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Galactic Tape Measure

Currently, we use a method called astronomical parallax to measure the distance from the Earth to various stars among our home galaxy and others. Well, we'll still be using it. Unfortunately, this post isn't about a literal tape measure from Earth to the stars. The usual way of measuring distance has to do with observing angles as the Earth goes around the sun, as is illustrated below But now, we have found a way to utilize the Hubble Space Telescope for yet another purpose: spacial scan

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Growing Snow

I'll admit that this has more to do with chemistry than physics, but really when it boils down to it, everything is physics. EVERYTHING To celebrate that the snow is over (hopefully), let's watch how it grows in the first place http://vimeo.com/87342468 Quite beautiful, isn't it? Especially with the music and all. So why do they grow that way? Well, it all has to do with the formation of hydrogen bonds. Usually, when water goes below the freezing temperature, the bonds form a nice cr

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Vortices - from the Miniscule to the Gigantic

Oh jeez, more fluids? Thank god this post is more about the images than the workings behind it. Back on point though - vortices are ubiquitous, seen wherever there are fluids. Which is everywhere in the universe. And since vortices act similarly no matter what the size, even the smallest of swirls can help us understands occurances such as cyclones and superstorms. From smallest to largest, here are some examples: In the wake of a water skeeter Incense smoke Colored smoke in t

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Direct Proof of the Big Bang

I nearly forgot the story of the month! Or, at this piont, last month. St. Patrick's day to be exact. Anyways, physicists have now detected direct proof of the big bang and, more specifically, inflation! I can't explain it very well, but my source is not cooperating, so I shall try. Because of the vast size of the universe, there hasn't been enough time for light and information to get from one end to the other. So how is it all the same temperature? That's where inflation comes into play.

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Cytherean Mountains

Cytherean mountains (AKA mountans on planet Venus) cannot be seen directly. The surface of our sister planet is completely obscured by the thick clouds that also heat the surface to a balmy 900 or so degrees Fahrenheit. So, how do we know that the mountains are there? Fluids, of course! (dear god why) To put it simply (seeing as I can't make it more complicated if I wanted) the atmosphere of Venus is more like an ocean than a conventional Earth-like atmosphere, with a hotter under layer an

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Freezing Soap Bubbles

First and foremost, a video! Huzzah! So, why do these bubbles evaporate into mist instead of freezing and shattering? Well, that is due to the properties of fluids and fluid dynamics. Have I mentioned before that I'm really bad at fluids? The oil of the soap, the cold air, and the surface tension of the water/soap mixture all mis together with SCIENCE and create wispy frozen bubble clouds. Technical terms of course. I really don't get fluids. They're just pretty.

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

The Higgs Boson, The Early Universe, and Thunder

The Standard Model theorizes that the Higgs Field switched on about 100 picoseconds after the big bang. Recently, though, physicists have theorized that it happened a little more gradually than "switching on" in a process more like water boiling. When these bubbles of Higgs Field met, they created massive shockwaves that would have come with sonic booms. In one of the most cool theories in the early universe, the noise would have sounded a lot like thunder. or this (let's see if this co

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Time Lapses of Blooming Flowers

Though we may not think of plants as moving things, we are sorely mistaken. The force of an opening flower may be very low - in the micro if not nano newtons - but as they exist and move, they are physics. Enjoy some beauty of nature, all dictated by the ever-present laws of physics. photo credit to Yutaka Kitamura Source

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

The Debate of Black Holes and Breakfast Foods

Ok, so. If you were to somehow make the grave mistake of falling into a black hole, what would happen? Obviously the answer is die. That bit isn't debatable. Sorry to burst your bubble. However, there are three main ideas of what would happen. Either you would be spaghettified, toasted, or scrambled. Unfortunately, none of these options are as appetizing as they sound. For a long time, physicists believed matter would be spaghettified upon entering a black hole. That's the legitimate term

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Skydiving Meteorites

What? What could meteorites have to do with skydiving? If you watched that video, congratulations, you saw nothing! Well, unless you are extremely observant that is. Here's a slowed down gif so you can see what's going on a bit better. That would be a meteor during it's "dark flight" phase. This happens when the meteorite reaches terminal velocity and starts falling straight down due to drag forces and blah blah blah and we have never gotten footage of this before. Which means tha

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

The Deepest View of the Universe

Source I'm just going to leave this here without much of an explanation, other than the Hubble is incredible and... SPACE This is the deepest view we've gotten so far, a group of hundreds of galaxies named Abell 2744 that is 3.5 billion light years away.

