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The Big 3-0

I Googled "how much force is in a single keystroke" and I'm going to trust a source that says 12.9 N. This will help me in my overall (obviously hypothetical) analysis. Since this is my final blog post of the year I wanted to sort of wrap it up as well as possible and somehow tie in all of my other blogs. Using an online "character counter", I found out that there are a combined 50,015 characters across my 29 other blog posts, which have an array of topics ranging from pole vaulting to doom

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Shaq

Last night, I watched a 30/30 (which is an ESPN documentary series that I would recommend to anybody) about the Orlando Magic, and one of the focal points of the documentary was Shaquille O'Neal, who was my favorite athlete in the world when I was a lad. If you've never heard of Shaq, he is a 7'1, 300+ lb basketball player. He was a force on the basketball court, for opponents and backboards alike. Throughout the documentary, dozens of clips were shown of Shaq shattering the glass on backboards

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Rob de Federer

Not too long ago, I went to play some tennis against a friend of mine. Long story short, I won 6-2 despite the fact that he's a starter on the tennis team. What truly led me to my commanding victory was my dominant forehand and my supernatural ability to get on top of the ball. I even surprised myself with my ability to get topspin on the ball and still get it to go over the net. This inspired me to look deeper at the physics of the forehand. The spin on the ball is applied by sort of "brushing"

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Baseball vs Softball

Yesterday I was talking with my friends and we started talking about pitching, as I used to be a pitcher myself prior to this year. We ended up discussing how the way softball pitchers throw does much less damage to your arm than the way a baseball pitcher throws. Because of this, softball pitchers are able to throw every game, while baseball pitchers throw once every 5 days or so, and I definitely understand how much a shoulder can hurt in the days following a pitching outing. It really made me

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Hurricanes

Sticking with the theme of natural disasters following my post on tsunamis, I decided to look deeper into the physics of one of the most frightening disasters: a hurricane. Starting off simply, a severe hurricane can have a power of 1x10^15 watts. To put that in perspective, that is about 3000 times the total electrical power generated in the entire world. Looking more at what happens physically, a hurricane starts when air rushes in to fill a low pressure system somewhere out over the

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Pole Vaulting

As a fan of the Olympics, I often find myself watching the track and field events whenever the summer Olympics comes around. One event that particularly fascinates me is the pole vault. It seems like such a tremendous skill to pull off and I honestly wonder how people do it. If you haven't seen it, basically a competitor runs at full speed with a large pole in their hands, and once they reach a certain point they stab the pole in the ground and attempt to physics themselves over a bar set high u

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Frisbees

Whether throwing the Frisbee around at the beach or playing a riveting game of Kan Jam, I assume most people have used a Frisbee over the course of their lives. Thinking about it more deeply, I wondered to myself how these discs are able to fly so far, and more significantly to me, how are people able to throw them in straight lines? While flying through the air, Frisbees are impacted by both drag and lift forces, similar to how a wing or propeller would be influenced. The most important fa

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Jordan Spieth

For anyone that has followed golf recently, you have likely heard about Jordan Spieth's collapse this weekend at The Master's. Spieth went from having a 5 stroke lead to being 3 strokes behind, all within the course of an hour. The biggest blow came on the par-3 12th hole, in which Spieth shot a 7 and hit the water hazard twice. In watching this, you would notice that on the first stroke that went into the water, Spieth contacted the ball too far below the center of mass, causing it to go furthe

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Tsunamis

Everyone has heard about a tsunami, whether that be the one that hit Japan not too long ago or some other instance. Regardless of how you've heard of these water monsters, I was interested to find out more about the physics behind these. Tsunamis are basically a massive scale version of the waves that we've studied throughout our physics experiences. Rather than wavelengths in centimeters and periods measured in seconds, the waves of tsunamis are measured in kilometers and their periods are

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Planet Nine - Doomsday?

While searching through the internet, I came across and article from the NY Post that claims that "a killer planet is heading rapidly toward Earth". This information sounded like something that should be on every screen in the country right now, but I hadn't heard another word about it. I decided to look more into it. It turns out that this information was originally published by a retired astrophysicist, stating that this ninth planet in our solar system periodically unleashes comet shower

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Snapping

As many of my peers are likely snapping their fingers trying to find inspiration for blog posts, I'd like to describe what really causes the sound of these snaps.  The sound of a finger snapping really comes from 3 different parts of the snap. First, there is the friction sound between the middle finger and the thumb that occurs at the beginning of the snap. This part is quiet, but noticeable if you put some sort of buffer on your palm that prevents any sound from coming from there. After t

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Coin fall

If you've ever been at the top of a large building with a group of people, there's usually that one person that says "what if I spit from here?" or "what if I dropped a coin right now?". Well, people usually warn against these acts for fear of hurting a pedestrian down below. The question is, how badly could dropping a coin hurt somebody if this were to happen? In reality, the coin could not hurt somebody very badly. Coins are very light weight, as a penny weighs around 1 gram, and tumble e

