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The AP(s) are OVER!

Did I just get hit with a dump truck or did I just take the AP Physics C exams? Turns out, I took the exams. Yes, they're over....and with a massive sigh of relief, I can move on with my life and enjoy the rest of my senior year. But I must be honest...they were the hardest exams I have ever laid my eyes on, and it came as a wake up call to me that, yes, maybe I DO have to work harder in future physics courses. This year in physics, although rough academically, taught me that one ca

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

How do Black Boxes Work...

So, It's been a month since MH370 disappeared. Technically, the pings should've stopped by now, but it seems that the black box batteries haven't died yet. But what really is a black box anyway? It's a NEON ORANGE rectangular object. The box holds critical instruments, like an altimeter, airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, control positions (as in what the pilot was doing with the plane at that time), time of day, etc. The second part of the data recorder is the Cockpit Voice R

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

The Richest Planet is not Earth!

Our planet has a lot of gold, silver, diamond...you name it. But it's nothing. Believe me. In 1999, UC Berkeley researchers made a high value discovery (no pun intended) by showing that Methane (which is in HIGH quantity on Neptune and Uranus) can be converted to diamond (like carbon is) under intense heat and pressure. The liquid methane, cooled with liquid nitrogen, was placed in a diamond anvil cell and squeezed to between 10 and 50 billion pascals (gigapascals), or about 100,00

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

A Quick Reference of the Fastest Aircraft

For the purpose of logic, I will ignore spacecraft because they already hold speed records for anything man made. Because they're awesome. Okay, so, our first category is Human-Powered Aircraft. No engine, just a dude flying himself in a glider. Some designs include the "wrapped rubber band" method but on a larger scale. To be honest, this record is pretty pathetic. At a whopping 19.8 mph, MIT's Monarch B human powered aircraft holds the record. *Cue streamer and confetti* Moving

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Flying Snakes (they exist...)

Some new research from George Washington University dived into the mysterious techniques of flying snakes, and how that actually seem to dart through the air. Could these tactics be used today to solve mechanical issues? Possibly. What the researchers did seems a little odd, but hey, it got results. Their tactic was to launch the snakes off actual cranes (don't worry, they can FLY) and observe their gliding abilities. Just for context: A normal aircraft will gradually increase lift

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Fruit Flies = Fighter Jets

Here's a weird one... Through a study at the University of Washington, researchers have found that, when attacked, Fruit Flies perform the evasive maneuvers similar to those of a modern fighter jet, a seemingly new relation between technology and nature. When a shadow or other threat was seen by one of the Flies, it would roll rapidly on its side, and then execute a tight turn to end up flying in the complete opposite direction. This tactic is the fundamental maneuver in modern day air fo

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Can we control Earthquakes?

Recently this year in France, a team of researchers conducted an experiment with seismic waves, and were able to slightly deflect them. Could this be the start of a new age in which we can avoid catastrophic earthquakes and maybe even tsunamis? It's quite the possibility. Using "cloaking" devices and meta materials, the researchers hope to someday cloak "desired" or important geological areas with the cloaking material, to fend off (reflect, to be specific) seismic waves, therefore signific

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

The Beautiful Physics of Getting Slapped in the Face

We see it everywhere in the media, real life, and sometimes it can even happen to you. The sad, terrifying act of being slapped in the face. Aside from hurting, what are the actual physics behind being unfortunate enough to get slapped? 1) Shown in slow motion, your face has incredibly present properties of intertia. If you look at the video, you can clearly see the skin and tissue stay put while the actual skeletal tissue underneath begins to move. This is because the dense bone moves, e

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

The last manned combat aircraft?

This March, the F-35 Lightning II made its first public demonstration at an air show. The U.S. Military is expected to purchase over a thousand of the new jets in total, eventually being put in service with the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The Air Force version, the F-35A, will be the lightest and most agile. The thrust to weight ratio is over one, meaning that the engine produces more thrust (191 kN!) than the weight of the aircraft. In other words, it is able to speed up while flyi

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Modern Tectonics?!

We learn about tectonic plate motion in Earth Science, but I never thought I'd hear about it in the present day. Apparently, it happens faster than I thought, and is extremely visible. A small patch of land off the coast of Japan sprouted from the sea last November, due to volcanic and seismic activity in the "Ring of Fire" region known to scientists. The island continued to grow, faster than expected, and finally collided with a much larger island. The outcome? One big island! The region,

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Have we Found Malaysia Fight 307?

Earlier today, April 7th, it was announced that a U.S. Navy vessel had confirmed that a "ping" was received by its underwater receiver. What does it mean, and does it guarantee that we've finally put a close to this awful mystery? When an aircraft as large as the 777 goes down (like Asiana 214), there are dozens of mechanisms that trigger, designed to allow searchers and rescuers to locate the aircraft. In this case, the 777 has many "pingers", or small radios that broadcast weak signals

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Titanic...step aside

If you still think that the Titanic is the largest ship ever built...well...that's SO 1912. There're some huge ships out there (mainly cargo), and they make the Titanic look like a twig. The Seawise Giant statistically is the largest ship - ever. The crude oil tanker was built in 1979, and was sunk during the Iran-Iraq War before being repaired and brought back into use. Empty, the ship weighed 650000 tonnes, or 1.4e9 pounds. Unable to navigate the English Channel, Panama Canal, and o

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Why hasn't Russia been to the moon?

