Airbags exist to minimize the force exerted on a person when a car crashes. Newton's 1st law tells us that an object is motion will stay in motion, so when you are riding in a car you are moving at the same direction and speed as the car. All moving objects have momentum which is equal to mass times velocity. In an effort to combat injury, cars now have to have airbags according to the federal law. Airbags work because they want to exert a force that will decrease the person in the car's speed t
Over February Break my best friend and I went to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida! We went on a ton of rides and it was amazing how many rides involved precise physics. For example, one of their biggest attractions is Dr. Doom's Free Fall. The ride takes you up a lot like the spring at seabreeze and then drops you. The ride is 200 the air and you can see it while driving through Orlando. It advertises that the ride is faster than the space shuttle. It was interesting that they call it free
I am a dancer and I am always surprised by the crossovers between physics and dance. For example, in tap dancing there is a ton of connections. Whenever I do a shuffle or a buffalo it creates sliding friction which makes the motion easier. Additionally, static friction is created when I do a flap or a time step, the static friction helps to maintain my footing. Newton's third law tells us that all forces come in pairs, so when I exert a force to strike my shoe, the force I exert is equal to the
Over the break I went sledding and there was a lot of physics involved. Firstly, I climbed to the of the hill and put my sled on the ground, it did not move, illustrating Newton's 1st law that an object at rest will stay at rest. In order to make my sled go, my friend has to push on me. The push demonstrates Newton's 3rd law, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
When my friend pushed on me she exerted the exact same force on herself. Additionally, the sled was able to
Since most of my life is spent in my voice studio, in room practicing or performing I figured it was time to write about some of the physics that go into singing. Recently, we learned that sound waves must travel through a medium. The medium in singing is air, so technically, sound could simply be described as moving air molecules or vibrating air molecules. One of the hardest things to master as a singer is perfect pitch and what pitch really is frequency of a sound wave or moving air particles
This weekend I took a plane to New York City. I was looking out the window on the plane and I started to think about the physics required to fly. Before take off the plane was sitting on the tar mat at rest and it continued to stay at rest for our small delay. When we got the okay to take off we started off at a low velocity and then we accelerated to a higher velocity until we were going at maximum speed. Then we took flight. In order to move up we had to be going at a significant speed and bey
Ironically when I was a kid I hated heights but now I love rides and heights. So over February break my friend and I took a trip to Orlando and we spent some time at Disney. At the Contemporary Resort they have a water sports center and we went parasailing which was awesome. We got to see the whole Disney property from above. What was cool about parasailing besides the views was all the physics involved. Fro example, our parachute was hooked on to a boat and the captain had to ask us how quickly
Since we have been learning about centripetal forces, it was a great time to discuss the physics of ice skating. What allows for smooth gliding on ice is the lack of friction on the ice. The less frictional surface allows a skater to glide on ice, because there is little opposition to motion. Additionally, ice skating involves Newton's 1st law because an object in motion tends to stay in motion. When a skater gets moving, they do not stop moving until the skater brakes. Lastly, When a skater is
One of my favorite places in the whole world is Disney World. Like it or not-- Physics is everywhere in the Disney parks. Disney Imagineers always think of new rides and how they can work safety. A great example of the use of physics is on the ride, The Rocking Rollercoaster in Disney's Hollywood Studios! The Rocking Rollercoaster goes from 0mph to 57mph in the short time of 2.8s. When designing this coaster, imagineers must of utilized kinematic equations in order to determine the initial veloc
Last week I babysat for 3 little kids. Their Dad build them a sledding hill out a slide. I took them outside after bundling them up and we went sledding. When sledding I noticed how easily the sled glided down the snow bank, then I thought, snow and ice have a low coefficient of friction. Additionally, I noticed that when the kids went down individually, they went quicker down the hill. Because Force equals mass times acceleration, acceleration is also equal to force divided by mass. Therefore,
One of my favorite movies is Miss Congeniality! If you have not seen it, number one, you should, but it is about an FBI agent who goes undercover in the Miss United States Pageant. Because she is not by any means a pageant star, for the talent portion she shows off her amazing skills playing music on different types of wine glasses. The reason sound is produced as she swirls her fingertip around the glasses is due to the principal called resonance. Resonance occurs when a system vibrates another
Physics largely impacts driving. Newton's Laws of Motion can be used to explain this further. Newton's First Law states that an object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by a net force. This connects to driving because it explains why you must apply a force to brake and why when you crash you stop because some other force like another car has acted upon you. Additionally, cars have mass which means that cars have inertia. The first law can als
Physics is a big part of dancing. For example, when a dancer leaps or jumps, gravity pulls them down and when a dancer is suspended in air, the only force acting upon them is gravity. When a dancer is doing a combination across the floor, they are going to a certain direction and typically moving at a constant speed. Velocity also contributes to dance because when a dancer turns, the faster they go the more turns one can do and it improves their skill. When a dancer is at the barre and they rel
The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.
APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to email@example.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.