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About this blog

Everybody has things that they do and carry with them that make them unique. Some swim, some like plane rides, some people sky dive and some people learn faster than others. Me? I run, hate riding a plane, despise heights and I try my best to learn thoroughly and thoughtfully -- which is not often the fastest process. Since seventh grade, I have been running track because I always felt that I was able to move myself towards the finish line a little bit faster than most. I have, from my experience in seventh grade, developed a thirst to run faster and faster. Now, in senior year, I have the opportunity to win sectionals with three of my friends in a 400 meter dash relay; a sectionals victory has been a great goal of mine for a very long time now, and my hard work and persistence have now paid off. The very same hard work and persistence have contributed towards success in school and in Boy Scouts. I have learned to enjoy learning, and I am only weeks away from achieving Eagle Scout just as my Grandfather and older brother have before me. I enjoy challenges, so for my senior year of high school, I have figured that I should try my hardest to conquer yet another challenge: AP Physics C! This is only one of the reasons which I chose to take this class, I also chose to take this class because I enjoyed taking Physics last year and I plan on majoring in a field of engineering in my future. This year, I am excited to learn alongside some of my favorite peers and understand a topic not many high school students get the chance to take advantage of. However, this also introduces some anxiousness along with the difficulty; I am concerned that all of the work I am taking on this year will be whelming but, at the same time, I also believe that with this hard work, I will put myself in a great position for my upcoming years of college. I am hoping to have a great year in AP Physics C, and I wish the same for my friends, too!

Entries in this blog

 

Aurora Borealis

Many of us know the Aurora Borealis as the 'Northern Lights'. This natural phenomenon is, of course, thanks to the physics of our Earth and its atmosphere! (Photo credit: NASA) The Aurora Borealis is an extremely beautiful event that occurs most often close to the magnetic poles of Earth. It occurs due to charged particles coming from the Sun of which collide with other molecules found in the Earth's atmosphere. Solar winds from the Sun carry these charged particles and when the wind p

etracey99

etracey99

 

Just a Little Hot Air

Have you ever seen a hot air balloon? Personally, I find them terrifying, but I always see a few every year while I'm enjoying time at my cottage on Keuka Lake. Well, it turns out that hot air balloons actually float through the air due to buoyancy, which we generally associate with water. This is based on Archimedes' principle, which says that an object of any shape that is suspended in a fluid is acted on by an opposite force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the said object.

etracey99

etracey99

 

Bicycles... The Greatest Method of Transportation?

We live in a world where we are constantly trying to better our technology to be greater and more efficient. What if I told you that we achieved the most efficient mode of transportation of all time already? And what if I told you that this transportation was developed as far back as 1817? Behold! The bicycle. Since the first bicycle coming from Germany in 1817 (called the running machine), there have been great advancements in bicycles: Although this invention has been around for

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Handy Dandy Internal Combustion Engine

Today, the internal combustion engine is a very important part of the average person's life. We experience the wonder of this engine in most automobiles that use gasoline as a fuel. As one could guess, the Internal Combustion Engine is an engine in which combustion occurs internally... just kidding! (oversimplification at its finest). In all seriousness, let us discuss the four-stroke internal combustion engine since it is not too difficult to understand! It is called a four-stroke engine b

etracey99

etracey99

 

Ball Bearings

Some common sense physics is that in most cases, things roll better than they slide. For example, roller blades work a lot better on asphalt than a pair of snow skis do. This is because there is a lot of friction created with sliding, but when something can roll over the ground, the friction is greatly reduced. A ball bearing is a device that 'bears' a load and rolls over smoothly. This is done by having round objects enclosed in a smooth inner and outer shell. There are several types

etracey99

etracey99

 

Kangaroos!

This is a kangaroo: Kangaroos are large marsupials that have an iconic talent for jumping extremely far due to their well developed musculoskeletal system. How far can they jump? On a flat strip of land, a kangaroo can jump approx. 9 meters far and about 3 meters high. This is almost 30' long and 9'10" high! That is truly amazing! How do they do it? The musculoskeletal system of kangaroos are extremely efficient and is made for jumping far and quickly! The kangaroo is able to sto

etracey99

etracey99

 

Let's Waterski!

