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About this blog

My AP Physics C blog that I wish had a better title. Here goes...

Entries in this blog

 

First Physics Blog

Around school I'm probably known as "that really tall girl who rides horses" which is really a pretty accurate description of me. It does leave out some other things that are an essential part of who I am. I love the two classes I am the worst in: Physics and Math. I love history. AP European has been my favorite history class that I've taken so far, but I also enjoy learning about local history in my free time. I've been playing violin for almost 14 years now and play in my school's orchestra. 

kateh516

kateh516

 

Carpet Skiing

The other day, after gym class, a few of my friends (you know who you are... I'm just protecting your privacy) stopped by the locker of one of said friends. His locker is known for the large amounts of food that is kept in there. After emptying out a Capri-Sun* box and a box of Little Bites Muffins* someone had the brilliant idea to put one of the boxes on their feet. He tried skating around on one foot without much success. After meandering along the halls, I thought someone should try wearing

kateh516

kateh516

 

What would happen if gravity pulled in the opposite direction?

In one of my late night musings, I asked myself, "Self, what would happen if gravity pulled us up towards the sky instead of down towards the ground?" and being a volleyball player, I wondered how that would affect the game. So let's create a situation to isolate some factors to get a better idea of what some possible outcomes would be. Let's say that, for this scenario, the court is the only area affected by the change in gravity. So the fans in the bleachers are seated and the coaches, players

kateh516

kateh516

 

Remember Scooters?

In Orchestra today, two kids rode past our room on their scooters. After discussing why two 8th graders were getting to school late, we started reminiscing about the scooter days. Remember those Razor scooters that hurt so much when they accidentally swung into your ankles? Yeah, those scooters. So I was one of the fortunate kids to have a scooter and one memory I have of it is the day I learned you must avoid, at all costs, scootering barefoot. Oh yes, bare feet and scooters are not a good comb

kateh516

kateh516

 

Apples and Buses

A few days ago, my volleyball team traveled to another school for a match (which we won, even with the touch I called myself on that could have scored us the winning point if I hadn't) and for our trip home, the opposing team gave us a huge bag of apples. So as we rode the bus home we ate and then we had 15 apple cores and no idea what to do with them for the rest of our 45 minute bus ride home. An open window sparked an idea and with that I became the center for the discard of our apple cores.

kateh516

kateh516

 

Equestrian Physics

Physics is everywhere. There has never been a more true statement. So let me take a minute to discuss the physics involved in a sport that I love and are blessed to participate in: horseback riding. There are many different disciplines in the Equestrian world, but for the case of this blog, I'm going to focus on the discipline I am most familiar with, jumping. The physics behind jumping is basic kinematics. To clear a fence, the horse and rider have to approach the jump with the right velocity.

kateh516

kateh516

 

Getting "Left Behind"

On Saturdays I usually have a riding lesson, which is always the highlight of my weekend. On my drive home from the barn, I was reflecting on the lesson and what I could improve on for next week. The goal of riding is to make all your cues to your horse invisible and move with the horse as much as possible. Sometimes, after asking for a faster speed from their horse, a rider gets "left behind"- as the horse gets faster the rider doesn't move with the horse and look like they aren't moving togeth

kateh516

kateh516

 

Cats Using Physics

I believe most living things are born with some a basic understanding of physics. If I jump up, I'll come back down. We certainly know gravity, as it effects us every moment we are on Earth. I'd like to share an example of this. Recently, as I worked on some homework I had, my cat jumped up on the table. She walked around on it, exploring, for a few minutes then went to jump down. I noticed she did not do anything other than simply sliding her front paws off, the rest of her following after grav

kateh516

kateh516

 

Don't Drop The Eggs

... unless you are instructed to do so by your physics teacher My fellow blogger, zlessard, has also just posted a blog about a similar topic, as we both had to write one up for class. Our mistakes were different but we both had the same goal. The purpose of this lab was to figure out what height the arm on which the rubber band and egg were attached had to be so the bottom of the egg just touched the top of the paper (resting on a table) below it. To find out what height it needed to

kateh516

kateh516

 

Tire Swings

On Easter, I had the pleasure of celebrating with a friends family (because all of my family lives in a land far, far away). Her cousins really liked playing on the tire swing they have in their yard. I don't blame them, tire swings are pretty swanky. For some reason they really liked when I pushed them. Maybe it was just because I was a new person that isn't family. Or, maybe it's because of physics. My friend and I, being the oldest kids there, ended up supervising after we ate Easter lunch. W

kateh516

kateh516

 

My Excuse for Being a Very Slow Sprinter

As mentioned in a few of my earlier blog posts, I am on my school's varsity volleyball team. Lots of the time, we have to do sprints across our thirty foot wide court as punishment for losing a drill or messing up too many times in row. I am always the last one to finish (it's absolutely terrible). Yes part of it is a lack of stamina, but the other day while running a very long set of sprints (we had to do 12 consecutive "down and backs" across our court), I was thinking about the physics and wh

kateh516

kateh516

 

Dropped Waterbottle

Today as I was rushing out of the house to my car, I dropped my water bottle on my driveway. As it hit the floor and bounced back up to me, I realized that it was an inelastic collision!! Actually my first thought was to get it from under the car so I could take it to school, but that's besides the point. Anyways, I knew it was an inelastic collision because some of the energy the water bottle started with, which was all potential energy because it was not in motion yet, was changed into sound e

kateh516

kateh516

 

