# jgalla's Blog

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## Potato Battery

Building a potato (or lemon or apple) battery reveals a bit about the inner workings of electrical circuits. To do this simple science experiment, you insert two different metallic objects often a galvanized (zinc-coated) nail and a copper penny into the potato, and connect wires to each object with alligator clips. These wires can be attached either to the two terminals of a multimeter (which measures a circuit's voltage) or to something like a digital clock or lightbulb. (It may take two or th

## Spinning Tops!

The spinning top, a toy found across many of the world's cultures and even among ancient archaeological ruins, lays bare some profound physical principles. The first is the conservation of angular momentum, the law that dictates that, in the absence of external influences, something spinning must keep spinning. Because a top balances upon a tiny point, it experiences a minimal amount of friction with the surface below it, and thus continues spinning for a delightfully long time, demonstrating th

## The faster you move, the heavier you get

If you run really fast, you gain weight. Not permanently, or it would make a mockery of diet and exercise plans, but momentarily, and only a tiny amount. Light speed is the speed limit of the universe. So if something is travelling close to the speed of light, and you give it a push, it canâ€™t go very much faster. But you've given it extra energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. Where it goes is mass. According to relativity, mass and energy are equivalent. So the more energy you put

## Slow Light!

The speed of light in a vacuum is a constant: 300,000km a second. However, light does not always travel through a vacuum. In water, for example, photons travel at around three-quarters that speed. In nuclear reactors, some particles are forced up to very high speeds, often within a fraction of the speed of light. If they are passing through an insulating medium that slows light down, they can actually travel faster than the light around them. When this happens, they cause a blue glow, known a

## Horizon Problem: Opposite side of the Universe are the same!

Inflation has become a cosmological buzzword in the 1990s. No self-respecting theory of the Universe is complete without a reference to inflation -- and at the same time there is now a bewildering variety of different versions of inflation to choose from. Clearly, what's needed is a beginner's guide to inflation, where newcomers to cosmology can find out just what this exciting development is all about. The reason why something like inflation was needed in cosmology was highlighted by discus

## The Gravastar: The New Black Hole?

For many years, we believed that the Earth was flat and that one could eventually fall off of the globe. We also believed that the Earth was the center of the universe (some people still do). And several ancient civilizations even used to use mercury as a medicine. Fortunately, we tested these ideas and came up with better ones. Since Sir Isaac Newton described gravity in his publication, "Principia." in 1687, to John Michell conjectured that there might be an object massive enough to have a

## Grand Unified Theory: Grand Unification Energy

The Grand Unified Theory is a vision of a physics theory that can combine three of the four fundamental forces into one single equation. The four forces are the Strong Nuclear Force, the Weak Nuclear Force, the Electro-Magnetic Force, and the Gravitational Force. The EM and Weak forces were initially thought to be two separate forces until scientists discovered one theory (the Electro Weak theory) to explain both of them and then went on to observe this unified force in action (much like Maxwell

## Grand Unified Theory: Beyond the Standard Model

Experiment after experiment has tried to find flaws in the Standard Model's predictions, but so far all the experimental evidence supports it. Nevertheless, scientists do not believe that the Standard Model provides complete answers to all our questions about matter. It describes everything we see in the laboratory. Aside from leaving gravity out, it's a complete theory of what we see in nature. But it's not an entirely satisfactory theory, because it has a number of arbitrary elements. F

## Grand Unified Theory: Higgs Boson

The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics. Its main relevance is that it allows scientists to explore the Higgs field â€“ a fundamental field first suspected to exist in the 1960s that unlike the more familiar electromagnetic field cannot be "turned off", but instead takes a non-zero constant value almost everywhere. For a subatomic particle that remained hidden for nearly 50 years, the Higgs boson is turning out to be remarkably

## Grand Unified Theory: The Four Fundamental Forces

While I visited the Rochester Institute of technology over the break, I talked to a Junior who was majoring in Physics. He was explaining to me what he was working on and theorized. He was currently working on the Grand Unified Theory. This interested me quite a bit so I did some research into this subject. It all starts with the Fundamental forces and their Interactions. There are 4 fundamental forces that have been identified. In our present Universe they have rather different properties

## Vincent Van Gogh: The Secretly Deranged Physics Genius

In 1889, inspired by a famous astronomical drawing that had been circulating in Europe for four decades, Vincent van Gogh painted his iconic masterpiece â€œThe Starry Night,â€ one of the most recognized and reproduced images in the history of art. At the peak of his lifelong struggle with mental illness, he created the legendary painting while staying at the mental asylum into which he had voluntarily checked himself after mutilating his own ear. But more than a masterwork of art, Van Gog

## Spin Foam!!!

Hopefully you have read the Quantum Foam, blog, if not, that is fine. Commence the melting of your brains. Are ya ready? In physics, a spinfoam or spin foam is a topological structure made out of two-dimensional faces that represents one of the configurations that must be summed to obtain a Feynman's path integral (functional integration) description of quantum gravity. It is closely related to loop quantum gravity. Loop Quantum Gravity has a covariant formulation that, at present, pro

