# Physics Blog

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## First Blog Entry

Everyone else started by saying that this was their first blogpost, and I’m not really sure how to start, so I guess I’ll do that too! This is my first blogpost for AP Physics C. A class that everyone told us was the most difficult, and yet here we all are. A few things about me are that I enjoy playing tennis and volunteering through girl scouts (nerdy, I know). I also play the violin in the school orchestra and I have an unfortunate love of puns. I would like to think that my strengths are in

## Take a Hike.

My family has never been one to go on vacations to the Bahamas or to go on a cruise, instead we go to national parks and go camping and hiking for a couple of weeks. Because of that I guess I've become one of those crunchy people that finds hiking extremely relaxing. While on a hike this past summer, my dad asked me, "why does hiking take so much longer than just walking on flat ground?" And of course my automatic answer was a mumbled "idunno" because I didn't want to have to think about a real

## Always Causing a Raquet

Just last week the varsity tennis team had sectionals. As part of our school’s second doubles team, we were not seeded in the bracket. This led to us unfortunately having to play the number one ranked doubles team in the section, first. There was no way we were going to win, but we started playing, and it was the best that we had played as a doubles team all season. Why is that? Why is it that it’s easier to play better against a team that is ten times better than you? Momentum. Each time the ba

## Physics of Hydroplaning

This weekend, I was watching a movie in which the main characters were driving in a heavy rainstorm and the car hydroplaned. This got me to thinking about the physics behind hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when water prevents the tread of a tire to make contact with road itself. With heavy rainfall, a layer of water builds up on the road very quickly. When there is a layer of water between the car tire and the road, there is a smaller coefficient of friction, if any.  Because there is little t

## Another example of Physics in a Movie

Another movie that I've seen recently had a lot more to do with physics. In the movie Gravity, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (I forget their characters' names...oops) are astronauts that are working on the Hubble Telescope. In the whole movie, there was one scene that really stuck out, probably because I find it absolutely terrifying. When they are working on the telescope, another satellite in orbit is destroyed, and the pieces start to fly towards them. Sandra Bullock is attached to a cran

## Happy Fall Y'all

It's November now, and here that usually means snow. However, the weather has been a bit unusual lately and the leaves are still falling. Which brings us to the physics of falling leaves. It's a little more complicated than "leaves fall because gravity." This is true, but as we learned more this year, there are other forces acting on leaves in addition to gravity. In addition to the force of gravity, falling objects like leaves are affected by air resistance. Air resistance acts on an object in

## Why do we need snow tires?

As the temperature drops, and snow accumulates the risk of cars slipping on snowy roads increases. This hasn't happened yet here but it's sure to soon. The solution to this winter dilemma is snow tires. Snow tires have deeper and more “ridges” (that's a technical term), which allows for greater traction. On regular tires, snow and ice can buildup on the surface, which prevents the tire from having direct contact with the road, therefore reducing the coefficient of friction and the ability of the

## Physics of Bikes

One of my friends is absolutely terrified of riding bikes because she says she feels like she’s going to fall off. However, falling off a bike is pretty hard, not “as easy as riding a bike,” and the reason is because of physics. Initially I thought the physics behind riding a bike was easy also. I thought that the reason bikes are so stable is because of the forward momentum that comes from the velocity of the bike, which makes sense why it's hard to stay upright at a slower velocity. Before wri

## The Suspense is killing me

A couple of years ago, my family traveled to San Francisco and one thing we did was see the Golden Gate Bridge. To my disappointment, it was not that bright red that you might see in pictures. Anyway, the Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that is about three miles long and crosses the San Francisco Bay. With such a massive structure, one might wonder, how on earth does it stay up? Well, it has to do with the “suspension” part. By connecting cables to the middle of the bridge, up to tower

## The theatre the theatre, what's happened to the theatre?

This past weekend a fellow orchestra member went to perform in the area all state orchestra for junior high students. These ensembles are made up of students that auditioned during solo fest and received the highest scores in the county, area, or state. This got me to thinking about the times that I had done the same thing, and the places the concerts were held. For area all state at the junior high level they hold the concert at high schools in the area, but for all county high school ensembles

## Sledding and Short People

As a short person, sledding has always been difficult for me. Going on a sled by myself, I could never go as fast as people with greater mass because I couldn't get the same momentum. But that wasn't the worst thing. The worst was going on a sled with someone else bigger than me. I always had to sit in the front of the sled. And that means getting hit in the face with chunks of ice and snow as we go barreling down a hill at speeds I wasn't used to. As unfortunate as it was, it had to be done bec

## Physics of Skiing

Skiing is not just riding the chairlift up the hill, standing at the top of the trail, pointing your skis downward, and going, there's much more to it than that. Whether it's in the olympics or recreationally, skiers like to go fast, and know exactly how to do it. One way to increase speed is to cut down air resistance. To do this, skiers will tuck their body and bend their knees so that they are lower and closer to the ground. That way, there is less surface area for the force of air to work ag

