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About this blog

A fantastical blog that follows my adventures in AP-C Physics

Entries in this blog

Why? (awake and thinking)

So by my time it is about 1 am on Monday night and I yet again find myself restless... Of course, my mind starts to wander. I have recently watched a TED talk by someone a few of you might know: Michael from the YouTube channel vsause (please excuse the most likely incorrect use of punctuation). Michael talks about why people ask questions and why people have been so interested in the questions he answers in his videos. This got me thinking, why do I want to learn about all this physics in the

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The Quantum World and Why it Doesent Make any Sense

So the quantum world is a relatively new thing. This new world has only recently been discovered and it indeed very odd. This is because when you start to get down to individual atoms physics doesn't entirely hold up like its supposed to. The most known phenomenon that was discovered was the fact that electrons can act like both a wave and a particle. This was found during a famous experiment call the double slit experiment. In this experiment several electrons were sent through two slits and

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The Physics of Sailing

Sailing is very very old. The first representation of a sailboat was in Kuwait dating between 5000 and 5500 BC. This technology is not only old but also has some cool physics behind it. The basic principle of sailing is as follows: -As a boat sails across the wind the sail redirects the wind, causing the wind below the sail to be slower than the wind above the sail. This causes a low pressure system under the sail which causes lift to push the boat sideways and forwards. -As a boat sa

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Teslas and Fire

Cars are complex machines. The run off of the oxidation and ignition of gasoline which drives several pistons attached to a drive shaft which spins the wheels. However a certain car made by a certain company named Tesla runs entirely differently. It runs off of batteries which power an electric motor which sends power to the wheels. However if this process doesn't involve violent explosions like a gas car does, how come a few Tesla's still catch fire? Well its all about what the batteries hav

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Tachyons, the impossible particle

Almost everything in the universe has a physics principal that explains it. However a tachyon would destroy everything we know about our universe and the physics behind it. A tachyon is a particle that travels faster than the speed of light. In doing so the particle would travel backwards in time. So what happens when something travels faster than light? Well in terms of its physical effects, your mass would rapidly increase until it reached the speed of light where your mass would then be

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Solar Wind

So many a person may be thinking, "I know what normal wind is, but what is this solar wind crap?" Well you came to the right place. Solar wind is exactly what it sounds like, "wind" from light. Basically this phenomenon is based on the fact that the sun, or any other star, emits a stream of plasma that consists of electrons and protons traveling at very high speeds. Recently there has been talk about figuring out how to harness this energy to create a spaceship that can travel long distanc

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Salutations!

Hello, it's nice to see you. Wow, did last year go fast. AP-B was quite a voyage for me, and I would like to thank Mr. Powlin for leading the way in the best way possible. I learned a lot in AP-B and decided that I would like to learn more, and now here I am in Physics C. Anyway I should probably tell you a bit about myself. I am an avid programmer, I mostly code in java and have most of my experience in the android platform. I actually programmed the revised aplusphysics app (which you ca

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Plasma Powered Rocket

All this talk about mars is great but how are we going to get people to mars in a timely and efficient manor? Enter the plasma propelled rocket. Developed during the past 4 decades by Franklin Chang-Diaz, a former NASA astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra, the rocket could make it to mars in a blistering 39 days. The engine works by using radio waves to heat gasses to create plasma which then, using magnetic fields, is propelled out the back to create thrust. Because the large amount of thrust that thi

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Plasma Globes

Plasma balls are awesome, they look really cool, and make for some mild entertainment, but how do they create that effect we all know and love? This globe of electricity was first discovered by Nikolai Tesla after his experimentation with high frequency currents in a sealed glass tube. He named his creation the "Inert Gas Discharge Tube." This lamp used the high voltage discharge from a Tesla coil to excite an inert gas that resided in the tube which created a streak of light. A usual glob

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Permafrost passes gas

So as you all know by the head lines and angry tree huggers, our use of fossil fuels is going to cause climate change and we are all going to die in a grand and spectacular apocalypse. A recent study only cements our impending doom, the study analyzed the effect of the melting permafrost up in the great north and the news is not good. It seems that as the permafrost melts it releases a lot of methane which is much worse of a greenhouse gas than carbon-dioxide. Because of the melting the ratio of

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OSIRIS-Rex

NASA's next mission might be their coolest yet. What could top landing on the moon, curiosity and voyager? Landing on an asteroid. NASA's next mission is to survey and map 1999 RQ36 or Bennu, collect samples, and then return to earth in 2018. They want to collect said samples to analyze the content of the asteroid to see if asteroids could have had a hand in creating life on Earth. The mission should kick off in September of 2016 and will be the first to involve landing on an asteroid.