Have you ever waterskiied? If you have, I'm sure that you would agree that it is very fun and thrilling! I have been waterskiing for about 9 years, and I have always been fascinated by how it works. When I was taught to waterski when I was 9, my Dad and Grandpa told me that it was just like getting pulled up out of a chair and standing up. So untl I was older, that is all that it ever was to me.   Well, it turns out that the physics behind waterskiing is actually very simple! But fi

etracey99

etracey99

 

Tuning a Car?

I've been playing some Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox lately, and I have been having a lot of fun! I personally enjoy racing games a lot and I have been trying to get a little bit of playing in during this spring break. Something I have never done in another game, however, that I can do in Forza Horizon, is tune my cars. Just like musicians tune their instruments, many avid drivers often tune their cars to run exactly how they want them to. For example, you could tune your car's shift points so the car

etracey99

etracey99

 

Why do Bananas Have a Curve?

As many of you know, the banana is my favorite fruit. An apple banana* a day keeps the doctor away! Bananas start off by being very short and straight: As time goes on, however, they begin to curve upwards... Due to a process known as negative geotropism, which means that the bananas grow away from the force of gravity! They do this because in the forests, if they started to grow sideways towards the light that penetrates through the trees and plants above them

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Physics Midterm

What I thought was going to be the hardest midterm I had this year, actually turned out to be not too bad! For the entire first half of the year, I have now found that practicing physics at the level we have been working on has prepared us very well for the midterm and the AP. As a person who struggled through a lot of the review packet and put in a lot of studying for the weeks leading up to the test, I think it is safe to say that practicing physics and learning it so far this year has be

etracey99

etracey99

 

How do Planes Fly?

To many, planes fly because they go fast and they have wings. When I was younger, that is how simple I thought it was. Well, there is a little more to it than that. There are four forces of flight: lift, drag, weight, and thrust, which correspond to upward, backward, downward, and forward forces, respectively. Thrust is what moves the aircraft forward through the air, it overcomes the drag and the weight of the plane. The thrust for a normal plane comes from an engine/propulsion s

etracey99

etracey99

 

A Heated Runway?

Last night while I was watching the news, one of the featured stories was about a heated runway at Des Moines International Airport in Iowa. The runway was being kept at 62 degrees Fahrenheit so any snow that landed on the strip of the heated runway would melt very quickly. To do this, researchers at Iowa State University embedded electrodes into the concrete and powered the electrodes. When they turned on the electricity the electrodes began to heat up the concrete around them, which would

etracey99

etracey99

 

Eardrum vs Sound

Believe it or not, sounds are one of the most common and dangerous hazards a person may face on any given day. Generally, we measure how "loud" a sound can be in decibels (dB). By definition, a decibel is " a unit used to measure the intensity of a sound or the power level of an electrical signal..." (Google Search). We will be discussing decibels in regard to "intensity of a sound." If you enjoy listening to music loudly, I am sure that somebody at some point has said that your music is to

etracey99

etracey99

 

Would You Rather: Get Hit by a Hummer or a Lamborghini?

The answer is most likely neither, but... physics! So, a Hummer (H1) weighs around 8113 pounds, or 3680 kg, and can travel at a top speed of 55 m/s. This results in a Hummer having a max momentum of 202,400 kg*m/s. A Lamborghini Aventador, on the other hand, weighs around 4085 pounds, or 1852 kg, and has a top speed of 97.22 m/s. The Lamborghini's max momentum is 180,051.44 kg*m/s. So although the Lamborghini can travel at a much higher speed than the Hummer can, the Hu

etracey99

etracey99

 

Sonic vs The Average Hedgehog

One of the world's favorite characters is Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue hedgehog who runs incredibly fast. Sonic can run at around Mach 15, which is 5,104.4 m/s (11,509 MPH). That is incredibly fast! He also weighs about 34.93 kg, which means that at full speed, his kinetic energy is about 455,048,817.3 J. If a normal hedgehog which weighs about 0.91 kg, were to run at its top speed of 5.3 m/s, its kinetic energy would be around 12.8 J. This is about 0.000003% of the energy that Sonic generate

etracey99

etracey99

 

Minecraft VS Real Life!