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Punting

Like many others, I am watching the AFC Championship featuring the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. Something that has caught my eye during this game has been the punting, as Denver's punter is doing quite well and consistently giving the Patriots poor field position. On one punt in particular, the ball bounced and looked like it wasn't going anywhere, but proceeded to have, as they call it in the industry, a "Denver bounce", meaning it was beneficial for Denver. This ball ended up b

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Exercise ball

In my room I have a blue exercise ball that I like to sit on or put my feet up on or basically do anything but exercise with. While looking at this ball, I remembered a video I had seen a little while ago of a child getting hit very hard with an exercise ball. The video is below if you haven't seen it.  Basically, this is one of the dumber things I've seen, but the kids obviously weren't well versed in the concept of momentum. The smaller child was gonna absorb most of the force from the colli

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Full Court Shot

Yesterday during my CYO game, I attempted, unsuccessfully, a full court heave to end a quarter. The ball bounced off the backboard still traveling at a high speed, so I decided to look into what type of throw I would have to pull off to make this shot. First of all, lets assume I took the shot 75 feet away from my target and released the ball about 6 feet above the ground. In order to make the ball travel the required distance, I had the right idea that it needed to have a higher exit veloc

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Incredible throw

Being the big Mets fan that I am, I figured I'd do a blog in honor of the recent signing of the man that pulled off this throw, Yoenis Cespedes. This throw is so ridiculous it's almost hard to believe that it's real. It is real, so lets look deeper into this.  Judging by the distance of the fence down to that corner, I can estimate that Cespedes threw this ball about 320 feet (97.5 m), and I'll make the assumption that the ball came out of his hand at about 95 MPH (42.5 m/s). This

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The physics of Steph Curry

One of many peoples favorite athletes is NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and for good reason. Personally, I like him for his shooting ability, so I decided to look more into this facet of his game. Curry is one of the best shooters in NBA history, and he does so with a very technically sound shooting form. For starters, his right forearm (his shooting arm) is always nearly vertical, never deviating more then 5 degrees away from vertical. Something I find interesting is that he releases the ball as he is

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Monte Alban

Having already written a piece about this glorious establishment for another class, I figured I might as well do one here. One of the things that has always excited me during my dining experiences at Monte Alban has been when some man brings out all of the plates on his arm using some strange oven mitt/sleeve hybrid. If you've never seen this, just picture plates full of food running up a guys arm.  It's always a spectacle when this occurs because everyone wonders, "Who is this man and how is he

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Bladeless fan

A product that has definitely grabbed my attention lately has been the Dyson bladeless fan. I'm not only interested due to the fact that they are $300 fans, they are just really cool. The fan is made up of a hollow tube on top, with a base below that. The air that comes out of the fan is actually pulled through this base, and runs up into the tube of the fan. This tube acts like a ramp, and the air runs along this ramp and eventually is pulled to the front of the fan where the air is pushed out

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Egg drop lab

The objective of this lab was basically to have the egg touch the paper without cracking. Our group went through many calculations and measurements in order to get a solution to this problem, and during this process we made a big mistake that went unnoticed until the application of our calculation failed miserably. We went through many measurements in order to find the spring constant of the 2 rubber bands put together. We found an experimental spring constant of many different masses hanging on

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Why do wheels look like they're spinning backwards?

Something that I've been noticing since I was a little kid is that on car commercials, when they are showing the car driving, it often times looks like the wheels are spinning backwards and the car is going forward. It wasn't until recently that this concept was explained to me. What really causes this is the fact that the frames per second of the video camera is slightly greater than the rotations per second of the wheel. This makes it so that in each new frame that is recorded, the spokes on t

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Helicopters

I'd like to take this time to explain a little bit of how helicopters work, because they're really cool. Helicopters basically fly by sucking air from above the big rotor blade on top of the machine and forcing it downward with a thrust greater than the force of gravity acting on the helicopter. This allows the helicopter to get lift off the ground and fly into the air. Not only does the thrust created by the rotor blades have to be stronger than the force of gravity, or the weight, of the helic

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Why did my phone crack?

Recently I saw a commercial for a phone that said that the screen of this phone could not be cracked. This got me thinking of all the stories that people have told me about their phone cracking and what truly causes this to happen. A few times I have dropped my phone and assumed that when I picked it up it would be completely shattered, but I was wrong. Why is it that a phone can shatter on a short fall, while other times it sounds as if it were hurled at the ground and it ends up without a scra

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Putting

For myself and the thousands of other people that simply golf for fun, one of the most frustrating parts of the game is putting. It seems like it should be so easy to line up a putt and hit it in the hole, but it is truly one of the hardest and most important part of the game. Not only is it important, it's also far different from any other aspect of the game, and this can be seen in the physics of the putt. For starters, basically any other good shot in golf is hit in a projectile motion.

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Hockey!

"What would be a cool blog post idea?" The only suggestion I received was slap shots, which I decided to change to just hockey in general. I am not a very big hockey fan, but upon hearing this I definitely felt like this could be a very cool blog. Initially all that popped into my head was the thought that the coefficient of friction of ice obviously makes for a sport not all that similar to any other sport. Diving deeper into the subject, I learned that my initial reaction was very mu

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