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  1. It seems like just yesterday I was beginning regents physics class, and now it's almost over. It's been a struggle, but somehow, I got through it. Since this is my last blog post ever, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on this year in regents physics, so here it goes.

    When I first started this class, I knew right away I was going to have a hard time in it. I have never been very good at science, but I figured since physics involves a lot of math, it would not be too bad. I was mistaken. Usually in the beginning of a difficult class, I never understand anything at first. But one day, all of a sudden, I will just automatically understand it. That never happened for this class unfortunately.

    Though this class was extremely hard for me, I did manage to learn a couple of things. There are some units I kind of enjoyed, and the catapult project was fun. A lot of the demonstrations were pretty cool too. The most valuable thing I learned this year was that your attitude can completely make a situation either better, or much, much worse. When I walked into class with a negative attitude, I never learned anything. But when I walked in with a semi-positive attitude, I actually picked up on a thing or two.

    Though I will most likely never take a physics class again, I have to say that in a way, I'm glad I stuck with it throughout this year. Dropping did occur to me a few times, but if I had, then I knew whatever work I had put into this class would have been for nothing. In life, everyone has to go through things they might not want to, but in the end, things turn out to be not so bad. As many times as I might have said I hated this class, I guess it really wasn't so bad after all. And taking this class really made me admire anyone who goes into this field, because it is not easy.

    To conclude my last blog post ever, I just want to thank Mr. Fullerton for putting up with my horrible test grades and negativity all year. Taking regents physics class was definitely an experience I will never forget, and I haven't really decided if that's a good or bad thing yet. Just kidding! Maybe.

  2. MyloXyloto
    Latest Entry

    Hey, do you know whose birthday it is? It is the one, the only, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss! He was born 241years ago today! Since Gauss' Law helps us solve problems with cylindrical, spherical, and planar symmetry, I thought it would only be right to wish him a happy birthday! Thanks Gauss!


  3. We all know that gravity is the reason for things falling but nobody really knows why. We do know how to find and calculate gravity which helps us understand it better. Newtons law of universal gravitation helps to understand a little more of how gravity works. It states that any two things with mass have a gravitational force between them. The more mass and the closer they are means the more gravity they have. So all of us are pulling on everything with mass all the time but our masses are so small compared to the mass of the earth that it does not have an effect. The Law of Universal Gravitation does not just apply to objects on earth but the entire universe thats why its called universal. Using this law we can discover the gravitational force on any planet that we know the mass of before we even go there.

  4. SO, many people have many different ways to study for the regents physics exam including myself and my friends.

    First i picked kids from the AP track to help me study for physics because i knew that they would be able to teach me a lot more than if i were studying alone. They did teach me a lot!

    I drove to pick up Bakari from his house using my car Stanley. Stanley changed potential energy to kinetic energy as it changed gas to moving fuel. I had told Alan, our other study party member, to arrive at two, and i arrived at Bakari's at 1:50. It is safe to say i increased my velocity from the trip to his house to the trip back home. I accelerated uniformly until Bakari told me that i could just use the cruise control. My cruise control turned on and would not turn off until i tapped on the break. This instantly reminded me of the law that an object will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, this outside force being my foot on the break.

    After running into many red lights we turned onto the bridge which had a different road surface than the street. This caused greater frictional force against the car which made my acceleration increase so that i could get past the high coefficient of friction.

    When we finally arrived at my house we had to put the top back up on my convertible. This was physics in itself as well. The button i pressed used mechanical energy to get the top closed so we could go inside and study.

    Of course studying with boys they wanted to listen to music. This music would produce sound waves from my computer and into the awaiting ear drums of us studiers. What they didn't know is my sister was down in the basement practicing for her singing jury. Before we could turn on our music we had to figure out how to block out Taylors music. The sound waves were traveling from the basement up to the living room by using diffraction. Her sound waves went from her, across the basement, around the corner, up the stairs, around another corner and into our ears. Very impressive!

