This week I focused on chapter 5 in Mechanics. This included momentum and impulse, conservation of linear momentum and center of mass.
Areas that went well for me were momentum and impulse and conservation of linear momentum. What helped me to really understand these two topics were first understand the graphs that went along with them. This included Force vs. Time graphs showing the impulse to be the area under it. These graphs gave me a better understanding of what I was solving for
This week I studied chapter 4 which included work, energy and conservative forces, conservation of energy, and power. I found however that I spent the most time learning and working on conservation of energy.
Areas that went well for me included work and power. Work was mainly review and it was good to go back and solidify my knowledge on the topic. This was the same for power as I found I didn’t take many notes. Most of it was review and the questions seemed fairly straight forw
This week I focused on the first three chapters of Mechanics, the introduction, kinematics and dynamics. I focused more on dynamics as I feel that is the area I needed more work on but both were very helpful.
Areas that went well included most of the projectile motion. Describing motion 1 and 2 were also just review as I knew almost everything covered. Circular and relative motion was a little harder but it made more sense the more I sat down with it and compared it to translati
Waves have a surprising amount of physics behind them, and not the waves at football games. The simplest definition of wave motion is that it moves energy from one point to another. Waves are an oscillation of energy that travels through a medium. Their are tow main types of waves, one being mechanical waves. Mechanical waves travel through a medium and are then restored by restoring forces to reverse the work done. The other type of waves is electromagnetic waves in which the main differen
The water bottle flip challenge became very popular very quick but it is not just luck in getting the bottle to land upright. When the bottle is moving through the air during its flip, the water begins to climb the sides of it. This causes an increase in it's moment of inertia which in return, decreases its rotational speed. This is very similar to a diver who extends his arms and legs in order to slow his spin or an ice skater. The amount of water inside of the bottle also plays a major rol
People who are new to soccer almost always begin kicking the ball with their toe. It seems like the best way to shoot because of how much power you are able to gain. What people don't realize is the control and accuracy that is lost when this happens. The best way to hit a ball for both power and accuracy is with the inside of your foot because of the major increase in surface area you are hitting the ball with. Kicking a ball with your toe makes it much more open to have spin that may be un
Popcorn has lots of physics behind the little pop. Until recently, popcorn had only been studied for it's chemical properties and never the physics behind why it pops the way it does. It comes from the fact that their is water in the kernel. When it is heated above 100 degrees Celsius, the water turns to steam and expands inside the kernel. It continues to expand until the shell can no longer support the pressure and it eventually pops. As soon as it pops, the starch cools it down and ultim
The purpose of a wind turbine is to turn the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy. This is the idea of most machines as energy can only be converted, it cannot be created or destroyed. Like any moving mass, the kinetic energy is calculated through the equation K=1/2mv^2. For calculating the kinetic energy in a wind turbine we would use the wind speed for velocity. The mass would be the particular volume of air. You can also find the power in the wind a turbine is using to gener
Video games are constantly progressing in terms of how real they are becoming and the graphics. Part of these games becoming more realistic is the implementation of physics into them. The purpose of them is making everything appear more real to the viewer as if they were actually in the game. One big part of this is ragdoll physics. This is where bodies in video games appear more and more to have a realistic bone structure and similar joint movements as an actual human body. This includes b
Humans are clearly not as well suited for the water as we are for land, just look at a human body. We can't hold our breath for very long, and we get very tired very quickly in water. The main reason for this is the difference between the water and the air. The biggest difference between the two is that water is much more dense. When a human walks on land, the main thing your body has to do is work against gravity and then friction between our feet and the floor. Air resistance also becomes
Solar energy is a growing demand in the United States as more funding has allowed this energy source to become much cheaper and more available to the average person. They are converting the suns energy into electricity using solar cells. This relies on the photoelectric effect which is the ability of matter to emit electrons when a light is shone on it. Silicon is a semi-conductor which makes it a key ingredient in making solar cells. Sunlight is composed of many photons and as these hit the
The brain goes through lots of weird stages and experiences while sleeping that are very different from when you are awake. For one, the brain waves slow down dramatically. When awake the brains frequency is around 30hz and that drops to less than 3.5hz when the person falls asleep. There are around 5 stages of sleep every time you go to bed at night. The first stage includes a very light sleep while the second becomes slightly deeper. The third and fourth stages are the deepest part of it
There is surprising a lot of physics that goes into a simple motorized bike. Even something simple on it like the weight of the tires. They are very important and in many cases can be the difference between you flying or stalling. This is because of leverage on the bike and the wheel is basically just a round lever. That means that the bigger the wheel and the more weight, than much more power is needed to move that wheel. This could be needing a bigger motor as a whole or may just slow the