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Cosmic Web that Binds the Universe

Source For those of you not constantly checking up on astrophysics and stuff like that (not a common habit of most people), the cosmic web is a construct that binds together the majority of the universe that has been long theorized, but never imaged. Until now, that is. The cosmic web is made up of around 84% dark matter, which is why it is so difficult to find and photograph. As you could imagine, dark matter is invisible to us and any instruments we have except for its interactions via g

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey... Stuff

First, as usual, watch this video: (easter egg: look for the Doctor Who reference at 5:30) Yes, that is the entire history and future of everything in seven minutes. Yes, that is kind of scary. But the inevitable heat death of the universe is, well, exactly that. Inevitable. Luckily, we will all be loooooooong dead before then, if that makes you feel any better. Actually I think I just made that worse. Oops. Anyways, this brings up the interesting nature of time, and our lack of abil

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Coefficient of Friction of a Cat on a Windshield

Yes, this is totally a physics post, and not just an excuse to post this gif This is Waffles the cat. And his job is to remind us all about winter driving. As any of us who have been behind the wheel on a snowy day know, the coefficient of friction between regular tires and the snowy road is veeeery low. Dangerously so. Just around .15, compared to around .7 on a dry road. Even with snow tires, it can still be hard to stop due to low coefficients of both rolling and sliding friction. Moral

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Cyborg Bullsperm

Yup, that's a pretty terrifying title. And yes, that's exactly what this is. Tell me that I could name this anything different. Biomedical Engineering at it's most amusingly accessible right here! So, what's physics-y about this? Apart from, you know, everything in existence being physics. First of all: magnets. These things are "remote controlled" by magnets and magnetic fields. You know, those things that you can't see but you have to contort your hands to figure out which direction

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Seeing Through an Animal's Eyes

Not quite a physics post, but something really cool that came out recently Now you know what it's like to see through the eyes of five different animals! I'm still waiting to see a mantis shrimp though... 8 color receptors compared to our three? How does that even work? Where do they fit in the electromagnetic spectrum? Extra colors that is. Maybe within our lifetimes we'll be able to find out.

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Beauty of Orbits

I think that the way this was originally sent to me conveys the meaning better than any rewording I could do: Equation of orbit of a small mass around a much greater mass Equation of human awe of earth orbit So now that you've watched it, you should have a greater appreciation of gravitational forces and centripetal ones, the whole Fc=mv2/r and Fg=GM1M2/r2 and such. Or maybe you just affirmed that space is really freaking awesome, and a lot prettier than anyone gives it credit

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Spinning 7,200 FPS

Hooray for a cool many physics applications! Alright, so if you can't quite tell, these crazy NASA engineers built a complex rig in order to record cool things at 7,200 FPS for the hell of it. Though we're not doing optics this year, they had to do a lot of considering with that, buying special mirrors that lose less light with each reflection than your standard hardware store mirror. Sure, warping occurred, and the lens they used made the objects look farther away, but just look at how awe

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

SMBC Comic

Dear Mr. Fullerton: I am not crazy for laughing so hard during class about this. It's real. Sincerely, velociraptor Source: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3186#comic

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

1+2+3+4+...= -1/12

If you guys happen to look at nearly anything nerdy, you have likely seen the original video for this or a reaction to it. In essence, a came out trying to prove to the general public how 1+2+3+4+... all the way to infinity equals -1/12. You know the drill. Go on, watch it. I'll still be here when you get back. Or at least my post will "So what?" you're probably asking. Or maybe you do know the so what, who am I to judge? Anyway. If you don't believe the video and think it's all stupid,

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Dancing Droplets

Despite my last entry clearly dictating that I have no idea what's going on when it comes to fluid dynamics, here I go again. This time, it's droplets of water and propylene glycol and how they interact when on a glass surface. First, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Wx2PHIYGI. Now. Okay, watched it? No? Then the rest of this won't make much sense and will be pretty boring. I promise it's cool, and the music's pretty sweet too. Now that you've all either watched it or closed out

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Mushroom Clouds

We all know the standard shape of a mushroom cloud It looks something like this: The question is why do they look like this? Well, as can be seen in this post, the less in-depth answer is a simple difference in density between the rapidly expanding gases and the rest of the air. However, this is a physics blog after all, and so I'm going to get into the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. In the most understandable terms (though to be quite honest after reading up on it I still don't really

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domain In Spacetime (TARDIS)

Recently I've come across a physics paper describing a certain way of time travel using the awesome theme of Doctor Who (as well as a Portal reference) to explain things. Explaining the name is something I'd rather leave to the creators of this theory though, so here's that: The name refers to a bubble (a Domain) which moves through the spacetime at speeds greater than the speed of light (it is Achronal); it moves backwards in time (Retrograde to the arrow of time outside the bubble); and fin

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Time Travel

Everyone loves Ted Ed. And everyone loves time travel. So what happens when you put them together? Now, aside from the wonderful wonderful fact that the TARDIS makes a few appearances (making a certain Whovian very happy) as well as the DeLorean, what's actually going on? How does it relate to "time travel"? Well, the velociraptor is here to explain this to you. The only constant in the entire universe that is consistently constant (yes that's a sentence) is the speed of light in a vacuu

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

 

Beauty of Mathematics

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music." —Betrand Russell Physics is, in essence, applied mathematics. It's how math applies to life, and the results thereof. And math is... beauty? That's not how one would usually think. However, there is a certain beauty to math and how everything resolves itself when it is applied. The way tree growth and snowflakes resemble fractals, light

Velociraptor42

Velociraptor42

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