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APlusPhysics Blogs

Showing blog entries posted in for the last 365 days.

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  1. Today
  2. I Drop Everything

    Dropped my daughter once... didn't notice the air resistance kicking in. Did notice the mom resistance kicking in shortly thereafter, however.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Newton's Second Law Lab

    We definitely realized that there is always error!!
  5. Last week
  6. Supersonic speed

    If you have a chance, read up a bit on Chuck Yeager (and/or follow his Twitter). An amazing man with an amazing career and a fantastic sense of humor to boot.
  7. What Is This and Why Is It Important?

    Love this! My background is in microelectronic engineering, and I'm even in the middle of putting together a 2-hour workshop on microelectronics (presentation is in December) that will cover much of what you did over the summer. Great discipline, with TONS of fantastic jobs that are fun, challenging, and rewarding. We'll have to talk more...
  8. How Do Pickups Work?

    Yes, there has been some delay between posts, I apologize, but life is busy as usual. This week I wanted to cover the topic of pickups for string instruments. So I play electric bass and wondered the other day how different pickups get different tones and sounds out of them. You can have warm, mellow, fuzzy, even screechy tones all based on the different models. To answer this, we need to see how a pickup actually “picks up” the string vibrations, and it does so through Faraday’s Law. Faraday’s Law states that changing a magnetic field creates an electric current. Now the magnets mounted on the instrument are static, but the strings which vibrate are not. The vibration of a string disrupts the field and causes an electrical signal to be the output. The only time this is a problem is when a harmonic results in a node occurring over the pickup and register as silent due to the string not oscillating at that point. This is where multiple pickups can be handy as they can add a signal together if both register a frequency or one can register a frequency if the other has a node above it. Here is a picture of the system used to pick up an electrical signal. Many pickups are single coil as shown by a single row of magnets. While this may be a cheaper option, it is more prone to interference from surrounding equipment and signals. The most commonly used alternative is a Humbucker. Humbuckers work by using two coils housing magnets of opposite polarity. This creates signals out of phase in each coil. If these coils connect correctly it results in external electromagnetic fields, such as from power lines, to be canceled out and the guitar signal is doubled. This diagram shows a simple circuit for a pickup. The resistor for tone effectively acts as a filter for higher level frequencies. Adjust the resistor and the frequencies which get cut also changes. The resistor bellow controls volume or amplitude of the signal before it travels through the cable to the larger amplifier. Every single one differs slightly so that the signals to every pickup on an instrument can combine and create a unique sound. Thanks for reading! -ThePeculiarParticle
  9. Earlier
  10. Force of a Linebacker

    Old Silverback is my favorite player!
  11. Ping Pong Physics

    Cool video edits!!!
  12. LaTex Help.

    Sure would be nice if your teacher put something together to help with LaTeX and getting started... maybe something like a guide and even starting templates. Perhaps even a video guide? http://www.aplusphysics.com/about/LaTeX.html
  13. The Physics Behind an MRI

    This was a really awesome read! It reminds me of a video I saw a few weeks back, and while it isn't as informative, the experiments are really cool. The power these magnets have is simply incredible...
  14. Gravitational Waves 2017 (Not Clickbait)

    Besides acting as an eye catching graphic, this animation shows the interaction between two bodies which causes gravitational waves. Amidst increasing international and domestic tensions, it is hard to find any news agencies talking about 1.8 billion year old news anymore. This week, LIGO observatories announced the detection of gravitational waves back in August caused by two colliding black holes. It is estimated that both black holes had the mass of 53 suns. As for what gravitational waves are, they are ripples in spacetime caused by usually very large gravitational interactions. This is not the first time they have been detected. The two VIRGO observatories, one located in Washington and one located in Louisiana, were able to narrow down the region of space for prior waves origins to arcs which could fit over 3000 full moons. A new detector in Italy, named Virgo, became the key piece in triangulating this signal to a smaller point in space of only 300 full moons. This image shows the areas of detection for the previous gravitational phenomena projected onto a spherical representation of the milky way. The latest (GW170814) is substantially smaller in area than the others. As for why this matters, within the next few years another LIGO detector is scheduled to go online in India and another, named KAGRA, in Japan in order to make this area smaller. The more observatories we have means more accurate readings and decreases the likelihood of any false signals. The more data we can receive the more we can learn about the behavior of the universe. This latest reading confirms that gravitational waves have 3 dimensional polarization further proving another part of relativity. In the future, scientists wish to learn more about the exact moment of the collision, specifically, if they are lucky enough to catch two neutron stars and see any radiation. They also wish to know if any matter or light is emitted from these collisions. Frankly, the information we know about is practically nothing. At this point, any data is vital to expanding our understanding of the universe and bring some method to its madness. Hope everyone enjoys their week and puts their ear to the ground on any future information. -ThePeculiarParticle I don't claim to be an expert in this field. In fact, I am not even close, so if you wish to know more here is the link to their website: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news
  15. Waves are Wavy

    Waves are like people, turbulent, transitory and aimless. Such is the nature of man, I suppose, and such is the vast separateness of a chaotic sea.
  16. Inertia in Sci-fi