## It's not the fall that kills you

This sounds dark, I know, but after watching the most recent episode of Sherlock this is one of the lines that stuck with me. "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the landing." And I realized that there must be physics behind it, and of course there is! The best part is that the physics behind it makes a lot of sense. If you are familiar with Sherlock, whether the to show or the Sherlock Holmes books, you are familiar with the Reichenbach Fall. In the show, this occurred in the city of London

## Ice Skating

With winter comes cold temperatures and winter sports. Ice-skating is just one of many different winter sports that require attaching ourselves to small blades and boards.  Ice-skating involves a lot of physics, both basic and more in depth. Simply put, ice skating works because of the low amount of friction between the ice and the blade. The low amount of friction means that the force of friction slowing the skater down is minimal. A person can gain speed by applying a force to the ice through

## Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping is something that I would never do myself, but it involves a lot of physics in order to keep everyone safe and more importantly alive. Bungee jumping is a good example of simple harmonic motion. Bungee jumping companies have a variety of cords so that people of different weights can take the jump without hitting the bottom. It’s similar to the egg drop lab that we did, but with different variables, and the height of the drop being the constant. Because people have different weight

## Canoe believe this?

Canoeing is an activity that requires a lot of upper body and core strength, that and kayaking. When you use a paddle to propel an objet, you are applying newton’s laws of physics. Newton’s second law of physics states that acceleration is dependent on mass and the force acting on the object. Newton’s third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Both of these laws can be seen in canoeing. When the paddle is placed perpendicular to the water, and a person pushes

## Here's the kicker

So I’m sure you’ve all seen it, but if you haven’t you should. A couple weeks ago, the Buffalo Bills kicker was seen on the sidelines slamming his football helmet to the ground after missing a field goal. After doing so, the helmet bounced off the ground, and hit him in the face. I won’t pretend to know anything about football, but I did see this, and I’m not going to lie, I watched the video multiple times. But this embarrassment could have been avoided if he had just known physics and been fam

## Sailing

Recently we talked about flux and Gausses law. One thing that flux was compared to was the air of a fan hitting a wall. This could also be applied to sailing in a similar sense, even though it doesn’t involve electric fields. Electric flux is the electric field multiplied by the surface area of the plane the e-field is traveling through. When wind hits perpendicular to a sail, the force causes the boat to move. When it gets particularly windy, to prevent the force of the wind from causing the bo

## Surfing

Over the summer, I had to chance to take a surfing lesson. Surfing requires balance, and coordination, so I was not particularly good at it. One very important aspect of surfing was going from laying down on your stomach, into a standing position. When doing this, it was very important that you were in the right part of the board, so that you were at the center of mass of the system. If you were too far back on the board, the force of the wave moving forward could pull the surf board up and out

## More Violin Physics

When you think about string instruments and physics, the thing that most people think about is the vibration of the strings to make a sound. Notes can be changed by placing fingers at certain intervals to change the length of the string. But another way to change the sound of a violin, is by using a mute. A mute is most commonly made of rubber, and attaches to the bridge of the string instrument. When attached, it adds weight to the bridge and changes the fundamental frequency of the bridge, whi

## More on tire swings

If you happened to read the previous post about tire swings, hi, I’m the short friend! Anyway… I also noticed that the tire swing was a perfect example of physics in the real world. Tire swings are an example of simple harmonic motion, a pendulum to be exact. When the tire is lifted to a certain height and let go, it swings back and forth, ideally at the same height each time. However, because this is not a perfect world, and factors such as air resistance came into play, this was only somewhat

## Bubbles

The other day, my seven year old cousin asked me, “how do bubbles work?” and I didn’t really know how to answer. So, I decided to answer her question in a blog post, or at least try to (even though she’ll never see it). It turns out the science behind soap bubbles is a bit complicated and there’s a lot that can be talked about but I think I’ll just focus on one part for now. Did you ever wonder why bubbles are always spherical? Laplace’s law states the larger the vessel radius, the larger the wa

## Even more swing physics

Who didn’t jump off swings when they were younger? Even as little kids, we knew that the best time to jump was when the swing reached it’s greatest height. By doing so, the maximum amount of gravitational potential energy is converted into kinetic energy when the person becomes a projectile. At a higher height, the velocity of the projectile is greater. If one were to jump off a swing at a lower height during its oscillation, the angle of projection would also be smaller. This could possible lea

## Col Legno

As string player, one way that we can change the sound of the instrument is by playing “col legno.” This means that instead of using the side of the bow with hair on it, sound is made by bouncing the wooden side of the bow on the string. This provides a less lyrical and quieter sound. The reasons behind this change in sound are because of physics. The wooden side of the bow has a smooth surface, which contrasts the surface of the bow hair greatly. Bow hair has tiny grooves in it, which is ten co

## Game On

When playing tennis, one way to control your shots is by putting spin on a ball. Tennis players do this by applying a force to the ball in different ways. This produces a different torque on the ball, changing its path after it bounces. If a ball is hit “flat” it is pretty predictable that the ball will bounce back at the same angle that it landed. To eliminate some of this predictability, a player can hit different shots that add top spin and back spin. When a player is at net, and their oppone

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