I am a black belt and I always enjoyed the physics behind karate as they are often more complicated than most people first think. When two people line up to fight, they both bring a certain amount of kinetic energy to the fight. This is determined by their weight, height, muscle strength and also their physical health. The main principle behind karate is to use your body to channel this energy and make maximum use of it. It also focuses on how you can take away from your opponents with smart
A lot more work goes into creating a more smart life-like video game each year including Fifa. A major break through in Fifa 14 was that they finally figured out how to make the ball sail smartly through the air. The engineers working on the physics of the game finally found the problem that was making the ball look like it was just shot in a linear path. They found that their drag coefficient was broken. This models air resistance and affects the trajectory and speed of the ball when it is
Catapults are ancient weapons known for doing lots of damage from a far distance. But how can a simple machine launch such big objects so far? It comes down to the way the machine is built in which it creates large amounts of potential energy by either twisting a rope or flexing wood. This potential energy is then transferred to the object when it is released. One of the most common catapults is the ballista which is basically a giant crossbow. In this the potential energy is stored in both
Marcus has been wondering why I always win in our 1 v 1 basketball games and their is lots of physics behind it. The first part of my success is how high I am able to jump. There are horizontal and vertical components to jumps and being able to shoot and or block shots during the top part of the flight plays a major role in winning. I also am able to jump higher giving me the ability to have a longer hang time. This increases the time during the top part of my flight. The equation to calcul
Video games are becoming more and more physics based in order to create a more realistic gaming experience. Battlefield 1 is one of the biggest first person shooter video games out right now and they did not forget about the physics. In call of duty sniping is very different from battlefield. In call of duty their is no bullet drop so if you aim at someone and shoot you kill them. That is not always the case in battlefield. They take into account bullet drop and drag. That means when using
Their are many factors that make a yo-yo spin showing they are actually more complicated than people may first think. Gravity is an obvious force as it is what pulls the yo-yo down. Friction is the reason that it unwinds and returns. Without friction the yo-yo would not spin nor would it return to the starting position. When it is at this starting position it is containing the potential energy to fall and spin. This is then converted into kinetic energy when it starts its trip. The yo-yo h
Push ups are probably the most common form of a workout you will see. They are easy and can be done almost everywhere, but how good of a workout are they actually giving people? There are different ways to do a push up but when done correctly, most people will be lifting around 65% of their body weight. This would be when someone is doing the standard position of having their feet kicked out. When a push up is performed on the knees instead of feet extended, we see that the amount of body we
I think that everyone knows how a hot air balloon works in theory but what are the basic physics behind it? The basic concept of it is that it blows hot air into the large balloon at the top to create buoyancy which eventually causes the balloon to lift. The air inside of the balloon is ultimately less dense than the air outside and this difference in density is also what causes the balloon to lift. The principle behind this lift is called Archimedes principle. This states that the upward bu
The are two main factors that affect a Frisbee during flight. Gravity accelerates the object downward at 9.8 m/s. In the air, lift and angular momentum act on it. Lift is created because of its shaped surfaces while it travels through the air. The reason a Frisbee flows so clean and far through the air is because the air flowing over the top of a Frisbee is much faster than the air flowing beneath it. The Bernoulli Principle also describes why is maintains this flight. It says how their is
Paper airplanes are something almost everyone has made but most people don't really think about ways to make it better and why some are better than others. The main factor in creating a successful paper airplane is making sure it is as aerodynamic as possible. Limiting the amount of factors to create resistance will result in a more successful trip. This includes making a tail that air will glide right over instead of getting trapped on. The two forces acting against the plane in flight are
Mafia 3 is a new open world game on the market and is featuring some pretty cool physics. One of the main focuses for the developers was the driving. It is crazy to see how far video games have come and Mafia 3's driving is a great example of that. The game takes crashes into account when the player is controlling the car. Crashes now have a big affect on the handling of cars. The game also offers two modes of driving, arcade and simulation. Arcade is similar to most video games in which d
Javelin throwing as it can be implied is largely dependent on the throwing angle. While it seems as if it should be like any other activity where 45 degrees is the optimal firing angle, it is not that case. Wind speed and direction have a huge dependence on choosing this angle. The strength and speed that the thrower can release with is also a huge factor. When studied it was found that some of the best javelin throwers in the world were actually releasing at a angle lower than 45. The opti
The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.
APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.