward by another opposing magnetic field.
  27. 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.
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