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Star Wars and Physics

It's been quite a while since I've seen a Star Wars movie, but I still remember the necessities from all the movies. It doesn't take a physics prodigy to understand that there are many physically-impossible aspects of the series, but its good to use the imagination every once in a while and ignore these impracticalities. Nonetheless, I can use my knowledge of physics thus far to analyze certain parts of the series. First of all, when the tie-fighters and x-wings explode in the movies, they make

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10 things I need to know to pass the waves exam

1.)narrow opening + long wavelength = greatest diffraction effects 2.)electromagnetic waves to not require a medium to travel through 3.)frequency is directly proportional to energy 4.)T=1/f 5.)when a wave enters a new material the speed and wavelength can change; the frequency cannot 6.)all electromagnetic waves have a speed of 3 x 10^8 m/s 7.)n=c/v 8.)sound is a mechanical and longitudinal wave 9.)waves that have the same frequency and amplitude traveling in opposite directions create

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Surfing and Physics

As a native Rochestarian I've never really gotten into surfing. Maybe when I'm older and rich and have my own private tropical island. Even the most talented surfers can't do much without waves though. This relates to the wave unit we are currently studying in Regents Physics. Oceanic waves are transverse waves, because the displacement of the medium of said waves is perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the waves. Where the foamy-top of the waves in the ocean are is referred to a

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Bats and Physics

Bats are yet another example of a species of animal that I am completely fascinated by. Without bats, mosquitoes and the diseases they carry with them would overpopulate the earth. Bats have terrible vision, yet are capable of feasting on mosquitoes even during pitch black nights. How is this possible? Bats are one of the few animals known to man that are capable of a sophisticated technique called "echolocation". The process for echolocation is simple; The bat sends out a sound wave and waits f

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michaelford3

Electric Eels and Physics

My favorite TV show is Animal Planet's "River Monsters with Jeremy Wade." Some BA British guy tackles giant fish. In a recent episode, he puts on a rubber suit and lassos a giant electric eel in a mud pond somewhere in third-world Latin America. It got me thinking about how awesome electric eels actually are. They have specific organs that allow them to create electricity within their own bodies and they use the discharge to stun prey within 50 feet around them. According to Yahoo Answers, these

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Lassos and Physics

Cowboys are awesome. Not the Dallas Cowboys, they suck. Part of the reason they are so awesome is because of their lasso, and their ability to wield it. I may know how to tip cows, but being able to throw ropes around their heads and round them up is ten times cooler. This action of spinning said lasso can be applied to physics in that a physics student such as myself can use their knowledge to find the centripetal force and centripetal acceleration of the action. The centripetal acceleration

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Driving and Physics Part II

In addition to momentum and impulse, the unit of kinetic equations can be applied to driving. Again, we will use my mom's old Nissan Ultima as a demonstration. We recorded that the car's initial velocity was .01 m/s. Let's say that after negatively accelerating (NOT decelerating) at a rate of -2 m/s^2, the velocity became .005 m/s. If, for whatever reason, we wanted to find the time in which all this happened, we would use the kinetic equation, Vf=Vi +at. To make this easier to solve, we would u

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michaelford3

Driving and Physics

I am a bad driver. Perhaps reviewing the physics of driving will somehow make me a better driver. There's probably some sort of correlation between driving a car and all the other units that I've learned in physics, but the only unit I can think of right now would be the momentum and impulse unit, coincidentally one of my least favorite units. First of all, momentum is the equivalent of an object's mass times its velocity. So, if I wanted to find the momentum of my Mom's Nissan Ultima on a snow

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michaelford3

Cow Tipping and Physics

After the work and power unit has come to a close, it really got me thinking about how such topics would apply to the art of cow tipping, a guilty pleasure of mine. (Not really - I unfortunately do not live near any tippable cows that I know of). Work is the measure of force times displacement on an object. Let's assume the cow of my choice for tipping weighs 3000N. If I were to not only tip over but also push the cow on the ground, specifically a distance of 1 meter, then that would mean that

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michaelford3

Spiders and Physics

Spiders scare me. It is a fact that I am ashamed of, but nonetheless it is true. I've been told that one of the ways to eraticate a specific fear is to develop a stronger understanding of it. However, there are many incredible facts about spiders that I just can't seem to understand. For example, jumping spiders can jump distances over 50x their own length. This fascinates me, because it would be the equivelant of me, barely 6 feet tall, doing a standing broad jump that scales over 300 feet! The

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michaelford3

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