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Stage Curtains

If you have ever went to see a concert, play, musical or any other performance on a stage, it is very likely that there were curtains involved. Tonight, i was partly responsible for the curtains at the IHS Talent show. The contraption that allows the curtains to move across the stage is a simple pulley system using two pulleys and a rope in-between. When the rope is pulled in one direction, it creates a torque on the pulley and causes it to spin. This spinning either opens or closes the curtain

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Water Skiing

Similar to tubing, another aquatic sport that i love to participate in is waterskiing. Something about gliding across the water gives me a sense of freedom that nothing else really does. Water skiing is a great example of physics too. Firstly are the turns. When a water skier decides to turn, they must angle their skis in such a way that makes them go where they want. Two main factors effect the turn: the angle and the force. The more of and angle the skier tilts the skis at the bigger and sharp

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Zip-Lines

Something i have always wanted to do is go on a zip-line in a forest or down a hill. However, what i did not think about are the many applications of physics in zip lining. The most obvious the use of gravity to propel you down the line. Gravity will act down on you at the center of you mass and accelerate you in a wild ride of fun. The zip-line actually works by putting a contraption on the line that has multiple wheels in it. The line is notched in the wheels and a low amount of friction allow

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Pressure in Bottle

I saw this video recently and thought it was a very cool experiment and not a normal application of physics. When the hot air in the bootle begins to cool down, it create a vacuum in the bottle and applies a force on the water up through the straw. This force gradually goes to zero and the pressure inside and outside the bottle begin to equal each other. Maybe you should try this at home!   

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Tubing

As this year comes to a close, the activities of summer are finding their way into my head more and more each day. One of my favorite things to do is go tubing. Besides an exciting water ride, tubing is a great example of physics is the real world. The boat pulling the tuber is an example of Newton's Third law: for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The propellers on the boat push on the water which pushes back on the boat to propel it forward. The rope that connects the tuber

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Golf

In my eyes, the sport that uses the principles of physics most simply is Golf. Kinematics and projectile motion are the biggest components of physics that are applied in golf due to the objective of hitting a ball into a small hole. First, the angle at which each club is tilted determines the total distance the ball will fly. A club with a very low angle of tilt, such as a driver, will cause the ball to fly the farthest. But the angle isn't the only factor to distance. Comparing a driver to an i

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Relative Speed

Another idea that came up while flying to Florida was the principle of relative motion. When ever people are traveling they are usually only focused on their speed and not that of others. However, as i looked out of the window, I saw another plane in the open sky and it seemed that it was going much faster than us. However, knowing the principle of relative motion, i realized that we were most likely flying at similar speeds and it only seemed that the other place was flying fast because we were

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Planes

A common way to spark ideas for this blog is to do cool stuff and have amazing experiences. And although flying in a plane is not such an “amazing” experience, it has sparked a couple ideas that I would like to share. As I was flying, I began to think “How exactly does a plane fly?”.  Newton’s Second Law popped in my mind thinking that we are obviously not accelerating in the y-plane so the force of the plane up must be equal to the weight of the plane (mass times the force of gravity) Although

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Toy tops

The spinning top, a toy found across many of the world's cultures is a great example of a few key physics principles. The first is the conservation of angular momentum: with no outside forces present, something spinning must keep spinning. Because a top balances upon a tiny point, the is a nearly negligible amount of friction, and it continues spinning for a long time, demonstrating the law. But as friction slows the top, it becomes unstable and starts to wobble, leading to another principle cal

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Kayaking: The Basics

Almost everybody knows what kayaking and a majority of the population probably have kayaked before. However, like many other things in the world, people may have not thought of the physics of kayaking which is a perfect example of Newtons Third Law. While paddling, you are applying a force on the water by torque on the paddle. If you have ever experimented with paddling, if you hold further towards the end of the paddle, if is easier to go faster. However, if you choke up the the paddle alot you

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The physics of a saxophone

As an avid saxophonist myself, i have never really thought about how and why a saxophone worked as it does. However, after great thought and research, i have found that the sound produced is due to three main parts of the saxophone: the mouthpiece, the holes along the body of the saxophone and the bell. The most important part of creating a great sound is the mouthpiece. When the musician blows air into the mouthpiece, it causes the reed to oscillate between the mouthpiece being open and closed.