    Quickly enough the boys grew hungry. I, being the lovely hostess, offered them chicken wing dip. I had to warm it up first in the microwave. These waves created heat and energy to make the chicken wing dip at a good temperature for eating. The mechanical energy of the boys chewing was only accompanied by a refreshing drink.

    Both boys wanted straws to drink their beverages with. The straws in the can was immediately refracted so we couldn't tell where it was in the liquid.

    The door opened, my door consisting of potential energy turned to kinetic as Sam entered my house. He ran in, pushed me to the ground and sat on me. his momentum before equaled his momentum afterwards as he tickled me until i got up an hid behind Alan. I couldn't replicate his force by any means because my mass was much less than his however i could remove the attraction between us by moving away from him. Our distance increased which created a smaller force of gravity between us.

    Alan quickly helped change the subject by swinging his iPod around and around on the wire. Bakari and I were quick to analyze this as having centripetal acceleration moving toward Alan's hand that was spinning the wire. We said that it had a uniform velocity and if we had a timer on our hands or a ruler we would be able to figure out the acceleration.

    Sam also assisted us with this experiment as he swung his keys in a circle around his hand. He however experimented with the idea that if you were to cut the string the velocity would shoot outside of the circle. He unexpectedly let go of his keys allowing us to see which way the velocity was being allowed to go. The keys shot from his hand and into the wall behind him.

    All too soon the boys had to leave, however Its safe to say that although they didn't realize it, these boys helped me a lot more than they thought they would.

  5. Reflection is the change in direction of a wave front at an interface between two different mediums so that the wave front returns into the medium in which it originated. Common examples of this include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. In acoustics, reflection causes echoes. This is why when you go to a school concert, there are those white barriers behind the performers. They are there to reflect the sound from coming from the instruments to the crowd. Acoustics also play an important role in understanding how waves behave because the angle in which the waves hit the acoustics walls, the angle remains the same as it bounces off the acoustics barrier.

  6. while bored many of us tend to listen to music, but we often don't realize how lucky we are not to have to deal with electromagnetic interference because of the newly incorporated technology such as wi-fi and error correcting systems. going back to older radios such as the analogue, many of these would have problems receiving the correct signal as there were a lot and they could not distinguish the in-band unwanted from the intended; thus, many times radio stations were disrupted or hard to dial in on.

  7. When one plays a guitar, it is so important to remember all the physics behind it. Waves have a lot to do with the sound we hear from them. For example, without a large amplitude, it would not be heard. And when one changes notes, it changes the frequency that is heard. Because the wave is longitudinal, it needs a medium to travel through which is why in a vacuum you would not be able to hear someome playing. The pulses vibrate parallel to the wave because in a longitudinal wave thats their path.

    Also, playing the guitar has a lot to do with mechanical energy as one strums the strings. Without the physical motion of the player, there would be no sound. Overtones are a cool thing string instruments have that have a lot to di with waves, which is another physics point!

    Next time one picks up a guitar remember all the physics behind it!!!

  8. During a sporting event, the players are the ones expected to perform physical activities. However, within the game and the stadium, there are many other types of physics. A few examples are waves. Waves range from the stadium fans, to the sounds of the players, to the light waves lighting up the stadium. One of the most common waves is performed by the fans, but must be done with a lot of concentration and coordination. A stadium wave has most, if not all of the crowd performing a transverse wave that usually has a very long period because of how long it takes to complete. A transverse wave is a type of wave where the direction of energy transfer is perpendicular to its oscillations. The sound waves created by the players and cheering fans are classified as mechanical and longitudinal waves. They are mechanical because they require a medium to travel through, and they are longitudinal because the air particles are caused to move back and forth. Finally, there are light waves which are classified as transverse and electromagnetic. They are electromagnetic because they do not need a medium to travel through , and are transverse due to the same reasoning as the stadium waves. There's a lot of physics within sports and the players, but the rest of the environment contributes to physics as well, as much, if not more than the actual players.

  9. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    When a ball hits the ground or an axe hits a tree, we can hear a noise signaling this collision. Obviously, sound waves are produced, but where exactly do they come from? 