## Quantum Foam!!

Yeah you heard that right. I just said Quantum Foam. And the best part, it is an actual science term. It's time to blow up some minds. Like I said In my "The imposible Conundrum" blogs, how things can be created from nothing, this is what happens down at the quantum level of this idea. Quantum foam (also referred to as space-time foam) is a concept in quantum mechanics devised by John Wheeler in 1955. The foam is supposed to be conceptualized as the foundation of the fabric of the

## What is the Meaning of Life and Why are we here? (Part 3)

To really sum everything up is quite simple. According to the strong anthropic principle, there are either many different universes or many different regions of a single universe, each with its own initial configuration and, perhaps, with its own set of laws of science. In most of these universes the conditions would not be right for the development of complicated organisms; only in the few universes that are like ours would intelligent beings develop and ask the question: "Why is the univers

## What is the Meaning of Life and Why are we here? (Part 2)

As I said in Part 1, which you should read before this part, Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God. One who chose to create the universe the way it is. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is that â€œGod chose toâ€, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view, it is accepted that some entity exists which needs no creator, and that entity is called God. It has been claimed, however, tha

## What is the Meaning of Life and Why are we here? (Part 1)

What is the Meaning of Life and Why are we Here? Most if not all of you readers thought of the number 42. Well even though we can thank Douglas Adams for that one in his novel, "The Hitchhikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxyâ€ the answer is not that simple. Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God. One who chose to create the universe the way it is. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is that â€œGod chose toâ€, then the question has me

## Something from nothing...Improbable Conundrum? (Part 2)

Weclome to part 2 of this blog series, If you have not read part one, please read it before reading this. Here is the Link to part 1: One of the great theories of modern cosmology is that the universe began in a Big Bang. This is not just an idea but a scientific theory backed up by numerous lines of evidence. For a start, there is the cosmic microwave background, which is a kind of echo of the big bang; then there is the ongoing expansion of the cosmos, which when imagined backwards,

## Something from nothing...Improbable Conundrum? (Part 1)

In this Two Part Blog Series, we will be looking at how the universe from the big bang, can exist out of nothing. According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, nothing in the Universe (i.e., matter or energy) can pop into existence from nothing. All of the scientific evidence points to that conclusion. So, the Universe could not have popped into existence before the alleged â€œbig bangâ€ (an event which we do not endorse). Therefore, God must have created the Universe. One of the popular

## Do Photons of Light secretly have telekinesis?

"This Sentence happily existed in all possible states before you observed it. Now it has collapsed into a single state. I hope you are satisfied." The Idea behind this one is a little (HUGE) part of quantum physics called Quantum entanglement, where pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independentlyâ€”instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole. If you observe one particle, the other

## Light Speed, Ridiculous Speed, Ludicrous Speed, PLAID!!!!

Recently I have gotten my hands on a spectacular game called "Elite Dangerous" by Frontier Developments. It is a realistic space adventure, trading, and combat simulator that is the fourth installment in the Elite video game series. Frontier Developments designed the game to include as much real world physics as possible. Piloting a spaceship, the player explores a realistic 1:1 scale open world galaxy based on the real Milky Way. That means that the player is able to explore the game's

## You May Fire When Ready (A.K.A. Planetary Annihilation)

For my Final blog of the 1st quarter, I decided to include some planetary destruction. One might say it is "Planetary Annihilation". So I present... Planetary Annihilation Planetary Annihilation is a real-time strategy computer game developed by Uber Entertainment, whose staff include several industry veterans who worked on Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. Throughout my childhood, I loved strategy games due to the almost infinite possible outcomes, and the idea that one move coul

## G.O. Call of Elite Sni-per 3!!! (A.K.A Bullet Ballistics)

While being indecisive about what game I should make a blog about, I noticed that all three had scoped rifles in the game. So that's when I decided to make my blog about how well the three games implement bullet ballistics. So I present to you... G.O. Call of Elite Sni-per 3!!!! A mash of both Call of duty, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Sniper Elite 3. First let us start with Sniper Elite 3. Sniper Elite 3 is a game set in June 1942, where during the Battle of Gazala, OSS sniper

## Eagle Project Physics Phun Part 3

If you have seen part 2, you will know that this time we are going to be looking into sledgehammers. For my project, I required the use of a sledgehammer to pound 1 meter re-bar into the ground, 14 times. The reason I am using re-bar in this project is to allow the walk path to stay in the same position, while the ground shifts overtime. The average distance the re-bar traveled was .05 m, therefor requiring 20 swings, which each had an average force of about 100 N, exerted over an interval of .

## Eagle Project Physics Phun Part 2

If you have seen part 1, then you may know where I will be getting some of my information down. This time we will be talking about the use of wheel barrows. The wheelbarrow is designed to distribute the weight of its load between the wheel and the operator so enabling the convenient carriage of heavier and bulkier loads than would be possible were the weight carried entirely by the operator. Because of the design we can use the equation Torque=FL. The wheel barrows can carry 6 planks, with ea

## Eagle Project Physics Phun Part 1

Over the week end I had my Eagle Project. A service project for Boy scouts that is designed to show my leadership skills. My project was to build a 60ft wooden walkway. During this project, I had to carry 15 pound (6.8 kg) boards down a 300 meters trail. If we use the formula for work, W=FD, and the fact that I exerted a 200 newton force in the x-axis, we can determine that to carry 3 boards, I exerted 60000 joules of work, and if I had to partake in 3 trips, that required 180000 joules of wo

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