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Physics of Karate

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Javelin Throwing

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Popcorn

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

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Clouds

The physics behind clouds can actually be a whole profession.  It turns out clouds are much more complicated then most people may think.  At the base of it, clouds are made up of microscopic water droplets and or tiny crystals of ice.  These droplets are initially formed from condensation onto the nuclei then the air is supersaturated.  This happens when the air exceeds a critical value of condensation known as the Kohler Theory.  These condensation nuclei are a big part and are necessary for cl

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Firearms

When put into its simplest terms, guns are not very complex machines.  The goal is to deliver the maximum destructive energy with the minimum amount of energy to go to the shooter.  Better more expensive guns will do a better job at accomplishing this task.  However, conservation of momentum is true in guns as well.   That means that the momentum delivered to the target still has to be equal to the momentum felt by the shooter.  This is felt through the recoil of the gun.  That is why bigger mor

jrwalther

jrwalther

 

Astroids

Throughout my life I have heard many rumors of asteroids hitting earth or the moon but I've always wondered what kind of damage an asteroid could really cause.  The size of the explosion would be most impacted by the kinetic energy of the object that caused it.  This would mean that the mass and the velocity of the asteroid would be the main factors in the damage.  The average speed for asteroids approach either the earth or the moon is around 17km/hr.  Now that we have the speed, how can we fin

jrwalther

jrwalther

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