    When two objects collide, one of two things can happen: an elastic or inelastic collision. In the case of elastic, no kinetic energy is lost. Inelastic, however, involves a loss of kinetic energy. Where does it go?

    Part of it goes to heat, but another part of it causes the sound waves to be produced because they need energy. When two objects collide, the molecules of the object vibrate a little, which in turn vibrates the air molecules, creating a longitudinal wave. 

    So, if a tree falls, it does make a sound because the laws of physics don't stop just because there isn't a human to watch it. 

  10. Crossbows are a very a cool weapon. They use tension and potential energy to shoot arrows. You first pull the string back, which requires a large amount of force, lock it in place with the spring system and then pull the trigger which drops the lock and sends the string and arrow launching forward at a high velocity. When the string is pulled back and locked in place, potential energy is built up. The more potential energy that is built up, the faster and stronger the arrow will launch once the trigger is pulled. Crossbows are fairly simple, yet very deadly. 

  11. kateh516
    Latest Entry

    About a week ago, I walked down into the basement to check on my laundry only to find a large puddle of water on the floor. We had temporarily fixed the pump that brings the water from the basement up into the septic but it seemed to have broken again. We need pumps for appliances below our septic tanks because the water does not have the ability to move from low to high (high being the location of the septic tank; low, my basement) without an external system doing work on it. Because of gravity's natural pull downwards, water wants to go down. To go up the pump must create power to do the correct amount of work to push the water up into the septic. Without it, the water overflows the location of the pump and floods the basement. 

  12. ncharles
    Latest Entry

    If you have ever went to see a concert, play, musical or any other performance on a stage, it is very likely that there were curtains involved. Tonight, i was partly responsible for the curtains at the IHS Talent show. The contraption that allows the curtains to move across the stage is a simple pulley system using two pulleys and a rope in-between. When the rope is pulled in one direction, it creates a torque on the pulley and causes it to spin. This spinning either opens or closes the curtain (depending the direction pulled). This contraption is also very common with close-able curtains in your home. And this is a very simple example but i realized thats some of the most simple things help the most!

  13. joshdeutsch
    Latest Entry

    I watched Interstellar the other day and was surprised by the amount of theoretical physics there were. One part of the movie they mentioned magnetic fields, which are real physics, but i thought it was cool that they incorporated that into the movie to show the message. Allow we can't just change magnet fields with the push of a book none the less cool idea. Now we will get into the theoretics. The astronauts in the movie didn't experience time travel but did go through a black hole that had it's own time spand due to being in another universe. This connected to the idea that time travel could possibly be harnessed. Weird ending but physics theoretical and real were present so that was cool.

  14. Not that long ago I came up with a fun project idea when I was bored. I had some spare speakers laying around and felt like a fun thing to do would to add them to my current speaker system to help fill the room with sound better. To do this I drilled small holes in the back of my current computer speakers and then connected some wire in parallel, I then ran this wire through the ceiling and then soldered the leads to the speakers. By connecting them in parallel I reduced the resistance of the circuit but I also increased the current, thanks Ohms law! I thought this was all good, but then my dad brought up a good point, would the increase in current cause the amp in the speakers to blow. To my luck it seems like it all worked out fine as a few weeks later the speakers are working just as they were before. Another bit of physics that helped me in this project is magnetism. At the back of all speakers there is a sizable magnet used to vibrate the membrane and create the frequency of the music.  I used this magnet as a form of mounting, I have ceiling tiles in this room so I just stuck the speakers to the ceiling where the metal was in the ceiling and I was done!

  15. A slinky is an extremely fun toy if you are 3 years old, or even 73 years old! The way it transfers energy back and forth throughout it is very similar to a wave. A wave can either be longitudinal or transverse, but in this case, a slinky is like a longitudinal wave. It bunches up at some points, but then expands out with different distances between each metal ring. Waves are found in every day life such as jump rope as well. As you spin the rope constantly around, it represents half of a wave. If you were to play the "Jumping over the rope game" as we used to call it in the olden days, waves are traveling through that rope even more. As you get a steady pace on the rope, more waves are in it. If we wanted to find the speed of the rope, you could use the equation v=fh( h=wave length). You would measure the rope and then calculate how long it is and how long it would take for the wave to hit the crest 10 times. This would give you the frequency and wave length of the wave. Waves are every where and can be tons of fun!

