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Gravity

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Physics of Wind Energy

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Phyiscs of a Paper Airplane

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Physics of Catapults

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Soccer shot

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Physics of Fifa

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Gravity

I watched a cool lab video on a professor giving a visual representation of gravity.  The idea of gravity has always been pretty easy for me to understand and easy to use in equations but where I begin to lose that understanding is when we leave earth and look at how it holds everything together.  How space is constantly expanding but these planets, moons and stars are constantly effecting each other.  In this video you get to see how gravity really makes these things work together to make space

jrwalther

jrwalther

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