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Clay Ball vs. Rubber Ball

In class today, while doing the preliminary questions to the lab, we debated whether a clay or rubber ball, of equal mass, would push a door closed more. At first, I thought that the clay would close the door more; but, since the masses are equal, I rethought my intial response. The question is basically asking which medium will create the greatest impulse. Because the clay sticks to the door, the collision is inelastic, and energy is lost as the clay sticks to the door. Because the rubber ball

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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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Fork trick

While I was dutifully studying physics today, because we are in our independent unit, I remembered the experiment Mr. Powlin did last year with the forks and toothpick. This experiment shows the concept of center of mass quite nicely. First of all, center of mass is the point on a system that moves as if all the mass of the system were concentrated at that point, and all external forces acted only on that point. In the magical experiment Mr. Powlin did last year, he shoved two forks together, so

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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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The Physics of Fierljeppen

This weekend, my brother was flipping through the TV channels, and a very interesting sport came on. The Dutch sport of Fierljeppen, similar to pole vaulting, involves a person sprinting, jumping onto a long pole at an angle, climbing to the top of the pole while it tilts over, and hopefully landing on sand on the other side of a pond. This sport is also known as canal jumping, as the athlete clears a body of water. In terms of the energy of Fierljeppen, here it goes. A person of mass, m1, and v

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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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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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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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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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The WindTamer

When an adventuresome IHS student ventures out of the school building to the turf field, he or she passes the WindTamer and solar-powered lights. I do not know how much energy the turbine actually harnesses, but it is cool nevertheless. How does the WindTamer work? The WindTamer turbines create two vacuums which suck air through the blades, and the blades rotate (creating rotational kinetic energy). One of the vacuums is behind the blades, and the other is behind the turbine. The blades used in

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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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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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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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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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Catapult

This is a picture of our beautiful catapult. The potential energy of the garage springs was converted into the kinetic energy of the arm. We positioned the beam across the catapult at about a 45 degree angle with the base. This angle maximized the range of the softball. For our first two launches, we had padding on the center beam, to absorb a bit of the kinetic energy of the arm, so the wood wouldn't break. But, for the third trial, we took off the padding, and the wood ended up cracking. The m

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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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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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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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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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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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Weight loss solution

Around the holidays, people typically gain weight as cookies, candy canes, and other treats are around every corner. But, this Christmas, you can lose weight! Without a diet, and without exercise, there is one answer to the essential question: "How can I lose weight?" Simple. Go to the moon. Here is the calculation to prove this solution really works! 1) Find g: g=[G(mass of moon)]/[(radius of moon)^2] g=[6.67x10^(-11) x 7.35x10^22]/[(1737000 m)^2] g=1.62 m/s^2 2) Conver

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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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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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Physics in Daily Life

Opening a fresh jar of pickles can be challenging. If you are somebody who struggles opening jars, don't be discouraged, physics can help. If you run the jar under hot water, the lid will become easier to turn. But, why? Metal has a higher coefficient of expansion than glass does. So, as the jar stays under the hot water, the metal expands a tiny bit, and the glass stays the same. There is no longer a need to workout, just run your tricky jars under the faucet, wait a minute, and let physi

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Equation Blast: Oscillations

While some are contemplating the end of the world, I am studying for physics. Here are the essential oscillations equations to know for our test tomorrow. Oscillations (Includes SHM, Springs, Pendulums): F=-kx xmax=A vmax=Aw amax=Aw2 T=1/f and f=1/T w=angular frequency=2(pi)f=2(pi)/T v=wr Potential Energy= (1/2)kA2cos2(wt) Kinetic Energy= (1/2)kA2sin2(wt) Total Energy= (1/2)kA2 x(t)= Acos(wt + phase shift) v(t)= Awsin(wt + phase shift) a(t)= -Aw2cos(wt + phase shift) Tspring=

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