DSLR vs. iPhone Cameras

Nowadays, almost everyone has a camera right at their fingertips. With the invention of the smartphone, even the camera phone (remember when you were the coolest kid if you had a camera phone... or even just a cell phone?!!) pictures and picture taking has become an intricate part of everyday life. We've come a long way from the first ever camera phone to today's iPhone. The quality of the picture has improved greatly while remaining a lot smaller than a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera.

kateh516

kateh516

 

Stringed Instruments

Guitars, violins, violas, cellos... all examples of stringed instruments. There are many different ways to play them, but for the sake of this blog post I'm going to focus on plucking. Plucking is when whoever is playing the instrument uses their finger to pull up the string and let it go. I believe this is more commonly seen with guitars (I play violin and it doesn't happen to frequently in the pieces I play). All of these instruments have strings that are fixed on each end. When a string is pl

kateh516

kateh516

 

The Importance of Phone Cases

Since we have moved out of the era of brick phones and indestructible Nokias, and have entered the world of fragile iPhones, the market for good phone cases has widened greatly. Cases used to be just stylistic choice. Now they are almost necessary since you are investing hundreds of dollars into an iPhone (they are totally worth it though). How does the case work to prevent damage to your phone though?  When you drop your phone on a surface, the surface will act with an equal and opposite f

kateh516

kateh516

 

The Good Dinosuar

A few weeks ago, I went to see the movie The Good Dinosaur with some friends. It was a great movie and I definitely think that if you are reading this you should go see it. Since this is a blog about physics, let's talk about that! As the movie begins, a asteroid gets dislodged from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This asteroid starts moving directly towards Earth. As it gets closer to Earth, it enters the Earth's Gravitational Field. It bursts into flames as it enters Earth's a

kateh516

kateh516

 

Christmas Candles

I don't know what it is, but I always seem to have candles burning a lot more frequently around Christmas time than any other time of year (which in my case means more than one time a day which is my norm). Maybe it's the whole lighting of the advent candles at church that influences me. Or maybe I'm a pyromaniac whose tenancies increase in December?? Either way, candles are very important to me and since physics is everywhere, it's definitely in candles! Let's start with the lighting of a

kateh516

kateh516

 

Driving in Snow

Yesterday, on the way home from a colleg interview, the weather conditions took a turn for the worse. Luckily, I was not alone, and my mom was able to drive home. What would have been a two and a half hour trip turned into four and a half hours because we had to drive at a much slower rate. We also had to leave a greater amount of space between the car in front of us. Because of how snowy the roads were, there was a greatly reduced coefficient of friction between our tires and the pavement. It t

kateh516

kateh516

 

Wind Turbines

I'm all for reusable sources or energy because, one day, the world will run out of oil and without preparation for that day there will most likely be an energy crisis. It's one of the biggest tasks I think my generation should be taking on. One example is a reusable energy is wind. Wind is cause by the uneven heating of the Earth. Wind power has been harnessed to do work before. Windmills used to be used to grind grain down into a flour. So, how does a windmill or wind turbine work? Well, the wi

kateh516

kateh516

 

Lasers

It's common for lasers to be included in high intensity, spy movies (so I've heard). I've really only seen them in kids cartoons since I'm not well versed in current movie culture (I really only watch romantic comedies-whoops). KIDS!! You are being fooled! You can't actually see a laser beam when it's pointed across a room. Those red lines that you have to tentatively step around to avoid setting off the alarms would not actually be there in real life. Why is this the case? Well, laser

kateh516

kateh516

 

Mucking Stalls

More horsey physics!!! Horses are big animals and with that comes a lot of food that is consumed. Lots of food means lots coming out the other end. Mucking out stalls and pastures is a daily task for horse owners/stable workers. It's not a terrible task, honestly. It gets a bit tiring when you have 20 stalls to clean along with all the other tasks to do around the barn and wanting to ride for a couple of hours. Physics can make the job a little easier. It all comes down to torque. So you ha

kateh516

kateh516

 

Mini Golf

While Mini-Golfing with some friends on a trip to Cape Cod over summer vacation, I decided to take a video of a, surprisingly, challenging part of the course. It involved a loop that you could either hit your ball into or try to go around it. For most of us, we ended up hitting into the front part of the steel loop and getting our ball no where. None of us were really playing by the rules so we let each other have multiple shots until our ball finally went through/passed the loop. In preparation

kateh516

kateh516

 

Hiking is Phun!

I would like to start off by apologizing for the title. Sometimes I try to be punny and I should know by now I'm really bad at it.  Anyways... I was on spring break this week and a group of my friends (they're some really cool people) took a day trip where we found a pretty gnarly place to take a hike. It was a pretty awesome adventure and with any adventure, there has to be physics involved. We all hiked to the top of trail but, did we all do the same work? No! Why you ask? Because wo

kateh516

kateh516

 

Half Chaps

In the English style of riding, sometimes you may notice a rider wearing extra material around their calves. These are known as half chaps (I've included a picture below for better reference). Riders may choose to wear half chaps as a way get a better "feel" of the horse and keep your leg in the proper position. The coefficient of friction is increased by riding with half chaps as most have a grippy (for lack of a better term) fabric on at least the inside of your calf. The coefficient of fricti

kateh516

kateh516

 

Popping Popcorn

Popcorn is a tasty snack that has existed for many centuries. The other day I was wondering how exactly it worked and figured there must be some physics behind it. After experiencing pressure created by the temperatures it is put under, the hull of the kernel splits and turns inside out. The water vapor that is released makes the popping noise. If you have ever made popcorn in a pot you will have seen that popcorn "jumps" in the air. I figured that the release of the water vapor directs a force

kateh516

kateh516

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