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About this blog

Doctor Who-based Physics C blog (with a few other TV shows thrown in for fun)

Entries in this blog

 

Scorpion Season 1 Episode 8: "Risky Business"

It's everybody's favorite physics problem: the elevator! One does not learn mechanics without encountering the elevator problem (as far as I know). This is an interesting, sort of different take on it though. http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/46616DDC-D143-4956-909B-9B31759797B6/scorpion-i-love-machines/ I'll be honest, the first I saw this I had no idea why Walter and Toby were tying their belts to the elevator bars. But it all makes sense about 5 seconds later when a rather...well.

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 7: "Father's Day"

Drones! Yes, the flying machines with four propellers that are all too popular these days surfaced in an episode of Scorpion. I thought this might be a cool opportunity to examine the physics of how drones fly. We never get a good look at the drone in the episode, but I do know that its suppose to look like a bird (Sylvester calls it "Bird-Droney"). However, for the sake of this post, I'm going to the discuss the quad-rotor model of a drone (recreational drones). They usually look something like

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Yes, The One That Looks Like A Cannonball

The throwing saga continues! This post is all about shot put (the one that looks like throwing a cannonball), my other event. In this a event, throwers compete to see who can launch a weighted metal ball (8 lbs for girls, 12 lbs for guys) the farthest distance. This fairly basic projectile motion, but a lot of people struggle with it. So, here goes: Actually, I lied. This is slightly more complex projectile motion since, as the diagram shows, the release point in a height (h) off of the g

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No, It's Not Like Throwing a Frisbee

Hello again! As you might have guessed this post is not about a TV Show (though I could probably find a movie or show that involves what I'm going to talk about). I actually want to talk about the physics behind throwing a discus. The discus throw is one of the events I compete in with the school track team, so in honor of our first meet yesterday I decided to do a blog post on it. A "disc" or discus looks like this: The larger radii are for men while the smaller, lighter discus are for w

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 21: "Cliffhanger"

Let's talk about Ferraris. At the beginning of this episode Walter is given a Ferrari, which he immediately and excitedly points out can drive at speeds of at least 190 mph (some models can go as fast 214 mph). As one can imagine, this could turn out poorly. And turn out poorly it did. By the end of the episode and rage-filled Walter manages to send the vehicle- with him inside of course- over the side of a cliff. I will say, before I get into the physics of the crash, that the physics this time

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Doctor Who: The T.A.R.D.I.S.

So I've realized that with all the posts I've done on Doctor Who, I never actually looked at the theory behind how the T.A.R.D.I.S. can actually travel through time. There have actually been studies into how a time-travelling space might work in this universe and the findings have led physicists to believe it is theoretically possible for a T.A.R.D.I.S. to exist and to function as it does on the show in our universe. The research paper is called Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spac

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The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 10: "The Gorilla Experiment"

Yes, I'm adding another show! The other day I was watching a newer episode of the Big Bang Theory when I realized that there could be some good things to talk about in this show. After a bit a research, I was definitely right about that. So let's start here: So, Sheldon- a super smart astrophysicist- is trying to teach Penny- an average human with no knowledge of physics- about some basic physics concepts. One such concept is Newton's equations for gravity and gravitational force, or

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 20: "Crossroads"

I really thought it would not get worse than a man standing on the wing of an accelerating plane, but I was wrong. In this episode, the team is trying to protect a witness from a gang that is trying to kill her and so obviously we have some high speed chases and what not. Well, according to the show, an RV travelling at 100 mph (~44.7 m/s) can make an almost 90-degree turn without crashing, tipping over, or slowing down at all. So, I'm going to use this blog post to prove them wrong. The firs

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 19: "Young Hearts Spark Fire" (Part II)

As I mentioned in the previous post, here is part II: the wildfire. Honestly, I just wanted to know if it is even physically possible for that many slow-moving people to out run a spreading wildfire, especially in high winds. Here's a short clip from the episode showing the spreading fire: http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/45699904-3F02-8272-59C1-482673FE0BEF/scorpion-fire-is-getting-close/ So the first thing I noticed was that Sylvester (the man who was on his own dragging that other

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 19: "Young Hearts Spark Fire" (Part I)

Ok so I know its been a while, but I'm back! This episode is about the Scorpion Team trying to save a group of lost hikers and getting caught in a wildfire in the process. http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/60C5E5EA-F07C-9BE2-1635-482673FE41E0/scorpion-we-re-going-to-die/ I'll start here, with the falling helicopter. Helicopters fly through the use of propellers. As the propellers are rotated at increasing speeds , the air flowing over them generates lift. Because the the propellers r

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AP Physics C Midterm

Ok, so today is my midterm and I've been studying and looking over my notes and everything and I think I'm about ready. The test is going to be an actual AP Mechanics exam I guess, so I've done a few practice ones and such to get ready for it. I'm hoping that I can get at least a 4 on this thing. This going to be a short post for now but I plan to update this later after the exam so I can complain talk about it. I guess that's all I have to say for now. Wish me luck! OK, that's one

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Doctor Who 2011 Christmas Special: "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe"

Hello again! This one I had to talk about because there is just so much wrong with the beginning that I don't even know where to start. Scratch that, yes I do. Let's start with the Doctor falling out of a spaceship exploding in orbit, that seems like a good place to me. I'm not sure if the Doctor has special lungs that don't need air (pretty sure that is not the case) but he survived for like 5 minutes hurtling towards Earth in space with no atmosphere. Than he reaches out into space and

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 13: "Kill Screen"