    Recently, I've been replaying one of my favorite sci-fi video games, and came across a pretty amusing conversation. For some quick context before I post the video, the game is in the future when humanity has advanced enough to have efficient space travel, allowing them to colonize other planets. They also advanced enough to have giant spaceships with giant guns on them. How fun. In the exact scene in the video, there's a drill sergeant yelling at 2 cadets about firing nuclear-grade armaments at other ships. Warning: The following video contains graphic language, even though chances are you don't really care. I just like to think of what events had to happen for this drill sergeant to have to chew out these cadets. Did this Serviceman Chung fire out multiple nukes into space while guessing his aim? It's a pretty amusing scenario, and not that unlikely either. I suppose that if we do manage to advance technology far enough, this would become an issue. We couldn't just fire willy-nilly out into space, because it might eventually hit someone. This is why when I go target shooting at my uncle's house, we shoot towards the bottom of a hill so that any missed shots don't go flying through somebody's window, they just land in the dirt. It also makes me wonder about how much stuff is just floating around the Earth right now. We don't have rings like Saturn, but there's still plenty orbiting our planet. There's got to be paint chips off of spacecraft we've sent up, maybe a tool that an astronaut accidentally let go of while doing an EVA, and just bits of dust from comets or asteroids. Even something as small as a pebble, when flying through space at multiple kilometers per second can do quite a lot of damage to a satellite. Well, that's just my train of thought. If you have anything to add, put it in the comments.
  17. Partial Derivatives

    School's been treating me well it's definitely been a lot more work than high school, but manageable and enjoyable.
  18. Catching Up Time

    I think this title is suitable for this post considering the date (I'm posting this about a week later than I should have). The last two weeks have been interesting. To start, there was that kinematics test on the 21st, and I did not exactly get an ideal grade on it. However, I know why. I did not plan well enough what exactly I should be doing each day in school and at home, which kept me from using my time as effectively as I could have been. I think it's safe to say I fell slightly behind, leading me to scramble a bit in the end. On top of this, I had other things on my mind. The day of the test, my German exchange partner, Gina, was coming to live with me for a week. This also meant that I would be missing out on a significant amount of class time that week in addition to time at home that I would be spending with her. Naturally, I was a little panicked when I came to school Tuesday having to start a unit that everyone else had already been working on in class and at home. However, I got right down to business and began working through some problems in class and during my free period. It only took two days for me to feel better about where I was. On Friday, I woke up to get Gina to the airport by 3:30 a.m. and got home around 4:45. I decided it was no use going back to sleep (and then learned that if you want to stay awake at 5 in the morning, DO NOT read about supply curves) so I was half dead in school that day. Then I went to physics. To my own surprise, I actually got a lot done, and it may have been one of my most productive and successful days in this class so far. (Side note: Even though it worked out pretty well for me yesterday, I am not going to start getting next to no sleep on a consistent basis. Health is important too!) At that point, I was feeling great and I knew I only had a little more catching up to do, as I am doing now, until I would be right on track again. With support from you guys, I think I will be doing pretty well now. Thanks for putting up with my rambling, I realized this is a pretty long one!
  19. Physics of the Candy Cane Sport

    When most people think about field hockey, they think about the stick that looks like a candy cane. The ball can only be played on the flat side of the stick which makes field hockey a difficult game to play. Newton's first law says that an object in motion will stay in motion until acted on by an outside force. When the ball is hit down the field, the reason it stops after some distance is due to the friction acting as an outside force which slows the ball and brings it to a stop. The surface that is played upon plays a role in the speed of the ball and in the end speed of the game. Grass fields are more difficult to play on with the grass because the ball does not cut through as quickly. Acceleration and changing directions also plays a huge role in the game because players have to quickly adjust speed and direction to dodge around the opposing team. Efficient dodging creates a space and cuts out the defender and makes their job a lot more difficult. That is all for now! Until next time, RK
  20. I am the queen of getting splits! My favorite split for me to get is the 3-7-9 because when the ball hits just right, the ball takes out the 3 pin then the 9 pin slides right into the 7 and it looks so cool!
  21. This Week in Physics

    During this week in AP Physics C, we have begun our studies in Dynamics. At first it was not too bad... then came air resistance. It seems like a pretty simple concept but it is in fact not. I don't have much experience in Calculus yet, so the differential equations are still pretty difficult to understand. There is still a good amount of time before the test for me to study this concept so hopefully I will get a good grasp on it before the test. Other than the differential equations, the confusing part for me is why there are two equations for Fdrag which are Fdrag = bv and Fdrag = cv2 . Why do some circumstances use one equation and others use the other equation? Even though this concept is really difficult, I think it is extremely important for accurate calculations. In past physics courses we have always neglected air resistance but here on earth there is usually air all around.
  22. The Physics of Broken Things

    On the bright side, replacing circuit breakers is fairly straightforward. Car engines, now... that's another story. Good luck!
  23. Dying

    I feel the same way! We can do this!
  24. Kinematics Test Eulogy

    That's a lot of doom and gloom for someone who had a fantastic score on the exam...
  25. What Do Heinrich Gustav Magnus, Volleyball, and KFC Have in Common?