  16. In the last decade, the uprise of mobile devices with touchscreens has been prominent, and there are 2 main types of touchscreens. The first, and cheaper style, is known as resistive, which uses 2 separated films that when come in contact they allow current to flow. This is what is used to determine the location of the touch, as wherever the current is flowing is where the user is currently touching. The issue with this system is that it requires physical movement of the plates, meaning it can be triggered by anything pushing it together, also if it's layers are no longer even they can touch if nothing is pushing on them, causing unwanted actions. The solution to these issues is the more complicated design, known as capacitive touch. This uses a system of 4 capacitors on each corner, and when the touch occurs, based on how the capacitance changes, the computer system can determine the position of the touch. This is exceptionally useful for avoiding accidental touches, and for creating a much more durable touch surface. Also, it enables much more precision and ease of use to the user, as they don't have to physically move anything, and so there is less to go wrong. The disadvantage of this is that water and anything else conductive greatly reduces the accuracy and usability of such a touch screen, as it messes with the currents. Thanks to this kind of technology, it is much easier for us to use our mobile devices with ease and precision.

  17. Welding, as most people know, is when you use a torch to melt a material to another material, as well as add some filler material for strength. However, there are a lot of different welds that can be made, and a lot of different ways you can make them. For example, some common types of energy sources for welding include a gas flame, lasers, electric arcs, electron beams, ultrasound, and friction. For the purpose of this post, I'll be talking about laser welding, since it is newer, and involves lasers which are just inherently cool. Welding using a laser beam consists of a concentrated laser beam, which provides a lot of energy making a weld fast, deep, and within a small area. Because of the extreme heat of the laser, however, some materials can be prone to cracking. It is also important to focus the laser properly, as the weld is the most effective when the focal point is just below the surface of the material being welded. Laser welding also has some advantages over electron beam welding, primarily that it can be done in air and is not required to be done in a vacuum, and does not produce x-rays. Welding is just one of those things you dont think about that much, and don't realize how important it is to so many every day things, and it is really cool that innovations are still being made in welding to adapt new technologies, such as lasers, into a hundred year old proscess. 


  18. Nearing the end of the year 2013, a new Disney movie came out, sending society into fanatic obsession. This movie was of course, Frozen. Frozen tells the story of Queen Elsa and her struggle to contain her gift. The majority of the movie is her sister, Ana and her entourage tracking down Elsa to try to help her. Well trolls, evil fiances, and talking snowmen later, the world is completely addicted. I still am, quite frankly.

    While I watched this movie a hundred times, I wasn't just belting along to every song in the movie, I was baffled at how realistic it was compared to other animated movies. They made the characters 3D, they used a real reindeer to crate Sven, and they spent years making it perfect. (I'm not actually sure how long it took them, but it did take a long time to perfect.) Anyway, they are now in the works of making a second and...oh right! Physics...

    Well when I watched the movie after I entered my junior year, physics came into my brain. The animators took a lot of time to make sure that the movie followed physics, which I can't say for many animated films. Especially in action scenes, I noticed how they applied how objects would fall in free fall, also how all three of Newton'd laws were used correctly. Another way it followed physics was with their use of projectile motion as well as the other aspects of kinematics. When objects were moving around the screen and giving lines, the Doppler Effect was slightly apparent. This only scratches the surface at all the tech team to create a timeless classic.

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    This week I focused on chapter 5 in Mechanics.   This included momentum and impulse, conservation of linear momentum and center of mass.

    Areas that went well for me were momentum and impulse and conservation of linear momentum.  What helped me to really understand these two topics were first understand the graphs that went along with them.  This included Force vs. Time graphs showing the impulse to be the area under it.  These graphs gave me a better understanding of what I was solving for when I got to problems.

