As someone who is extremely afraid of heights, it is highly unlikely that I will ever go skydiving. However, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the physics of it. For instance, skydivers accelerate when they go down because the force of gravity is greater than the drag on their bodies. Also, the acceleration in question will always be 9.81 m/s^2 as that is the acceleration due to gravity. But when the parachute is opened, the increase in surface area creates an increase in drag, therefore maki
I personally have never gotten the hang of yo-yos. However, I can still appreciate all of the physics behind them. For instance, yo-yos have two forms of potential energy. The first is that by holding it up in the air, it is given the potential to fall to the ground. The second is that the it has string wound around it, which gives it the potential to spin as it unwinds. When the yo-yo is released, these two forms of potential energy are both changed to kinetic energy. Also, the spinning of the
Today most people can agree that the all time American sport is baseball (or at least it's tied with football). But few Americans really stop and think about all of the physics involved in the classic sport. For instance, in accordance with Newton's Second Law (that force equals mass times acceleration) the acceleration of a baseball is the force applied to it by the pitcher or the bat divided by the mass of the ball. Also, when the bat hits the ball, the bat recoils because for every action the
As a member of Chorale, I have to sing nearly everyday. But until now I never realized how much singing has to do with physics. For instance, if someone wants to sing louder, they must sing at a higher amplitude and vice versa. Similarly, when someone sings at a higher pitch, it is because they have a higher frequency (frequency is the number of waves that pass a fixed place in a given amount of time). Finally, since all sound waves are mechanical waves, they require a medium if they are to be h
The earth's surface, as many people know is covered mainly in water (specifically 75% of the earth's surface). And throughout all of the oceans, seas and lakes there are waves. These waves follow the equation that all waves do, that v=fλ, which means that the wave's velocity is equal to it's frequency (which is the number of waves that pass a fixed place in a given amount of time) times the wavelength. Also, ocean waves have distinct parts. For instance, the wave crest is the highest part of the
Unfortunately, this is not the season for roller coasters. The winter months are no time for the enjoyable, adrenaline causing fun of amusement park rides. However, that doesn’t stop roller coasters from having heaps to do with physics. Most obviously they has to do with potential and kinetic energy. For example, when at the top of a hill the roller coaster and everyone in it have potential energy due to gravity. To find it you would have to multiply the total mass (the mass of the coaster vehic
In these cold winter months, may people search for fun activities they can do in the snow. One answer that many kids come up with is sledding. However, like most activities, sledding has a lot to do with physics. For instance, when at the top of the hill the sled and sledder have potential energy due to gravity. To find it you would have to multiply the total mass (the mass of the sled and the sledder combined) by the acceleration due to gravity (which is always 9.81 m?s^2) and then by the heigh
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are approaching quickly. Along with a multitude of events, one of the competitions will be about ice skating. Many people recognize ice skating as a graceful sport, but what many don't realize is how much it has to do with physics. For one thing, ice has a comparatively low level of friction, making it easier for them to skate. This also applies to Newton's First Law of Motion (that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside sour
Many people enjoy biking. I don't, but I've come to realize that there is a lot of physics involved with biking. For instance, when you bike you are doing work. To find how much work you have to multiply the total mass of you and the bike by the acceleration due to gravity (which is 9.81 m/s^2) and then by the displacement (the distance the bike traveled). Also, you can find how much power the bike has (the rate at which the work is done) by dividing the amount of work by the amount of time the
Last week we had a snow day (or more accurately, a wind chill day). And on this day several of my friends and I decided to go to the indoor trampoline park Sky Zone. In addition to it being a ton of fun, jumping on trampolines has something to do with physics. You see, when you jump on the trampoline it stretches its springs, making both the force and the elastic potential energy of the spring greater. Also, to find the potential energy due to gravity you multiply the mass of the person by how h
I got my pet Shih Tzu Shady Lady (she came with the name, don't blame me) in the sixth grade. Ever since then, I routinely play with her. Sometimes this means playing tug of war and other times I throw the ball around for her. Part of the time this means letting the ball have a free fall. When this happens, the ball is only moving vertically so the acceleration is 9.81 m/s^2 and the ball's initial velocity is always zero, as it falls from rest. Other times I throw it horizontally, which means th
Last June, I turned sixteen and as a result got my learning permit for driving. Since the, I have learned much about driving and this year, the physics involved in it. For example, how hard you press on the gas pedal determines how many miles per hour the car is going, which is the velocity of the car. Also, if you increase or decrease the miles per hour, this determines the acceleration of the car. In addition, the driver decides how far the car travels and for how long the car travels.
Every once in a while, as I'm sure many people do, I help my parents with grocery shopping. This involves pushing the cart while looking for food. Interestingly enough, this involves a great deal of physics. For instance, how hard you push the cart determines the velocity of the cart. Additionally, if you increase or decrease the speed, you"re also determining the acceleration of the cart. And of course, you decide the distance the cart goes and for how long it goes. Overall, this just shows how
Recently in gym we started the badminton unit. I have no care for the game in particular, however, I realized that physics has an important part in the game. For instance, when you hit the birdie, it is a perfect example of projectile motion. How hard you hit it determines the initial horizontal velocity of the birdie. That and the angle you hit it at decides how far horizontally it will go. And when you hit the birdie, it is important to remember that the gravitational acceleration is 9.81 m/s^
With books and films like The Hunger Games, it would seem that archery is getting a lot more attention than usual. Many students in high school have an archery unit in their gym class. Some may not realize it, but a lot of physics is involved in archery. When an arrow is drawn back the bow stores mechanical potential energy. The force the person applies to the bow is called the Draw Weight, which bends the limbs of the bow and adds elastic potential energy. In this way the bow is kind of like a
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