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My Last Blog Entry

In early September, in the very beginning of my time in AP Physics C, I was hesitant about the workload and difficulty of the course. When Mr. Fullerton introduced integrals to us for the first time, I knew from then on that the class would be no piece of cake. The funny thing looking back is that I enjoyed the calculus parts of physics by the end of the year very much. With a solid calculus background, the "hard math" aspect of the AP did not seem so hard. For me, the hardest part of the class

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Relative Age

As graduating seniors, we are getting old. No more high school, it's off to college! But, just how old are we? On the earth we are about 18 years old, give or take a few months. Because the other planets are different distances from the sun, they have different periods of revolution. Therefore, in relation to many planets we are very young (Neptune) or very old (Mercury). A planet's period is given by: = distance from planet's aphelion to sun = distance from planet's perihelion to sun

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Donuts

Happy (belated) National Donut Day! This American day of celebration for sugary breakfast rings occurred yesterday on June 7. Yesterday, people from across the nation stopped by Dunkin Donuts to receive a free donut. These consumers devoured the sticky treats without thinking about the history or science behind the donut. But, the history and science, particularly physics, is interesting. So, I will now discuss the connection between donuts and physics. The Dutch brought the idea of deep-frie

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Living on Mars

Population concerns on Earth are leading scientists to inquire whether colonizing Mars is possible. As of now, over 78,000 people have applied to leave Earth forever and live on Mars. Mars One, a nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the colonization with a take-off date sometime in 2023. Out of the applicant pool, four will be chosen to send first to Mars. The first four will lay the groundwork for a permanent colony. Two years after the first four land, Mars One would send up more people to th

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UV radiation

Pale people of the world, beware of the shining, warm sunlight! UV radiation, with a shorter wavelength than visible light, is absorbed by skin causing a sunburn and long-term skin damage. The Earth's atmosphere filters the majority of UV rays before they reach pasty humans; however, UV rays still penetrate the atmosphere. Exposure to UV radiation changes based upon altitude, distance from the equator, time of day, season and amount of cloud cover. At noon, with the sun high in the sky, sunscree

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Senior Runs

As senior year comes to a close, brain space previously reserved for memorizing lists of vocab or challenging physics concepts has been filled with plots for senior pranks, senior runs, and so on. As of now, our senior runs have been quite brief, but I remember the senior runs of the past being both long and successful. As a freshman, I remember being caught in the hallway as I heard the shouts and footsteps of hundreds of seniors coming my way. Senior runs, or more like senior stampedes, can be

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Bottle Rocket Reflection

Even though we launched our bottle rockets a few weeks ago, I thought I would reflect upon team Brazanah's rocket performance. With prior knowledge in the field of building bottle rockets, team Brazanah was determined to succeed in the bottle rocket competition this year. We mainly focused on constructing a well-made parachute. We knew that especially on a windy day, a parachute can greatly slow down the rocket during its fall. Just as we put parachutes on rockets for the Kerbal Space Program

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Multiverse?

In the realm of “big” things there is the world, the solar system, the universe, and then the…? Some scientists, primarily physicists, now believe in the existence of a multiverse. The idea of a multiverse has not been proven, but there is substantial evidence toward the theory. Some of the main points include: 1.) The observable universe goes on for as long as light has had the opportunity to get in the 13.7 billion years since the proposed Big Bang. Beyond the visible universe there can be

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Food of Flight

In Physics class we are currently working on a space exploration computer game named Kerbal Space Program. The purpose of the game is to build rockets or airplanes, think about money management, learn about space exploration, and achieve preset checkpoints. Lately, as our groups attempt longer and longer missions, the Kerbals are stuck in space for a considerably long time before returning home. The question has arisen, what do Kerbals eat while in space in order to survive? I am no Kerbal expe

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Coat-hanger Bubbles Experiment

As advised by Mr. Fullerton, I did the Coat-hanger bubbles experiment to further understand flux! Pre-experiment preparation: First, in my closet I found a nice metal coat-hanger suitable for the trial. After attempting to reshape the coat-hanger, I learned that my hangers are very strong, or that I lack strength; so, I went to my brother's toolbox and grabbed pliers to help bend the wire into a slinky-like shape. My coil ended up having four turns. I then ventured into my kitchen to fill th

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"How Fast Would the Earth Have to Spin to Fling People Off?"

While exploring this lovely APlusPhysics site, I came across an article titled, "How Fast Would the Earth Have to Spin to Fling People Off?" I never thought about this question, but now wonder why I didn't. Oh wait, it's because the idea seems incredibly silly and impossible. Well, someone actually came up with an equation to answer this question. Here is the physics thought process: [ATTACH=CONFIG]644[/ATTACH] Ffake=an added force used to fix the accelerating reference frame Really

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Free Falling

If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas with nothing to do, $100 to burn, and gambling isn't your forte, head over to the Stratosphere Casino/tower. At the Stratosphere, you can experience the thrill of free fall as you descend 108 floors to the ground. After taking the elevator to the top of the building, you receive a brief "safety lesson." Then you saddle into the harness, say a prayer, and jump! (Ok, this isn't true free fall. A long cord is attached to your back which slows you down for th

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To all of you hot beverage drinkers...