CREATE NEW WORLD Bam. You spawn on a beach and you think to yourself: "Wow, this place would be a nice area to make a huge cottage!" But you look over to the right and there is a big mound of sand in your way. Well luckily for you, it is Minecraft, so you get some tools and you dig it. After it is all said and done, you have three whole stacks of sand in your inventory. That is a lot of sand! How much sand is it, you may ask. For those of you who have never played Minecraft, the game c

etracey99

etracey99

 

Let's Talk About Webassign

Let's face it, Webassign.net is great. Even coming from a student, Webassign.net is my favorite ways to do homework. There is something about Webassign.net that makes the miserable part about doing homework enjoyable. Just picture all the times that you have sat down with Webassign.net in front of you and you get that one killer question correct -- you put in the answer, the page reloads, and oh my goodness! there is the green check that you have desired to see! And we cannot forget the progress

etracey99

etracey99

 

Let's Make a Top

This past week, we did a small partner lab. Our mission was to make a top out of the following materials: 2 paper plates, a plain wood pencil, 6 pennies, and tape. The top also had to be able to spin for more than only a few seconds. However, there were no instructions other than to make a top. Immediately, each student in the room with his or her partner immediately began undergoing the engineering process, whether they knew it or not. The engineering process has steps to be done in this o

etracey99

etracey99

 

Why Do We Look for the "Perfect Spiral" When Throwing a Football?

This blog post was inspired by MyloXyloto's post: "Frisbee Fysics," Check it out! In football, throwing the ball with spin is called throwing a spiral. The better the spiral, generally the better the pass and the easier it is to catch. But why in football does spin make the ball easier to catch while in baseball spin makes the ball harder to hit? Well, in baseball, spin makes the ball curve. Different amounts of spin will make the ball curve at certain times or certain speeds, making the ba

etracey99

etracey99

 

Musical Chords: C and C# vs. C and G

Since I have a piano recital tonight, I have had music on my mind all day long. Seriously, I have practiced this piece for several weeks and now whenever I hear a piano, I think about the Maple Leaf Rag. Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about the chords in the song and how the different notes react with each other to make that chord sound the way it does. I have found some videos that show how different notes react with one another. Both of the examples compare C to every interval all the

etracey99

etracey99

 

How Would it Feel to be Sacked by Clay Matthews?

Clay Matthews, 52 on the Green Bay Packers, is a famous linebacker. He has the all-time sack record for the Packers and has been in many commercials from Old Spice to Play Station. Let us look at some stats: Weight: 225 lbs (102.06 kg). Top Speed: 20.03 MPH (8.95 m/s) Imagine you are a quarterback, and Clay Matthews is running at you... You try to get out of the way but you simply cannot... all of a sudden... BOOM, you just got rekt because Clay Matthews sacked the snot out of you. How

etracey99

etracey99

 

Some Physics Behind Garage Doors

Did you know that the average double door (two car garage size) is around 200 pounds? Imagine if every time you had to open the garage, you had to lift that much weight by yourself. Many people would probably not be able to lift their garage door if that was the case. The solution to this problem? Springs. Let us discuss torsion springs: A torsion spring is a spring that works by storing mechanical energy when it is twisted. Generally, 16'x7' garage doors are installed with torsion springs

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Portal Gun

This fancy looking device is called the Portal Gun. What does it do? Well, it is a gun that shoots portals -- one orange and one blue. If you shoot the portal gun onto two surfaces, lets say you shoot the orange portal onto the wall behind you, and the blue portal on the wall to your right, if you look at the wall to your right, you will see the side profile of your face looking at the blue portal. This is because what you see in the blue portal is through the perspective of the orange portal.

etracey99

etracey99

 

Pokeball vs Pokemon

Here I present to you, the Poke Ball. The Poke Ball is probably the most recognizable thing from Pokemon besides the popular Pokemon, Pikachu. They are very important to a Pokemon trainer's career of catching Pokemon because they are used to catch and store Pokemon. In the world of Pokemon, when the ball is thrown at a Pokemon, the Pokemon converts to energy and resides inside of the ball, until it is brought forth again by the trainer and the energy is returned to matter.

etracey99

etracey99

 

The Terminal Velocity of a Kitty

Now that I have gotten your attention with this gif of a kitty skydiving, welcome to the science of cats surviving large falls. Everybody says "Cats always land on their feet!" They say this because it is not often that cats fail miserably and crash to the ground in a big fluffy mess. Cats do not land on their feet just because they are awesome, but due to their fantastic reflexes and skills, as well as their great surface area compared to their small weight. Before we discuss these fa

etracey99

etracey99

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