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The Simpsons Physics (1): Pianos and Angular Momentum

So The Simpsons is one of my favorite shows of all time for it's hilarious characters and plots, and interesting story. Now cartoons are not always known for their strict following of the laws of physics (because sometimes it's just funny how fake it can be), but this particular scene I am about to analyze does a pretty good job of demonstrating a key concept: conservation of angular momentum. In this scene, a student (Ralph) is in great peril, and so Principle Skinner attempts to save him

Simpsons Physics 3: Up, Chuck, and Away

I recall an episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Bart go in a "Zero Gravity Ride" on a jet. In the show, the way the ride works is the jet flies very high above the altitude of Earthy, then when it reaches maximum altitude, does a nose dive towards the surface of the Earth. If we analyze the physics behind this, we can understand that because the jet is in free fall, Bart and Homer are in free fall, and therefore its like "0 Gravity." In reality, there is still a gravitational force acting on

CSI: Who Done it?

Today in physics class we did a little something special; a fun activity investigating several crimes. Whether these crimes were really in the local area, or a figment of imagination, it was still interesting to pick them apart to find out the culprit. The first crime scene was a murder, murder by gun. We had to decide which gun did the killing and based on small pieces of evidence, and by knowing this gun we could match it up with certain people. We knew the initial height of the bullet (the ex

Licking a Battery

Recently in our APC physics class we have been doing electricity and magnetism and therefore our labs include creating circuits with wires, resistors, breadboards and batteries. I believe one of the most important things I learned from this lab was that licking a 9-volt battery gives you a shock. I thank Mr. Fullerton for teaching me this trick. When you lick a 9v battery, your tongue acts as a conductor as it is wet and therefore electrons are free to move, both ends are touching your tongue an

Rotation of a Clock

A clock is a very helpful invention and there is plenty of physics behind it. Today I am going to analyze he rotational motion behind a clock.  First off, when any hand completes one revelution, whether it means a minute, an hour, or 12 hours, the angular displacement is 2(pi) radians or 360°. This of course allows us to find the angular velocity (w). If we are talking about an ideal clock that rotates at a constant rate, we can determine that the second hand travels pi/30 rad/s. Next, the

X-Men: Days of Phuture Past

In this blog I have finally decided to dwell on the much ignored physics of movies, specifically superhero movies. And while many of these movies ignore laws of physics for good reasons (some movies would be unbelievably boring if they did),it is still worth it to knit pick the physics of a great superhero. I am going to focus on the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past and I will focus on a certain scene with a certainly remarkable character: Quicksilver. This hero is a super speedster that can run

Physics of the Bow and Arrow

Our latest unit in gym class is archery and it has me thinking quite a bit about the physics behind a bow and arrow.  For example, first of a bow is composed of a frame of some material that can stretch. Next a stein string like material is tied to each end. The tighter the string, the higher the tension. A bow with a higher tension applies a greater force and therefore the impulse delerviered to the arrow is greater, (which of course is change in momentum). Energy is transferred into the a

8-Ball Pool

Recently the iPhone game 8-pool has gained popularity as friends compete back and forth and there iMessage. Basically the game is a virtual version of billiards, and as result there is plenty of physics behind it. For one thing, because this game is virtual, friction of air resistance is non existant. Furthermore, while conservation of momentum is always conserved, in this game energy is also conserved between balls. The energy lost to sound and heat is not a factor, and therefore all energy is

String Theory

So recently in physics class, we were talking about relativity and theoretical physics, and String Theory came up. Naturally, I was intrigued by this topic, and so I researched the topic a bit. Basically here is the run down: In physics, particles can be replaced by one dimension things called "Strings." These strings propagate through space and time to interact with each other. A string is basically a quantum particle that carries a gravitational force, and therefore is Quantum gravity. Qu

Simpsons Physics 2: Springfield Gorge

In an earlier episode of what came to be an instant classic, Homer Simpson accidentally attempts to jump over the "Springfield Gorge" (most likely the Simpson's version of the Grand Canyon). Anyway, while this scene is extremely funny, there some  inconsistencies to laws of physics. In this blog I am going to point out a few. First off, when Homer first goes off into the air, he stays at the apex of his motion for about 3-4 seconds while only having a horizontal velocity. In fact, it almost

The Bottle Flip

In this blog I will write about the internet phenomenon known as the water bottle flip. This action gained popularity in high schools and colleges around the world, and national talk shows, and even in the NBA! It's time to analyze the physics behind the so appealing flip. First of all, most of the bottles being flipped have a lower amount of water in them. They are certainly not full, about 1/3 to 2/5 full to be exact. This lowers the center of gravity, and therefore makes it easier to lan

AP Physics C Q3 Overview

So we are coming to a close of the third quarter in AP physics, and therefore it is time for me to write one last blog about how this quarter went in class. We continued with the E and M course, and moved rather quickly as the AP exam would be right after the end of the quarter. Electric Potential came directly after statics, and I found this quite interesting, paticulary derivations concerning Gausses Law. Furthermore, we moved on to circuits and personally this was probably my favorite un