Personally, I had never really known my facts about this. To be honest, I wasn't even sure if the U.S. was the only country to have put men on the moon. But, from some hasty research, here's why nobody else has been there: 1) The USSR DID in fact have plans to send a man to the moon. The N-1 Rocket (Saturn V's competitor) was prepped to serve as the propulsion for the missions, but a series of catastrophic failures led to the USSR's decision to halt the program. It was officially cancelled in

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

The Physics of...McDonalds?

The largest fast food chain in the history of mankind is...well...massive. With more than 34,000 locations worldwide, McDonald's is awesome and awful at the same time. Ignoring the politics, let's look at the physics! On an average day, 300,000,000 people around the world will consume food from McDonald's. The average amount of calories on the McDonald's menu is 500 calories per meal. Let's say that each person buys a meal. Here's where it gets gross. Worldwide, humans consume

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Five things you didn't know about...the Moon!

The boring white orb that aimlessly spirals around Earth hasn't been stepped on by man since Apollo 17. But that doesn't mean we're done with it...at all. Here are five things that you (maybe) didn't know about our one and only moon: 1) NASA plans to send a satellite to the lunar surface and dig deep enough in hopes of finding...you guessed it..water! They speculate that there is a frozen layer of it underneath the surface. 2) The Moon will eventually leave us. Using laser reflection

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Why students (like me!) abhor E&M

The average AP Physics student enjoys the course until one thing hits....electrostatics. It is doable, but it is much different from the usual "block slides down the incline" norm. What makes it so weird, intangible, and seemingly impossible when one moves on to magnetism, electromagnetic induction, and other hellishly sounding topics? My understanding is simply that you can do the following: -Touch an object -Throw, drop, kick, or destroy an object -Feel gravity and gravitational

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

The car vs. car paradox

You have two cars. They're travelling right at each other on a collision course; each one is going at precisely 50mph. They hit each other...as you could assume. Does that equate to one car hitting a wall at 100mph? Or is it something different? I became interested in this paradox after watching Mythbusters' rendition of it (which is, of course, the best show in our current universe). Their take on it was conducted through a full scale test. Their findings showed that the coll

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

How long until another meteoroid disaster?

Scheduled to hit in 2032, a massive asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. If in fact it impacts, it would have a explosion with forces 50 times greater than 2.5 million tons of TNT. Although it's on a collision course NOW, the chances of it actually impacting our planet are 1 in 60000, which are extremely low. Asteroids of this size, however, are not very common to observe coming towards our planet. The last time this happened was in 2007, but of course it changed trajectory.

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Light is pretty slow

We are all amused by the fact that light travels at "c", which for all intents and purposes is REALLY fast. But that's just a human perspective. To reach the sun, light takes about 8 minutes. To leave our galaxy, it would take about 100000 years. Not to ruin your hopes and dreams of intergalactic travel or anything, but if you COULD in fact create a spaceship that flew faster than the speed of light and could reach point A from point B within a human lifespan, the ship would arrive bef

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Your brain allows your eyes to create light...

In a recent study, hikers were reported to have seen their own hands moving about in the COMPLETE darkness of a cave. This "seeing without light" phenomenon is studied heavily by University of Rochester's Duje Tadin, who explains that humans have sort of a sixth sense, where we are aware of the position of our extremities even with the absence of visible light. I know what you're thinking...maybe humans are simply capable of seeing weak amounts of infrared light? That's simply not the case

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Newly Discovered Stars Leave Our Galaxy...forever!

Called "Hypervelocity" stars, giant balls of gas are recently discovered to be leaving our galaxy. These stars travel at speeds of over 1500000 kilometers per hour (roughly 932057 mph), and have enough kinetic energy to overpower the galaxy's gravitational force...sending them off into space. The weird part? They're thought to originate from the galactic core, where gravity is the strongest. The current accepted theory is, in simple terms, that the immensely strong gravitational field g

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Hackers

Throughout the age of cyber technology...one thing has always been a menace to our electronic productivity. There is only one force that can disturb the power of the internet. That force manifests itself as hacking. Ever since computers were available, people (with their natural evil tendencies) wanted to steal others' information. And so they did. A recent hack on Adobe could possibly be the largest ever. 152 Million Adobe accounts were discovered by the security firm LastPass to be

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Physics.

Physics is super fun. You do stuff and work on problems and find out stuff about the real world and how it works. It's pretty cool. I like physics a lot. Yay we're having so much fun all day every day in physics class. Partying partying yeah. Fun fun fun fun lookin forward to the weekend! (because I get to do physics). I got a feeling (woohoo) that tonight's gonna be a good night. You know why? Because I'll be doing physics tonight. And every day of my life. BECAUSE PHYSICS = LIFE. FOREALZ.

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

The Tunguska Event

One collision on earth is commonly regarded as one of the loudest sounds ever made (in human history, that is...). On June 30, 1908, an object from space careened into the earth. Likely a meteor 620ft in diameter, this massive fragment imploded 6 miles above the earth's surface, creating an air blast that equated to an explosion 1000 times greater than the Hiroshima bombing. Larger than most nuclear weapons, this meteor smoked a total of 80 million trees, destroying 830 square miles of for

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

 

Catapults

A week ago today, the physics students sported their freshly made catapults. Loading and firing them,the softballs sometimes fired backwards, down, or straight up. So how did the armies of the middle ages perfect the art of catapults and trebucehts? I'm sure there was a bit of trial and error involved. The final form, however, was truly a deadly weapon. Easily 5 times larger than our flimsy 2x4 catapults, this massive trebuchet (at the Château des Baux, France) could send hundreds of

bobbyburns

bobbyburns

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