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The Physics of shocking someone

Everyone inter life has shocked someone by rubbing their feet on the ground and then touching the other person. It is a classic trick often pulled in the winter. However many people don't know why or how this happens. Well the first step is rubbing your shocks, preferably wool, on the carpet. This causes your socks to "steal" electrons from the carpet and make your socks negatively charged. This is obviously not the state that the electrons want to be in so at any chance they can get they will j

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Winter Driving

As all Rochesterians know, winter driving is not easy and can get out of hand very easily. But why? Well it is rather simple. The added snow and ice on the road causes the coefficient of friction between the tires and the road to be much much smaller. Using the equation Ff=uFn with Ff being the force of friction, u being the coefficient of friction and Fn being the normal force we can see that when the coefficient of friction decrease (while the normal force is kept constant) the force due to fi

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The Importance of a Quarterback

As i watch the Denver Broncos play the New England Patriots in the semi-finals of the road to the Super Bowl, I have realized at how important the position of the quarterback is. Inorder to be successful, the quarterback must have keen senses and know the basics of physics. When looking deep to an open receiver, the quarterback is able to subconsciously analye three main components to the throw...the angle, speed and timing (a classic example of projectile motion). The quarterback must know exac

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Snowshoes

Have you ever had to walk through feel of snow and your feet just fall right through it? Well this has happened to me more times than i can count. Although i do not own a pair, the great invention of snow shoes were intact created to solve this simple problem. The problem without snow shoes is that your weight is distributed on such a small  area that the snow cannot hold you up and you can easily comports the snow. The purpose of snow shoes is to increase the area that your weight is being dist

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Bombs Away!!

In the history of the world, there have been millions of bombs dropped by any nation during a war. However, what most people never think about is the physics behind dropping a bomb. The bombardier must take into consideration the speed at which they are flying, the horizontal distance away from their target and the height at which they are flying. Say, for example, the average B-42 bomber has a cruise altitude of 39,00 ft (12,000 m) and a cruise speed of 545 mph (926 kph). If a bomb were to be d

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The Physics of "Sweat"

Many people may be familiar with FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football) and possibly the FIFA video game put out by EA Sports also. To the average person, the video game FIFA may seem dumb or boring, however, as an avid FIFA player myself, i experience a very exciting roller coaster of emotions when i play. There are many techniques to play FIFA that will all lead to success; but the technique that is the most effective and efficient is called "Sweat". The goal (pun completely intended) of

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Shaking trees

Have you ever looked out of the window on a windy day and noticed that only the tops of the trees are shaking? The answer is most likely yes but you probably haven't thought of why this happens. The wind in general applies a force on the tree witch is what causes the tree to move, however, the tree can withstand some force and keep sturdy. As the force of the wind is applied further and further up the tree, the torque in being increased because the length of the "lever arm" is being increased. T

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Schlieren Imaging

Schlieren Imaging is an optical technique which allows viewers to see physical changes in air which the human eye cannot detect. Like many other imaging techniques, Schlieren Imaging involves a few basic principles such as refraction (how light acts/bends as it changes medium), reflection (the act of light bouncing off of a reflective object such as a mirror), refractive index (the amount light bends as it passes into a certain material) and density (which affects refractive index). A Schlieren

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The Perfect Free-Throw

Sports have been a large topic of focus in this here blog and i will continue that trend with a new application of physics...BASKETBALL.  Now many people may think that basketball is a simple game of putting a ball in a hoop but it is much more complicated. Im only going to focus on the free throw in this post. The first part of the free throw is lining up your shot. This takes practice in order to learn the typical trajectory of your shot so that you now what angle to shoot it with, the amount

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Popping Ears

Have you ever experienced your ears popping before? Why does this happen? Well, you ear has a small pocket of air in it that, usually, has the same pressure as the outside air.  However, when you are on the takeoff or decent of a plane ride the atmospheric pressure of the air around you is constantly changing at a fairly fast rate. Inside your ear there is a small tube which is made for equalizing the pressure of the air in your ear and the air outside your ear. This opens when you swallow and o

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Curling

As you may have figured out already, I tend to enjoy writing these blogs about sports and fairly dangerous activities...so I will continue this trend with curling. Although not the most exciting sport to watch, playing it is a whole different story due to two main physics principals: friction and collisions. Curling is played on a ice surface to allow the stone to glide easily and smoothly to the target because the friction between the ice and the stone is very little. If you've ever seen even o

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The Physics of Skydiving

On thing that i would love to do in my life time is go skydiving. Fro what i understand there are three main parts to a skydive: free-fall, decent by parachute and touchdown. During free-fall, you re acceleration toward the earth at a rate of 9.81 meters per second per second.  This just means that every second, you increase your velocity by 9.81 meters per second. However, due to air resistance, there is a maximum velocity that you reach because once you reach that velocity the drag force is eq

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Strike, Spare or gutter ball?

A common activity that nearly any person ever could participate in is bowling. Whether you're a 35 year old professional, scoring 300 like its nothing or a 5 year old beginner using the bumpers, there still is one thing that always stays the same...physics. First of all, if you've ever stepped over the line while bowling, chances are you slipped and fell...why? The lane of the alley must have nearly no friction in order for the ball to maintain its initial speed, and to allow for better control

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The Physics of Billiards

Billiards (aka pool) is a common sport in which the competitors try to knock their balls (either stripes or solids) into cups around the outside of the table. They use a Pool Cue to hit the Cue ball into other balls which will cause them to move in certain directions and ultimately into the cup. This sport is different than others because it SCREAMS physics: collisions, angels of incidence and reflection, friction and many other concepts are what this sport revolves around. First off, when the c

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