# Anna's APC Blog

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## First Physics Blog

This is my first blog for AP Physics C, which I will hopefully update weekly throughout the upcoming school year.  Some of my activities outside of school include playing tennis, practicing the violin, and participating in the theater program at school.  When I am not participating in any of these activities, I am listening to music or hanging out with friends.  I have one younger sister who is now a freshman in high school, and she's pretty cool.  I am taking AP-C Physics because I was successf

## Tennis and Rain

This past week, my tennis team had its final matches before sectionals begin tomorrow.  However, due to heavy rainfall, several of our matches were either rescheduled or postponed.  Naturally, I thought that there had to be some physics dealing with the impact of rain on the total force of friction when one plays on a court.  Turns out that a liquid substance like water decreases the coefficient of friction of the surface it is on (in this case the tennis courts).  Because tennis requires a lot

## Gravity + Plants = A Necessary Combo

This past Saturday before I got sick, I helped a fellow Physics C student plant a community garden for a service project.  While I was laying down rows of tulip bulbs and fertilizer, I got to thinking about plants and how important gravity is to their growth.  The roots of plants grow down into the soil in the direction of the gravitational field; plants need soil for nutrients and water, which are key elements for their survival.  Without gravity, roots wouldn't have a direction to grow in, nor

## More on Tennis....Clay Courts!

My last blog post was about the impact of rain on the coefficient of friction on a tennis court, and Mr. Baker commented about how different it is to play on clay tennis courts; I totally agree!  I rarely play on clay courts, but when I do, it is not at all an enjoyable experience because the ball does not seem to travel as fast.  I decided to find out why.  Turns out that clay courts have a higher coefficient of friction than the grass at Wimbledon or other regulation courts.  Turns out that th

## Plant Growth in Space

In my last blog I wrote about how essential gravity is to plants growth on Earth, so I decided to find out how plants can grow in space where the force of gravity is significantly smaller and/or non existent.  Turns out that plants can and have been grown on the International Space Station.  How?  Well, plants have an inner ability to orient their growth away from their seeds; it is almost like they know that they need to grow away from the seeds in order to access water and nutrients for surviv

## Tubing

The start of November and its corresponding cold weather is making me miss summer more and more!  One of my all time favorite summer activities is tubing because it is so fun and thrilling.  Tubing has applications of both tangential  velocity as well as centripetal velocity and acceleration.  For example, when the boat makes a turn, causing the riders to go outside the wake of the boat, the tube and its riders are subject to a centripetal force caused by the tension in the rope.  Why?  Well, at

## Fouette Turns

I used to be a ballet dancer, and I remember that one of the hardest skills to learn and master was the fouette turn.  This move requires the ballerina to extend her leg out and then bring it quickly in, all while completing a turn (see diagram below for clarity).  These turns can go on forever, and the secret behind their infinite completion is all based in the idea of conservation of angular momentum.  Angular momentum is equal to the moment of inertia (I) multiplied by omega (w).  Moment of i

## Pointe Shoe Physics

When I was a little girl learning to dance, I dreamed of the day that I would put on a pair of pointe shoes and twirl like Clara from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker".  Little did I know that pointe shoes make dancing about a million times more difficult and more painful.  Besides the basic discomfort that a ballerina experiences when squeezing her foot into an unconventionally shaped and small shoe, there are also a great amount of physics that go with explaining why pointe shoes are not the drea

## Landsat Satellite Imagery

I spent this summer internship working in a remote sensing lab.  My job was to analyze Landsat satellite imagery in order to analyze the impact of wildfire on vegetation growth in Akagera National Park in Rwanda.  I was able to do this analysis because of the data provided by the satellite.  Satellite orbits are possible because of the strong gravitational field of the Earth and the relative masses of the satellite and the Earth.  For example, for the Landsat 8 imagery that I analyzed, the force

## Swinging on Swings

One of my favorite activities as a young kid was to play on the playground; I loved the monkey bars and slides, but one of my all time favorite thing to do would be to swing on a swing.  Swings give the sensation of flying, which is probably why I loved them so much.  Ironically, the way a swing works happens to revolve a lot around the conservation of energy.  Think about it: In order to start swinging, someone has to either give the swing a push, or the swinger must kick themselves off of the

## 5, 6, 7, 8....and Grand Jete!

Since I am a ballet dancer, it would be fair to mention one of the most impressive ballet moves performed: the grand jete. For non-dancers, this move can be described as a "split like jump"; the dancer takes off by extending one leg into the air and taking off into a projectile type motion.  In the best case scenario, the ballerina hits a perfect split at the peak of her parabolic path, creating a split second mesmerizing image for the audience to enjoy.  In order to complete this leap, several

## An Unfortunate Incident with Friction

Last Wednesday, my tennis team went to individual sectionals.  While we ended up losing 7-10, it was not before I ended up badly scraping my knee against the court.  See, the opponent hit a great shot, and as I accelerated and bent low to hit the shot, my knee came into contact with the tennis court.  The force I was applying due to my sprint was in the direction of where the ball was, yet the frictional force from the court on my knee was in the opposite direction, causing a net force on my kne