    Center of mass was the topic I had the most difficulty with.  However plotting the points on a graph helped me with this as well.  The equation Xcm= (m1x1+m2x2).../m1+m2... really helped me understand finding the center of mass of different points.  Finding it for other objects such as rods however was still quite challenging.

    My major key to success this week was working more with graphs.  Once I understood graphs whether it be just plotting point or graphs such as Force vs. Time, they all helped me get a better understanding of the topic I was working on.   

  19. One of my favorite movies is Miss Congeniality! If you have not seen it, number one, you should, but it is about an FBI agent who goes undercover in the Miss United States Pageant. Because she is not by any means a pageant star, for the talent portion she shows off her amazing skills playing music on different types of wine glasses. The reason sound is produced as she swirls her fingertip around the glasses is due to the principal called resonance. Resonance occurs when a system vibrates another system with natural frequency. Different size and shaped glasses cause differences in pitch because the sound wave vibrate differently due to their differing frequency. Nothing better than coming across some physics in one of your favorite films.

  20. Mankind likes big things. We like gigantic iPhones, Venti Lattes, and skyscrapers. The pyramids of Egypt represent perhaps man's earliest obsessions with making big things. As children, we stack wooden blocks until they topple and injure the cat. We are a species obsessed with bigness. But how big could we build? The current tallest building in the world is pretty big, but it's miniscule compared to the towering peak of Mt. Everest. The world's tallest buildings keep getting bigger, but eventually there comes a point when it is impossible to keep building upward. Or is there? In 1895, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed a structure known as a space elevator. Such a structure would begin on Earth and stretch all the way out into outer space. But wouldn't it crumble under its own weight? Normally yes, but this isn't your average game of Jenga. A structure in orbit experiences an apparent centrifugal force that increases the farther out in space an object gets. How and why demands a separate blog post, but given that parameter, a structure as tall as a space elevator would be able to support its own weight because the top section would experience a net force outward that cancels out the gravity that would cause the structure to topple. Therefore, it would theoretically be possible to create a space elevator. Unfortunately, there would still be a ton of forces involved, making most materials useless. However, scientists have postulated that carbon nanotubes might be strong enough to be used in such a project. Even so, the space elevator is a long ways away, but should it come to fruition, it would make transporting packages into space immensely less expensive. Plus, it would probably look awesome.        

  21. chanaersxo
    Latest Entry

    Creating a catapult has shown me many things relating to physics. What we have learned in class that relates back to a catapult is projectile motion and projectile angles. When you use a catapult you can find its velocity, distance, acceleration and time. You are able to find its horizontal and verticle projectile. The horizontal velocity will be constant which means the acceleration will be 0 m/s^2. Its verticle component would have an initial velocity of 0 and its final velocity would increase. You can use the kinematic equations to solve for its velocity, distance, acceleration or time. You just have to know three of the five to find the unknown.

  22. willorn
    Latest Entry

    I can already tell this post will have a lot less structure than usual.

    I've been thinking about special relativity quite a bit more than usual these past few days, in particular, the twins paradox. We didn't discuss it, but it seems to me that the actual aging is not the paradox involved, but the question of which twin aged how much is the paradox, since the earth twin would believe the other twin to be 40 years older and the space twin would think himself only 4 years older. Secondly, we discussed that special relativity applied to objects either in constant motion or at rest. In other words, objects in an inertial frame of reference.

    That being said, the brother traveling in the spaceship must have experienced some sort of acceleration throughout his journey, when he left earth for example, and most likely when he turned around and when returned to earth. Therefore, I do not even think that the laws of special relativity apply to this situation. The question then for me is in that situation what would happen?

    I imagine that the twin on earth has aged physically by forty years and that the twin who traveled has aged physically by just four years, and that no paradox exists at all.

    Something else I have been thinking about: E=MC^2

    I never truly understood the principle, so I looked online for the experiment used to determine this formula, and then attempted to derive it myself. I found that a useful experiment to reference (although theoretical) is this: a box is stationary in a vaccuum. A photon moves through the box from left to right. Since a photon technically has momentum, the box must then move left in order to conserve momentum of the system. When the photon reaches the right side of the box, the impact causes the box to stop moving.