Physics of a Trampoline

A very fun activity to do on a sunny day is jump on a trampoline. Fun for all ages, a trampoline makes it easy to get major air. What exactly is behind this mechanism of a trampoline flinging a person into the air? Well let's talk physics in terms of energy. Let's say that our reference level is where one stands on the trampoline. As soon as a person stands on a trampoline the webbing is stretched and sinks down to equilibrium. This is similar to our lab experiment of placing a mass on a ve

Physics of Dunking

There is plenty of physics when it comes to playing basketball, from shooting a three pointer to dunking. In this blog I will assess the physics behind dunking a basketball.  First off, you probably have to be a decent height, the shorter you are, the more force your legs will need to provide. Having a high vertical is the most important thing, however, for example Michael Jordan, one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had a 40 inch (1m) vertical. Now the initial velocity needed to reach

Final Video Project

Hey Mr. Fullerton and anyone whos reading this, its been a pleasure grinding this year. Hope you enjoy this great video and maybe even chuckle a bit.

Physics in Rock Climbing

So it has been break, and on a rainy day without school what can you do (other than read the physics textbook)? Go rock climbing. That's what I did recently and there is plenty of physics in it. For starters, when a person climbs up a wall, they are doing work against the force of gravity, or the gravitational field. Therefore potential energy is gained he higher one goes up. Now energy exerted is of course lost with sound and friction between rocks and hands.  Furthermore, there are p

Better to Run or stay out in the cold?

I watched a video from the YouTube account MinutePhysics and it was very interesting about conservation of energy, and staying warm in a cold climate. This video was similar to the one I wrote about in an earlier blog about it it's better to run or walk in the rain.  Anyway, the video basically explained that when a person is in a very cold situation, the surface area of they're body exerts almost a protective layer of heat around they're body, of course they will still feel cold in freezin

Lebron James Flopper?

On Monday, the defending NBA champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, played the runner up Golden State Warriors for the second time this season. The Cavs were looking for their 5th straight win in a head to head match up against the Warriors, however, the Warriors (with all 4 1/2 of their All-stars) handily defeated the Cavilers in this match up. The controversial play of the game was a Flagrant foul by Draymond Green on Lebron. The question is, did Lebron Flop? We can answer this question using physics

Physics of Hockey

In gym class we are currently in the Floor Hockey unit, and it has me thinking about all the physics behind hockey, both ice and floor hockey. First of all, in ice hockey, skating is an important feature. The coefficient of kinetic friction between skates and the ice is very, very low, it almost acts as a friction less surface. As result, when hockey players exert a force on the ground to accelerate themselves forward, the only way to stop in time is to turn the skates sideways and let the sharp

Steph Curry's Jump Shot

Stephen Curry, a professional basketball player on the Golden State Warriors, is no doubt one of the greatest shooters of all time. Naturally, there is plenty of physics behind his sweet stroke. In this blog I will analyze different components of physics that relate to his game with the help from ESPN's Sports Science video on him.  First off, Stephen Curry runs down the court at 10 mph (about 4.4 m/s) and can stop on a dime in approximately 1/3 of a second. This the implies that the decele

007 Physics

Recently I watched the film 007 Casino Royale, the first installment of the James Bond series with the new Bond (Daniel Craig), and while the movie was very good (and equally dense) there were many inconsistencies with the real world, such as the statistical improbability of the cards, but this is a physics blog so I will talk about the physics of a certain action packed chase scene in the beginning.  The parkour scene takes us through a construction site. One thing I noticed is that at one

Tennis

As basketball season has come to a close, it makes way for tennis for me, and there is plenty of physics in tennis.  First off, the tennis racket itself has engineering to allow the ball to fly with maximum velocity. Many cords are woven in the foundation of the racket, the strings have a strong tension in them and as result the hard tension allows for a ball to bounce of the racket and change direction. The rackets tensions are rated in force, specifically pounds (maybe newtons in Europe).

Physics at the Park

Everyone loves going to the amusement park; a local favorite is seabreeze. When we are little, we enjoy the ride, and have a good time. However, as I have grown more and more into my physics career, going to the amusement park is not quite that simple for there is physics all around the park. In fact, if it weren't for human accomplishments in physics, there would be no park!         The first ride I thought about this was the musical express. On this ride, people sit in carts on a circle a

Driving on the Highway

Whether you notice it or not, there are fundamental concepts of physics on your way to the grocery store. For one thing, in an average car ride all three types of acceleration happen: acceleration, deceleration, and turning. Another thing, riding fast in a car helps me to understand concepts of inertia. When I was little, we would be traveling 50 mph down the highway, and I would throw a tennis ball in the air. The tennis ball moved with the car. I asked my dad why the ball didn't go flying to t

AP Physics C Q2 Overview

As midterms approach, quarter two is quickly wrapping up, and this means many things when it comes to Fullerton's APC class at IHS. For one thing, Mechanics is done. We are officially ready to take an APC exam (which will be our midterm, a scary and exciting thought). In this quarter, we got into rotational momentum, oscillations, pendulums and gravity. Personally I felt the gravity unit was pretty tough.  We also got our first taste of E & M, in the Statics unit. The big thing about th

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