## Bumper Cars

In the summer, one of the best things to do is to go to an amusement park.  For me, I cannot handle too many crazy, twisting roller coasters, but I love bumper cars.  And, as it turns out, bumper cars have many applications of both momentum and dynamics in the way they function and how they impact the riders.  For instance, when a bumper car and its passengers bump into another bumper car and its passengers, both cars and their passengers experience a change in direction; usually, if the car was

## Mozart No. 5

Yesterday at my violin lesson, my violin teacher spent the entire hour working with me on cleaning up my sound quality (I am playing a Mozart Concerto, so the sound has to be crisp and clean).  The main thing my teacher suggested in order to get rid of the crunchy and unclear sound I was producing was to apply a greater force to the bow.  After only a few tries, my sound became significantly clearer.  I figured there had to be some physics behind why a larger force resulted in a clearer tone.  U

## Crime Shows

I have a bit of lagging start on my blog posts for this quarter, but here's to hoping that I can get back on track and start blogging weekly.  One of my favorite types of TV shows to watch are cop and crime shows because I love their mystery and thrill.  Recently, I was watching an episode of Castle when one of the main detectives was shot by a suspect.  For a solid two minutes, I thought that one my favorite character had died because he just lay their, completely still.  In the end, it turned

## Dangerous Driving

After much anticipation and a not very white Christmas, it is finally snowing outside.  Well, it is more like a blizzard, but either way I am stoked because if actually feels like winter.  Anyways, this morning I had rehearsal for the school show and was eager to jump in the car and drive to school; my parents, however,  were not as keen on my operating the car on this cold and snowy day.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a bad driver, but the weather conditions, especially the ice, made my parents

## Sledding

I will have to apologize in advance, but the snow outside has me really excited, so the next few blog posts may very well be about winter physics.  One thing that I am very excited to do now that it is officially winter, is sledding/tubing.  As I am not a very good skier or snow boarder, I opt for the easier version; sitting and allowing gravity to do the rest.  All of these downhill, winter activities, however, are possible thanks to conservation of energy and friction.  Conservation of energy

## Ice Skating

Thanks to the freezing cold, our family ice rink is up and running as of this week; today was the first day that I managed to squeeze in a skate.  While physics has many applications to ice skating, the two I thought about today while freezing in the bitter cold were centripetal acceleration and work.  Because my rink is rather small, most of the time I am going around a turn instead of skating in a straight line.  As I was going around these turns, I realized that I was distributing a majority

## Doors and Torque

A few days ago, my sister and I were leaving school.  As our hands were both full, she used her body weight in order to push on the main door in order to exit the building.  However, the door would not budge.  I quickly realized that my sister, in her attempt to open the door, was not applying torque to her favor in this situation.  Torque, which is the rotational equivalent of linear force, is dependent on three factors: the angle at which the force is applied, the magnitude of the force, and t

## Erasers and Pencils

We all learn the importance of friction in how the world works at a very young age.  For me, a Bill Nye video revealed the power and importance of this contact force.  Without it, we wouldn't be able to stand still in one place, driving would be a nightmare, and about everything else in our lives would be completely out of whack, from our electronics to our daily routines.  Today, however, as I was doing homework, I had a realization of friction that, although simplistic, was something I had to

## James Bond and Flipping Cars

I love spy movies, so its no surprise that when my family received Casino Royale (a James Bond movie), for Christmas, that I was glued to the T.V.  In the film, James' female counterpart, Vesper, is kidnapped by evil gamblers.  Being the smart guy that he is, James quickly figures out their plot, hops into his Aston Martin and speeds after the kidnappers.  However, his kidnappers are actually after Bond, so they tie up Vesper and place her directly in the road; Bond swerves to avoid Vesper, his

## Johnny English Pendulum

Like I said in my last blog post, I love spy movies, and I think I am starting to love them more and more because of all the physics applications in them.  While Bond movies are awesome, I would say my all time favorite film would be Johnny English starring Rowan Atkinson, most known for his role of playing Mr. Bean.  In the film, Atkinson plays a mock agent, and pretty much no one takes him seriously or believes that he can be successful at anything.  However, after several mess ups, Johnny man

## Planes falling out of the sky?!

For winter break, I traveled with my friend to southern Florida in order to escape the chilling winds and snow.  Yesterday, as we returned from our sunny break and descended into our final destination, I applied physics in a kind of unique way.  As the plane got closer and closer to the ground, the turbulence became increasingly worse (the pilot had warned us that this was expected due to strong winds).  As the descend continued and the bumpiness of the ride worsened, I heard a little boy in fro

## Snow, Ice, and Car Turns

In a previous blog post I wrote about how the lower coefficient of friction due to ice causes a decrease in rotational motion and an increase in skidding when someone is driving.  I want to extend on that topic only because a few weeks ago, when the snow was really bad, I first hand experienced the horror of making a turn without a strong centripetal force present.  It was rather snowy and icy, and my friend was driving.  However, as they went to make the turn, they turned too sharply, and we sk

## Static Shock

Yesterday, as I climbed into bed, bundled up in blankets and a heavy sweatshirt, I reached across by bed to grab a final blanket.  All of the sudden, out of the darkness I saw a spark, which was followed by a stinging feeling in my finger.  Had I not learned about electrostatics, I probably would have screamed and thought that there was something wrong with me or that the house was on fire.  However, physics helped me to understand that I was not dying and that what had happened was simply an at

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