    However, since no external forces acted on the box, its center of mass must be in the same position as before (new concept for me!) but the box has moved left. Therefore, Einstein determined the photon must have a mass equivalent in order to satisfy the laws of physics.

    I dreged up an equatin devised by Einstien to get started. I wonder if he came up with this expression before or after he determined that E=mC^2, because that would make this post seem rather silly. Since, a photon is massless, I was able to draw a simpler conclusion from his equation.The momentum rho is the momentum of both the box and the photon, by conservation of momentum.

    gif.latex?E^2=\rho ^2C^2+m^2v^2 \Rightarrow \rho=\frac{E}{C} \Rightarrow mv=\frac{E}{C}

    Running low on ideas, I nosed around some more, and found that I should start thinking about the time it takes the photon to move from side to side. That train of thought led me to the following. The key is that velocity is change in displacement over time and that the time the photon required to cross the box is the length of the box side over the photon's velocity.

    gif.latex?m(\frac{\Delta x}{\Delta t})=\frac{E}{C} \Rightarrow\Delta t=\frac{L}{C} \Rightarrow m\Delta x=\frac{EL}{C^2}

    Thanks to what I learned this year in class, I know the center of mass of a system can be expressed the sums of products of mass and displacement of all individual parts over the sum of all individual masses.

    I determined that if the center of mass did not move, then the position of the center of mass must have been in the same position as the box after the system resolves itself.

    gif.latex?\overline{x} = \frac{Mx_{1}+mx_{2}}{M+m} \Rightarrow \frac{Mx_{1}+mx_{2}}{M+m}=\frac{M(x_{1}-x_{after})+mx_{2}}{M+m}

    We can substitute X2 (the displacement of the photon) to be L the length of the box because it traveled the full length of the box.

    gif.latex?M(x_{1}-x_{after})+mL = Mx_{1} +mx_{2}\Rightarrow -Mx_{after} = mL

    Reviving the previous equation created and substituting it for m(delta x):

    (I can do this because although the expression reads differently, the displacement after represents the displacement of the photon after colliding with the box's side, and the Mass is of the same object in both cases)

    gif.latex?mL = \frac {EL}{C^2} \Rightarrow E = mC^2

    I find that deriving an equation always helps me to conceptualize it, and I hope this derivation helps you too! In my probing I also discovered that all mass has a measurable frequency, although it has little or no effect on people. More on that later...

  23. This ones going to be a throw back to the beginning of first-person-shooters online. Doom, the game where you stop the forces from hell taking over the earth (or if you're a stickler it's Doom 3 and you close the gate to Hell on Mars.) and you are the only guy ( Doom Guy, heh, bad pun sorry) to complete the task....or if you want to play the older games with a friend and then have it turn into an all out brawl with your fists. With this i'm ignoring the everything else that has to do with the physics because most things like floating eyes that spit fire and a portal to Hell on Mars can possibly be explained, i'm focusing on how the heck Doom Guy can carry nine different guns. This guy carries around shotguns, a pistol, a rocket launcher,the BFG and a chainsaw. Yes he can be strong enough to carry but where does he put them when he isn't using them, let alone all the ammo for it. I would have a video for this one but man is the game as bloody and gory as it can possibly be for it's time, instead have a picture.


    Also, who's excited for Doom 4?

  24. srossi14
    Latest Entry

    Did anyone else watch that show Minute to Win it? As I was trying to think of something the write my last physics blog post about I thought of one task in particular that contestants were asked to complete. The game was called “Tipsy.” To win, the contestant had to balance three soda cans on their edge by drinking some of the soda to the perfect level. The reason that this task is possible is because of physics and center of gravity. As the amount of soda in the can decreases, the center of gravity of the tilted can shifts as the weight of the can changes due to less liquid, and eventually it is able to align with the vertical line up from the balanced edge of the can. So I was going to just attach a video of the "blueprint" for the task but I found a video of a bunch of college students getting real hype about it so I decided to include that instead:)




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