So if you haven't heard, a rocket that was supposed to bring supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) exploded on October 28. Here's a short article and video talking about it: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/antares-rocket-explosion/.
Obviously, this kind of sucks. The rocket cost about $200 million and now most of the supplies won't make it to the ISS. However, explosions are still really fun to watch, especially one that big and I don't feel bad saying that since the rocket was unman
Last winter I got to try this really awesome "toy" at Bristol Mountain: a giant airbag jump done by Acrobag (http://acrobag.org/). For an hour I could go off the big jump, do anything and wanted, and not get hurt if I messed up a landing.
This reason for this is completely related to what we are doing in physics this week. The change in momentum (impulse) is over a longer period of time which makes the force your body feels much less. For example, for proof of concept we can assume that when
I've always been fascinated with old electronics. Like those old digital readout clocks from the 80s, that flip the numbers down instead of having LEDs. There's something about having a true literal system that is more interesting to me than just virtual code on a computer.
Vinyl records are another example of this. You can actually see the music and sound being created as the record and needle move on a turntable. The start of vinyl was a discovery by Thomas Edison. Edison knew that sound wa
A few days ago I was merrily browsing the internet when I saw this intriguing post from Discovery: http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/worlds-first-hoverboard-for-realsies-141021.htm
If there is one invention that everybody has wanted since 1989, it's that hoverboard Marty McFly rode in Back to the Future II.
These real life hoverboards are being made with the brand Hendo Hover and are really cool. They let the rider glide around 1 inch above the ground and seem to have some sor
Many, many people have wondered why the U.S still doesn't use the metric system for everything. It's decimal based and way easier to use. For instance, acceleration due to gravity in metric (like we use in physics) is 9.8m/s^2 which can easily be rounded to 10, an easy number to multiply mass by the find weight. However, in all my math and engineering classes, teachers always seem set on using U.S Customary Units, which makes gravity's acceleration be 32.174 ft/s^2 which is a ridiculous calculat
I recently found this extremely intriguing video game, Miegakure, in which you solve puzzles using the 4th dimension. http://miegakure.com/
This game is completely mind boggling. The player has to switch between the 3rd dimensions and 4th dimensions to do absurd tasks like walking "through" walls. At first I thought you were just going into another screen where the wall does not exist, walking past where the wall was, and then switching back to the 3rd dimension. However, the more I read abou
Monday is the start of the Nordic ski season! (That's cross country skiing for those of you who don't know) Skiing, particularly Nordic, has tons of potential for physics conversations. I'm going to focus particularly on poling.
To get the most out of poling while racing, its necessary to go the fastest while also using the least amount of energy. In order to achieve this it's important that the poles are planted as close to 45 degrees to the ground as possible. Physically, this makes total s
Lately my friends and I have been playing the new Super Smash Bros on 3DS. In the game, as the title suggests, you smash everyone around and you win when you are able to smash all the enemies off the stage. The more you get hit, the higher your damage % goes up and the farther you fly each time you get attacked. I thought it would be interesting to think about what physics concepts could cause this.
Perhaps the higher damage actually reduces drag forces on the character. Maybe tiny particles
There's a Marvel movie coming out in the near future whose protagonist is Ant-Man. While he may sound pretty boring, he's actually pretty cool.
Ants are basically already super heroes. If you don't believe me, check out this video.
Would you go and attack a giant?! No, of course not. Unless you were Ant-Man.
Ant-Man's power is that he created a gas that allows him to shrink himself and other people and objects and he created a helmet that lets him communicate with insects. When he is s
Just last night I watched a new animated movie, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. It's very dark and definitely made for adults. People get killed left and right and it's horribly (awesomely?) violent. Here's the trailer:
The movie primarily follows The Flash as a protagonist and his travels through time and parallel universes. A lot of The Flash's abilities and physical limitations are countered through comic book magic, such as the fact that he has an "aura" around him that prevents
With the announcement of Windows 10 this week, Microsoft also announced a new product: the HoloLens. They have been worked on for several years in secret, by the same person who created Kinect. Although, at the moment, they are only available to developers and are a very new concept. Still, they are extremely cool and could change how we see the world in a few years.
Images, which Microsoft is calling holograms, come up in the real world. The lens can process many terabytes a second which sou
Anybody who knows anything knows that it is a universal law that bad physics are good physics. By which I mean hilarious. This is particularly obvious in awful video games, such as Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. There are SO MANY GLITCHES. The best is being able to jump infinitely as the character, Knuckles. It clearly demonstrates the physics concept that if you paused life, you could jump forever. Wait... That's not a thing. Oh well. This video shows the infinite jump and a bunch of other terrible
To reiterate what I said in my last blog post, bad physics are the best physics. So, here's some more!
A super fun game with purposefully terrible physics is Just Cause 2. In the game you are pretty much the cheesiest action hero ever, and as such can do ridiculous stunts. For instance, you can fall any distance you want, so long as you use a grappling hook to pull yourself into the ground. This makes no sense whatsoever because obviously the grapple would pull you faster into the ground not
Despite my love for terrible physics, there is of course a beauty in simulating very realistic physics with a computer. I think this video perfectly sums up what I mean:
Blender is a fantastic free 3D modeling program that I have spent some time messing around with.... It is extremely complicated. I could hardly create anything on my own. It is is amazing that people can use programming logic to create realistic destruction animations. Each individual particle that breaks away has to be tak
So, in my quest to create these blog posts tonight, some of them will be sort of repetitive. Like this one. But still cool, don't worry.
I found this video from a guy that made an awesome looking giant sandman animation. The entire thing is made of 1,000,000 particles. Clearly, he is using some sort of alien computing technology to render it because that would blow up any normal person's computer.
The fact that computers exist that can move 1 million particles together in smooth animati
Even though Frozen has been over played, over hyped, over sung, over rated, and just freakin' annoying at this point (in my opinion) the level of detail that Disney and Pixar alike put into their 3D movies is incredible. Just take a look at this video:
Now, I have no idea what that stuff was in the beginning other than "velocity" and "particle", but clearly it uses very high level physics and therefore calculus algorithms. It's crazy to think that back when The Incredibles came out, just anim
Everybody who has flown in a plane has experienced turbulence. I personally never understood turbulence - what causes it, how dangerous is it, etc - but I read an article from an airline pilot explaining it. Turbulence occurs when fast moving air hits slow moving air and the air currents are disrupted. Rather than flowing smoothly, they are crashing and moving around each other.
According to this pilot, encountering light to moderate turbulence is like a bumpy road in a car. It just happens.
Pcgamer.com recently had a cool article showing real-life spacecraft creations in Kerbal Space Program. http://www.pcgamer.com/kerbal-space-program-2/
It's cool that somebody took the time to think about how to recreate these models of famous spacecraft. I found it amusing that he says the smaller spacecraft - particularly Pioneer 4 - were so small (only 6.1 kg!) that the thrust simulation in the game would make it go extra long distances with ease.
As several of us in APC already know, afte
Lately in the video game world there has been a lot of purposefully bad simulator games: Surgeon Simulator and Rock Simulator to name a couple. Now, there is a sim game called I AM BREAD. In the game you play as, well, bread. Duh. The purpose of every level is to become toast and stay edible. The best part of the game is that it has really wonky controls. Also, the physics make little sense. The bread you play as has grip and can climb walls. It also seems to be a rather heavy mass since it can
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