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Opportunity

Well its been a while since there has been any talk about the rovers on mars and they are still chugging along. The interesting thing about that is that one of the rovers, the opportunity rover, has just reached its ten year anniversary on the big red planet. The opportunity rover landed on mars on January 25, 2004 to carry out a 3 month exploration of the surface. Remarkably after 10 long years the rover is still able to move and collect data along with its big brother curiosity. Its

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Next Car Game

Next Car Game is an early access game that is in very early alpha, so what makes it so unique? The Physics Engine. This game is the first game to feature a soft body physics engine which makes it one of the best games to destroy things in. So what is a soft body physics engine? Most physics engines today don't deal too well with materials and how objects interact. Games like GTA do a relatively good job of recreating the effect of a car breaking down, but aren't able to reach a full soft bo

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New Excuse: "I can't help it, it's genetic"

A new study suggests that procrastination may not be behavioral, and perhaps be determined by genes. The Study ties impulsiveness to procrastination as procrastination, in most cases, is the impulse to put off mundane tasks in favor of more pleasurable ones. I could think of someone that fits that description. I can't say that I'm not a procrastinator, however I tend not to be that impulsive, however I do like to put off mundane tasks for better ones. But can you blame me, who wouldn't rather

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Meet the Next Processor

The next processor is going to be very, very powerful. Current processors use a series of very very small electrical "switches" to dictate one of two possible states: closed or open, or in computer speak, a 1 or 0. The computer collects these various 1s and 0s puts them in order and interprets them. This basic raw computer language is called binary and is the driving process behind all computer functions. So the more switches in a processor, the more powerful it is. So why is the next proces

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Martian Light Explained

THANK GOD. That strange light on the martian surface that the curiosity rover captured and I talked about here has been explained. The supposed UFO, martian confirming, NASA is hiding things from us, light has been dismissed by NASA in a recent statement as a cosmic-ray. "These [lights] can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations." explained the government pawns at NASA. Cosmic-ray or not why did this make so much news? Why did I w

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Mars One

In keeping with the mars theme I found myself on the homepage of Mars One. Mars One is a privately funded expedition to mars that will transport 4 people to mars with no way back. The 15 year endeavor is currently looking for applicants from the general public to train until 2024 for the trip to mars. Anyone can apply and they are still accepting applications so if you ever wanted to be stranded on mars, now's the time. The launch of the first crew is set for 2024 along with a second crew in 202

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Looking to rob a bank? Heres some advice...

If your like me, you love to play the video games, more recent games include Grand Thief Auto V. However, in most of these games guns and ammo are plentiful. Need a silenced pistol, machine gun, rocket launcher, most likely you have one on hand. But in all seriousness, how accurate is the arsenal that you carry on your back in most of these games? Well first lets look at GTA V. In GTA a character brings an average of 4-5 guns to a heist plus ammo. If these guns include a pistol, shotgun, mach

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Kerbal Space Program

Recently I've been playing Kerbal Space Program. If you haven't heard about it yet it's this game where you build rocket ships and send them off into the great unknown. The thing that in unique about this game is that it has one of the most complicated physics engines I've seen in a game. This game is very realistic, and because of this is also very complicated. In order to get in orbit of the earth is a challenge all it's self. In order for your ship to be able to escape the atmosphere it ne

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Disco Ball Moon

I saw a video recently that you all might enjoy. It shows what the moon would look like if it were a disco ball and orbiting at the height of the international space station. Check it out:

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Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Not much is known about Dark Matter and Dark Energy, however one explanation of these objects could be that our current understanding of gravity is horribly wrong. These objects were first discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998. Before this time it was widely thought that the rate a which the universe was expanding was slowly decreasing from the rate at which it first started. However, as the Hubble Telescope observed supernova, it determined that the most distant had occurred 7.7 b

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Cornering in the Snow

Snow, like it or hate it snow is a big part of the current landscape here in upstate New York. Although snow may seem like a luxury to others in warmer climates, the reality is that snow, a part from its appearance, makes everyday tasks 10 times harder and driving is one of the most common examples. A normal 20 minute journey can be made into an hour long ordeal with just an inch of snow. During these winter months 225,000 car crashes happen because of snow, so how can I be safe while driving in

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Coolest Telescope Lesson Ever

While a group of undergrads were learning to use a telescope from there professor at the University of London they spotted something amazing: a super nova. On Jan 21 the students' 10 minute lesson about telescopes turned into a rush to document this amazing occasion before the weather turned. The super nova happened in the sector M82 and is one of the closest of the super novas to our solar system.

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College?

What's this? New AP-C students? Welp a new dawn has... dawned and I have made the short stroll of 18 miles to RIT. So what has changed? Not much. Right now you AP-C'ers are taking, I assume, mostly college level courses and believe it or not they are actual college level classes, like no joke. With Calculus, Physics and other classes I was (and you are) taking the equivalent of a Freshman year in college. If it sounds intimidating its because it is, taking that big of a step a year early i

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Black Holes... Don't Exist?

So as my last post on black holes has seemed to gain some traction I decided to do a follow up. After a bit of research I have found out that we are all living in a lie, as it turns out, (according to Hawking) black holes don't exist. So maybe that's not entirely true, Hawking goes on to site that the properties that have been associated with black holes may not be true. He says the fact that nothing can escape a black hole is not entirely true and that the event horizon might not actual

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