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AP Physics C

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The last...

It's rather crazy to be writing my last ever physics C blog post... I feel as though this day has always seemed so far away. Now that I'm all reminiscent and whatnot, what better to blog about than a reflection on the course? First and foremost, it was hard. At least for me. I felt as though all year I was struggling to grasp everything that everyone seemed to get so easily and had to fight ten times harder to get to the same point. The course frustrated me countless times, and I've never

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Physics in Photography

There was a lot of picture taking going on today, and considering it being a noteable passion of mine, I figured it's a good thing to ponder the physics of. Photography is derived from the greek words "photos" meaning light, and "graphos" meaning writing. Writing with light. Aptly named, as light is the largest component of any good photograph. Every camera has exposures and f-stops that corollate with apperatures and shutterspeeds. Each of these are tools to control how much light is allowed

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The Bumble Bee

I've always just kind of assumed nature optimized the way all things are formed for what they're designed to do. Apparently, however, this is not the case. Though it's a myth that bumble bees shouldn't be able to fly with their rather small wings and rather large body, the way in which they do fly is incredibly inefficient. Essentially they move around the air through sheer brute force. Not only are their wings unsynchronized, but the way in which they flap i makes it impossible for air flow

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Time Travel

I know, first I talk about teleportation, and now I'm talking about time travel. Alright, I'll admit it, I'm a Whovian. Huge Doctor Who dweeb, so yes, that's where a lot of my inspiration is coming from. Regardless of my inspiration, it's not really so strange to think about time travel--what would you do if you could travel in time, when would you go? Ancient history? Your history? Eons in the future? Furthermore, I'd think you a raging liar if you tried to tell me you've never wondered if

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The most realistic concept of Magic...

I've mention in a previous post how poorly magic and physics mix. That being said, there are many variations on how magic works depending on what fiction you're referring to. In most fictions I've seen, practicing magic tends to simply require a lot of mental focus and memorizing a few words. This concept is entirely impossible in the real world if the fundamental laws of physics hold true. Energy can't be created or destroyed, simply changed. Magic tends to make things move with no physical cau

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Noise Canceling Headphones

Recently I've acquired skullcandy over-ear headphones that have many noise canceling qualities. Still, I find myself wishing I could afford the Bose. Without any doubt, the Bose Noise Cancelling headphones are the best of their kind. With this in mind, I though it worth the research to figure out why. As with nearly anything, there's actually quite a bit of physics involved in optimizing sound quality. For starters, to make headphones in general involves coils and magnets and a whole slew of p

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Physics in TV shows

Of all the tv shows we watch, each and every one retains varying levels of accuracy with respect to physics. Here's my personal reflection on the accuracy of some shows I watch: The Big Bang Theory: The big bang theory is a hilarious comedy relating to the lives of social awkward phsyicists. We don't have any problems with someone leaping too far out of a window or something blowing up when it shouldn't because... well that stuff doesn't happen in the big bang theory. Noteably, however, is a

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Reflection on KSP

Over the past few weeks, I've gotten to know Kerbal Space Program quite well. I can honestly say it's quite the addicting game, but if you don't do any research, it can get very frustrating. Personally, I'm a trial and error kind of gal. When being completely honest, I almost never actually calculate the physics behind everything going on in KSP, I just make behemoth rockets and see if they do what I want them too. As a result, I've probably had more crash landings and test flights than there ar

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End-of-the-year-syndrome

Does anyone else feel it too? End of the year syndrome... it's kinda like senioritis, except anyone can get it. Essentially what it means is a complete and total lack of motivation to do anything whatsoever. I don't know about you, but it's hitting me hard right now, with 5 days left of school and numerous projects not yet completed. So lets remind ourselves why we like physics, shall we? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3Zf1f3-JYs Because physics is everywhere, and it can be funny! But

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Why is the night sky dark?

In summary, essentially the sky appears dark to us because the universe is expanding. When the stars we look at are farther away, they're moving away from us faster. The faster the star moves away, the more red they appear. After they reach a certain distance away from us, the stars become infrared. Essentially the sun is the only star close enough to us to emit on the visible spectrum and diffuse through the atmosphere. I thought this was very interesting. With a background in physics, a lot

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String theory

To be completely honest, I've always been pretty curious as to what string theory is and how it is supposed to work (and not just because of Sheldon Cooper). Origionally I was completely off as to what I thought it was all about. My previous notion was that string theory strung together the four fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetic, strong and weak), showing how they can interact. This actually has very little to do with string theory. String theory is more about the structu

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Some interesting thoughts

I don't know about you, but I'm always interested in quirky little facts that can be used to go up to someone smarter than you and say "hey, I know something you don't know!" So to aid you all in this admirable endeavor, watch this video!