Ok, so this the best I can find, go to about 2:00 and watch that little bit (where he is working on the rocket). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9A0Dev7DQw I thought this could be a fun one to use to talk about rockets! Ok, I guess I'm more talking about a question I got wrong on a recent test. So the question was why do objects in a rocket that is in orbit around Earth appear weightless? I've done some research and I'm ready to give it another try. As it turns out, for a rocket or sp

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 15: "Forget Me Nots"

I cannot even begin to understand how this ever worked but somehow in this episode the Scorpion team ran a significant amount of electricity through one persons head and basically turned him super human. You are probably wondering where the physics comes into this: he pretty much bounced off and over a moving car to chase somebody down. I couldn't really find a video or an image but it is still free to watch on CBS.com (http://www.cbs.com/shows/scorpion/video/DE90E9B6-555F-4C3B-10AD-FE20D5CFE

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Doctor Who Season 3 Episode 9: "Human Nature"

I like this episode because it has a really cool example of projectile motion. (Read the next line BEFORE you play the video please or you might be a bit confused). Skip to around 1:15 in this video and watch (this is the only video I could find it in) and you'll see. The Doctor (or John Smith in this one, he has forgotten who he actually in this episode) manages to throw a cricket ball in the exact way that it hits a stack of poles that fall over and cause a brick to launch and hit a me

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Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 10: "In the Forest of the Night"

From this episode I get to talk about something pretty neat: solar flares. Yes, the plot of this episode revolves around a magical forest covering the Earth over night in order to save it from a massive solar flare. Confused yet? Solar flares are massive explosions on the surface of the Sun that release a significant amount of energy in multiple forms at once. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. So, one of the most impo

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 14: "Charades"

There are just a few bad physics moments in this episode and so I thought it would be a good one to talk about. Ok, so this is the scene: As this girl (Happy) is climbing a glass building using nothing but gloves with suction cups on them (which is one of the things I'm not sure made sense) she starts slipping. Meanwhile the two guys on the ground (Toby and Sylvester) are having this conversation. Toby: Sylvester, think of something! Sylvester: Okay, okay! The force of gravity is

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Doctor Who Season 8 Christmas Special: "Last Christmas"

So this is about 24 days too late but... So, I have question for you. I really hope not. I thought I could use the Christmas Special to talk about the physics of Santa's sleigh, since he was a main focus of the episode and my research yielded so interesting results. (If you still believe in Santa, skip to the very end or you will never be the same again) Santa has over 300 million Children to deliver presents to and approximately 31 hours- with different time zones taken in

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 1: "Pilot"

(I'm not sure if she has been in a post yet so this is one of the Doctor's Companions and her name is Rose) Anyways, I'm working on a post about the Doctor who Christmas special but for now I'm going try another one about Scorpion! Ok so I'm not saying the physics are wrong (ok, maybe not COMPLETELY wrong) but lets just talk this out and you can decide for yourself. What really gets me is the connection between the two cords in the video, you can see it if you pause the video around

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Scorpion Season 1 Episode 9: "Rogue Element"

Ok so I have to apologize, this blog is no longer only Doctor Who. I've realized that, unfortunately, I'm running out of ideas with Doctor Who so while I think up some more I've decided to branch out a bit and write about the brand new CBS drama Scorpion. It's about a team of geniuses and I've seen physics in practically every episode. That brings me to the episode I'm discussing. This one is the most recent and caught a little basic physics in it. So in this scene Walter- the main character

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Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 12: "Death in Heaven"

It seems fitting to close out my tenth and final blog for the first quarter by talking about the season finale of the 8th season of Doctor Who. In this episode the Twelve Doctor gets thrown out of moving plane and yet he still manages to call his T.A.R.D.I.S. in mid-fall. The Doctor would have been falling at a fairly quick rate, he would have been in free fall. Obviously, since he is able to catch up to the T.A.R.D.I.S., the T.A.R.D.I.S. is moving at a smaller speed. That would explain the f

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Doctor Who Season 4 Episode 13: "The Stolen Earth"

The title says it all. This episode is all about the Earth being stolen right out of orbit and out of the universe. Just imagine, if you were in a space above the planet, hearing "The Earth is gone!" and seeing nothing where your home planet used to be. But how could that happen? How is that even possible? In theory, it is possible but certainly not by human action (but then again it was not human action on the show). To occur naturally, an asteroid of large enough mass would need to

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Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 7: "Kill the Moon"

The Moon. Its always been there, in constant orbit around the Earth. Humans have always looked to it in wonder, a handful actually gracing its rocky surface at one time or another in an attempt to understands its existence. It is very important too, its varying gravitational pull controls the tides if Earth's great bodies of water. But if the Moon is not what we think it is, what it never was? What would you do if you heard these words? Yeah, that sounds pretty ridiculous. However the plo

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A REAL Sonic Screwdriver!

Ok this is not about an episode, but you probably already guessed that. I found this article online about a team of physicists at the University of Dundee in the UK actually creating a functioning sonic screwdriver. The link for teh article is right below here. Just to clarify first though, the sonic screwdriver is the Doctor's tool for almost everything- opening doors, manipulating technology, scaring off bad guys- almost anything really. Now, check this out: http://scitechdaily.com/physicis

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Doctor Who Season 6 Episode 1: "The Impossible Astronaut"

This should be a fun one. I would like to discuss the physics of slapping! Yes, slapping! In this episode River Song smacks the Eleventh Doctor pretty hard in the face, so I thought I could take a look at why the Doctor physically responds the way he does. Take look at how his entire body moves with the force of River's hand. The interesting thing is that it does not seem like his face reacts the way a normal face would when getting slapped. Take a look at this: In this case it is apparen

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