As APs are nearing closer, caffeine seems like the secret to success. Staying up late takes a toll on the body, and drains you of energy. Therefore, in the morning, it is very common to see kids and adults carrying around a cup of coffee or tea for the caffeine boost. Nobody wants to fall asleep in class. For those who do consume these beverages here is a disclaimer: Beware of water heated in a clean container in the microwave. Unlike when water heats up on the stove, water heated in a microw

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Tissue Engineering

In college, I plan to major in biomedical engineering. Biomedical engineering combines biology, chemistry, physics, and math into one field of study. The field is very broad; so a biomedical engineer usually focuses on one specialization, some of which include medical imaging, biomechanics, bioinstrumentation, genomics, robotics, clinical engineering, tissue engineering... I am not sure which specialization I will follow yet; however, I think that tissue engineering is extremely fascinating. Tis

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Cross Product Review

After laying low for awhile, cross products have suddenly became very important in our current independent unit on Magnetism. For those who may have forgotten how to find a cross product, here are some reminders. 1. Cross products are needed when the multiplication of vectors is involved in the problem 2. To find cross product of a x b [where a is (ax,ay,az) and b is (bx,by,bz)] cx=(aybz-azby)i cy=(azbx-axbz)j cz=(axby-aybx)k 3. The cross product is then written: a x

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Fundamental Law Broken

The Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy may neither be created nor destroyed. One of the most simple transformations of energy occurs when a ball is dropped from height, h. Before being released, the ball possesses potential energy equal to mgh with m=mass, g=gravitational constant, h=height. While the ball is in motion, before it reaches the ground, its kinetic energy= (1/2)mv2 increases and potential energy decreases. When the ball hits the ground, some energy is converted to friction. So

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Liquid Magnets?

Most people think of magnets as a solids. But, think again. A "liquid" form of magnet exists. Ferrofluids contain magnetic particles in a liquid carrier, and act like a "liquid magnet." Ferrofluids do not clump together to form solids because of a surfactant, which coats the magnetic particles. The surfactant overcomes the magnetic forces between the particles and keeps the solution a liquid. A ferrofluid is primarily made of a liquid carrier, and contains relatively small amounts of magneti

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Magnetic Monopoles

Displayed in his videos for our current independent unit, Professor Walter Lewin has a strong interest in magnetic monopoles. Lewin repeatedly stated that proof of the hypothetical magnetic monopole would win the brilliant scientist a Nobel Prize. Because of his excitement toward this topic, I have researched a bit about the mysterious magnetic monopoles. Currently, it is believed that a magnet must have a positive, and a negative pole; the existence of magnetic dipoles has been elementary a

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Helpful Circuit Stuff

Circuits with resistors: In series: Req=R1+R2+R3+R4+... I=I1=I2=I3=I4=... V=IR1+IR2+IR3+IR4+... In parallel: 1/Req=1/R1+1/R2+1/R3+1/R4+... I=I1+I2+I3+I4... V=V1=V2=V3=V4=... Note: Replacing resistors in parallel with one resistor of equivalent total resistance is very useful when analyzing circuits Circuits with capacitors: In series: 1/Ceq=1/C1+1/C2+1/C3+1/C4+... Q=Q1=Q2=Q3=Q4=... (Conservation

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Faraday Cages

Faraday cages shield their contents from Electric fields. How does this work? Charge is distributed on the exterior of the cage, so that the Faraday cage acts as a hollow conductor. Therefore, since charge is only around the outside, the net charge inside the cage is zero; and, the E-field is zero inside the Faraday cage. But, what use is a Faraday cage? Well, this video excerpt from National Geographic's television show "Doomsday Preppers" will give you a whole new perspective on the value o

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Goalkeeping Physics

Physics separates the good from the great goalkeepers. 1. The Understanding of Momentum- A goalkeeper must keep his weight shifted forward, standing on the balls of his feet. When a shot comes, the goalkeeper will try to save the ball while moving forward. Therefore, due to conservation of momentum, any rebounds will deflect away from the goal. A flat-footed goalkeeper (weight on heels) will deflect shots backward, into the goal. 2. The Analysis of Vectors- While preparing for a shot, a go

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A Pleasant Discovery

While studying for our midterm on Mechanics, I came to this brilliant realization. Realization: Physics with calculus is a lot easier when you know calculus Ok, this may seem like an obvious statement; but, when it clicks, it feels good. As I looked over some Mechanics Free Response problems involving derivations with drag force, I realized that they are not so bad after all. Now that all of us Physics-C students should understand integrals, differential equations, and integrating with na

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Gothic Cathedrals

Obvious connections between Physics and Calculus, or Physics and Chemistry exist. However, what about Physics and Humanities? Recently, in Humanities class, we continued our Middle Ages unit with a lesson on medieval architecture. We focused on the Gothic Cathedrals built in the Middle Ages, and the advances in architecture which were necessary to build such tall structures. The first major advance was the transition from the rounded arch to the pointed arch. The pointed arch distributed the

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Winter Driving

Don't let four-wheel drive fool you, because any car can spin out on icy, snowy turns. In wintry weather, drivers must slow down or shovel their way out of a snow bank. Why must drivers slow down? The coefficient of friction between rubber tires and snow is much less than the coefficient of friction between rubber tires and dry pavement. The coefficient of friction between pavement and tires is about 1.00; whereas, the coefficient of friction between snow and tires is about 0.30. So, how muc

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Equation Blast: Gravitation

What are oscillations equations without gravitation equations? Gravitation: T12/R13=T22/R23 G= 6.67x10-11 g=Gm/r2 Fg= -Gm1m2/r2 Potential Energy= -Gm1m2/r Vorbit= [Gm1/R]1/2 Vescape= [2Gm1/R]1/2 T=(2(pi)R)/v Total energy for a circular orbit= (-Gm1m2)/(2R) Total energy for elliptical orbit= (-Gm1m2)/(2a) ; a= major axis radius Velocity/Radius relationship for elliptical orbits: vprp=vara Overall, there aren't too many equations to remember for this topic. But, all of the equatio

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