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Why understanding physics is a good thing

For some of us, taking the lovely AP-C Physics course was simply to have that shiny passing grade to rub in the face of colleges and use to squeeze out some money from them--a "hey look I'm s-m-r-t!" badge if you will. Nearly everyone in the class thought about it economically when considering taking it; taking it in highschool is FAR cheaper than in college, and allows more focus on new materials, maybe it'll draw some scholarships, help get a job ect. But physics goes beyond that. Here's a lis

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Food for thought (more enjoyable if someone has an answer...)

I've been pondering this for a while and be it because I haven't really looked at equations nor truly tried applying equations in creative ways, I've stumbled across a relationship I can't seem to figure out (maybe someone could answer it with a blog? {I'm such a nice person}). So I have a volvo s60, and for its size, its a pretty hefty car. Being so massive, my dad has often preached what a splendid winter car it is, as its weight increases friction and thus provides better traction in bad w

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Physics is everywhere!

Upon thinking about dinner, I was pondering what I could possibly blog about, when I saw some pasta... Truly there's a lot of physics involved in cooking. Pasta is a pristine example! Spaghetti initially comes in a solid, brittle form. However, when it's heated up in boiling water, it becomes flexible. This flexibility is due to the increased speed of the molecules in the solid. Clearly its not made into a liquid, but it is similar in that the molecules are slightly more free too move. It als

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More physics on skiing!

Physics plays a huge roll in skiing--and yes, I've posted about such before, but a 3 day ski trip really struck some new physics relations home. Revelation one: When turning, bending the knees into the turn, and standing up out of the turn actually makes the turn far more efficent and more fun. Part of the efficiency is simply Newton's law--every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. By bending, you're thus using your body weight to turn more forcefully with the aid of the shape and d

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Because we thought we could stand Lewin no more...

To be completely honest, I was getting to a point where the Lewin videos--though extremely helpful--were making me want to fall asleep. However this guy is kind of a genius, and to prove that he deserves some of our appreciation, I though I'd share that he has a fun side as well!

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Top 10 physics-y facts

Please note, these are simply my top ten from a limited-extensive research, so don't judge. Also they're not necessarily in order. 1) A particle "here" can effect one on the other side of the universe 2) All the matter that makes up the human race could fit in a sugar cube (think about how much empty space is in an atom and you'll be marginally less shocked) 3) If the sun were made out of bananas, it would be just as hot (High pressure what-nots) 4)The effect of relativity made an as

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The flaws of the man of steel

Now, don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate the genius of this handsome devil's creation, and honestly I'm not too educated in all the details. However, part of what makes fiction so great is being able to imagine it being feasible ..and that's not so easy when you have even a basic understanding of physics. Honestly, every experience I've had watching a superman movie starts of fantastic, and then gets interrupted by some obnoxious little inconceivable detail that drives me insane and ruins the

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Why dragons physics-ly aren't feasible

Lets think about common conceptions of dragons: They breathe fire, they can fly, they're massively gigantic, and they have impenitrable scales, fearsome claws and teeth, and are just pretty beastly. So lets say a dragon is the size of about 3 elephants high, 4 elephants long, and 2 elephants wide. Considering the fables make them anywhere from lizards to the size of mountains, I think this is fair. So this is about 13 elephants worth, shaving off a couple for the long neck and tail that are n

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Well.

Well I've re-written a beautiful blog post about bullets and arrows 3 times now due to page expirations. The frustrating part is whenever I press back I see all the writing flash before my eyes and then dissapear before I can do anything about it. HELP! On the subject of stress, let's talk about physics. Have you been feeling stressed lately? Or at all? Just in general in your wonderous physics class? You're not alone. http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_demanding_majors.htm;j

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Physics phever!

Have you ever had someone point something out to you, and then you notice it EVERYWHERE? In the middle of my second year of physics, I'm starting to feel the torture that is physics phever--it's everywhere! When you decide which shoes to where, you can look at style, or you can look at comfort. If you look at style, you're looking at texture (which we can detect because of our sense of touch, which isn't REALLY touching but our sense of the repellent force of the electrons in our body with

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Physics phever!

Have you ever had someone point something out to you, and then you notice it EVERYWHERE? In the middle of my second year of physics, I'm starting to feel the torture that is physics phever--it's everywhere! When you decide which shoes to where, you can look at style, or you can look at comfort. If you look at style, you're looking at texture (which we can detect because of our sense of touch, which isn't REALLY touching but our sense of the repellent force of the electrons in our body wit

Momentumous

Momentumous

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