    We never have sufficient time in a P.E. unit to try things like this. Maybe it could have been better known if we could experiment with these effects. Sad but unfortunately true.
  26. How to Get the Most out of Studying: A Summarization of Questions Following Dr. Chew’s Video Series In this blog post, I will detail the important things I took away from Dr. Chew’s video series “How to Get the Most out of Studying.” In the first video, he listed some common beliefs that make you fail and upon reflecting on my study habits, I realized that I had some of these beliefs. For example, I often forget that learning is not fast and that fully comprehending a subject takes time and effort. I get frustrated easily when I don’t understand things immediately and I often underestimate how much time and effort it will take to fully master a certain topic. I feel as though I have a pretty good metacognition, but my laziness sometimes persuades me to disregard how poorly I understand a topic. For example, last year during many physics units, I thought I could survive without fully comprehending the logic behind the equations. The result was a bit disastrous. This year I know that I will have to work a lot harder at learning many topics if I want to succeed. In the next video, I learned some major keys to effective studying. What you think about while studying and “deep processing” are the most important. In order to develop a deep understanding of a topic, it helps to make deep connections with concepts by applying them to your own experience. To accomplish this, I can minimize distractions by creating a neat study environment where I try to put my phone away while I am studying. I can also get real with myself about how well I actually understand a topic. By recognizing when my understanding is weak, I can work hard to process the information on a deeper level and improve my comprehension. One way to accomplish deep processing is by practicing retrieval and application. I can do that for physics class by doing multiple different kinds of practice problems until I have mastered a topic. In the third video, I learned six important aspects for optimizing learning and how I can apply them to improve my learning in this class. 1. Elaboration: making meaningful associations between the concepts being studied and related concepts. I can consider how new topics relate to previous units to create a foundation for new understanding. 2. Distinctiveness: clear contrast between the concepts being studied and other concepts. I can work to confidently know the differences between important concepts that seem similar by making an effort to understand the differences. 3. Relate concepts to my personal experiences. By staying on top of blog posts this year, I can take what I have learned and apply it to the real world. 4. Appropriate retrieval and application of material. I can practice real world problems and review and recall information from the videos and textbooks. 5. Automaticity: a process so highly practiced that it can be completed without any conscious effort. I will need to make a conscious effort to practice better study skills so that I can get the most out of studying. 6. Overlearning: continuing to study beyond just knowing the information to where it can be recalled quickly and easily. This year I cannot underestimate the amount of time and effort that is necessary to fully comprehend information. I have to work hard and keep practicing. In the fourth video, I learned that it is important to generate questions about a topic. The questions should force you to compare and contrast, make connections, generate examples, recall facts, analyze concepts, or address key ideas. I learned that note taking is important even when watching videos because it helps you stay actively engaged in the material and limits distractions. I also learned that study groups can be very effective if everyone makes important contributions that help everyone learn and improve. Finally, the fifth video discussed recovering from a failed exam. Here are some things to do to in the aftermath of a failed test: · Don’t panic or go into denial · Examine how you prepared and be honest with yourself · Review the exam · Talk with your teacher · Examine your study habits · Develop a plan · Commit time and effort · Minimize distractions · Attend class · Set realistic goals · Don’t begin to slide · Don’t give away points DON’T PANIC AND GIVE UP!! Having good study habits that improve your learning will take time and effort and there may be setbacks along the way. Since watching the Dr. Chew videos, I have unfortunately come close to failing an exam. Despite all that he said, I still did exactly what he said I would. I went in to the test feeling confident, thought the test went well, and was surprised to see that I had done so poorly. So this is what I have done so far and what I plan to do to get a better outcome next time. 1. I did panic a little at first, but I am trying to keep calm and carry on. 2. I realized that I was scrambling right before the test to finish all my work. I did not have enough time to thoroughly go over the information I learned to check for understanding. I also did not have enough time to do practice problems and develop automaticity. 3. I examined my study habits and found that I was not consistent and only did what I felt was the minimum amount necessary to succeed, which was clearly not enough. 4. My new game plan is to actually take the time every day to watch videos, read the textbooks, practice problems, ask questions, develop a better metacognition, and take the time to overlearn so that I can deeply process concepts and develop an accurate and complete understanding of topics as a whole. 5. I am going to use as much free time as I have to get the most out of studying and avoiding putting things off until the last moment possible. 6. Any time I am feeling discouraged or find myself at a major setback, I will not panic and go into denial. I will come back to this post, recollect myself and keep pushing forward because I believe in myself and I have the will power to succeed.
  27. Foul ball physics

    Sitting on the third base line can be pretty scary in a big-league game. Especially if you have kids to wrangle who are more interested in their popcorn than the game.
  28. Physics of College

    Dear Mr. Vank -- it's fantastic that you landed on the moon... but did you land on time?
  29. Let's Get the Most Out of Studying!

    Ethan you're the man. Keep studying hard!
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