Hey, do you know whose birthday it is? It is the one, the only, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss! He was born 241years ago today! Since Gauss' Law helps us solve problems with cylindrical, spherical, and planar symmetry, I thought it would only be right to wish him a happy birthday! Thanks Gauss!
I'd like to dedicate this blog post to the person who has gotten me through this year. You know who you are. Do you annoy me sometimes? Absolutely. Do I annoy you sometimes? I sure hope so. All jokes aside, we do make a good team. We work well together because neither one of us is a follower. We are both independent, which is helpful when one of us is missing something. If you miss something, there's a good chance I caught it, and I'll point it out. If I miss something, there's a good
I think I've done enough violin blogs, so how about my other instrument? That's right, ukulele. And yes, I actually play it, I don't carry it around like an accessory and pretend like I know how to play. Like the violin, the ukulele is a string instrument, so the sound comes from vibrating strings. Unlike a guitar or violin, the strings of a ukulele are made of nylon, which gives it that distinct ukulele sound. Both the length and the tension of the string determine what note it plays. Whe
At this point, we have finished mechanics, and we are starting to finish up electricity and magnetism. Each of these courses had it's own set of challenges. However, with mechanics, even when I didn't fully understand something, I could still sort of visualize it and try to make sense out of it. Mechanics definitely felt more straight forward and understandable than electricity and magnetism, except dealing with drag forces is still very difficult. With electricity and magnetism, my main stru
This spring break, I traveled to London with some other students. Over the week, I took tons of beautiful pictures of the city and surrounding area. However, that's not what I'm going to share with you. Sorry. (Not really)
Here's a story instead. I went into a bookstore with a few of my friends while visiting Windsor. I was looking for something specific, and once I found it, I wandered around the store waiting for the others to finish up. I should have known that I couldn't even escape
During my vacation in Florida, I also visited the Kennedy Space Center. While I was there, I got to take a bus tour, see a spaceship, see the space shuttle Atlantis up close, and try a launch simulation. Throughout the day, I kept thinking to myself, "hmm. I should really write a blog post about this visit. But what exactly do I write about?". Well, I think I found something. While we were there, my mom asked me, "so, does this get you?". Yes, it does. My visit to Kennedy reminded me of
I could call myself a roller coaster enthusiast. I recently visited Disney World, and one of my absolute favorite rides is the Aerosmith Rock 'n Roller Coaster. This roller coaster ride is very unique. In order to see why, I'll first talk about how most other roller coasters work. Most roller coasters start by slowly going up one big hill (which is always the tallest). As it goes up to the top, it gains potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy as it goes down the hill. This g
Last weekend at an honors interview at Roberts, I got to take a look in some of their physics labs. they had some fun things set up for us to check out. One thing was in a section called "physics and music". Sounds perfect for me, right? They had a bunch of wine glasses filled with different amounts of water. When you dipped your finger in some water and rubbed it around the edge of the glass, a specific note could be heard. However, if your finger isn't wet, it doesn't work. Why? Turns o
Good job guys! We made it through half of our senior year! Not only that, but we also made it through mechanics, and now it's time for electricity and magnetism. For me, this quarter is when I started to figure things out, but I also had added challenges. I started to get the hang of the time management involved with this class. I was able to start planning better what I would get done when, as well as figuring things out with my partner in class. Of course, I am not perfect yet, as we can s
I have always wanted to see the northern lights, or Aurora Borealis. I've dreamed of travelling somewhere like Alaska or Finland to see them. In fact, there is a hotel in Finland with glass igloos so the vacationers can see the northern lights from their room. How cool is that?! Aurora Borealis mainly occur in high longitudes, but what exactly causes them? Turns out, it's from charged particles from the sun being expelled into space. The particles then come in contact with Earth's magnetic
Here's a riddle for you guys: what's at the end of a rainbow? I'll get back to that at the end.
So, rainbows. As we all probably know, rainbows are not objects that can be approached. They are an optical illusion caused by water droplets viewed a certain angle from a source of light, most likely the sun. There may appear to be a person under a rainbow from where you are observing it, but that person just sees the rainbow from a different distance. A rainbow is caused by light being refr
I'll let you in on a little secret: I am a terrible dancer. Dancing has always been my weakness when it comes to doing shows, and I typically try to make up for it with singing and acting. When I see good dancers do it so effortlessly, I am extremely jealous. This crossed my mind because I actually have to go to dance rehearsal soon (and this is where I say everyone please come to IHS's production of The Music Man March 15-18). Anyway, time for the physics. As you have probably guessed, the
Woah! Erika's doing a blog post that's not music related, crazy! Fun fact, I used to take archery, and I want to start again. With my favorite part of the year in gym approaching, I'd like to talk about some of the physics involved in archery, specifically the bow. The most important part is the force and energy exerted when pulling back the arrow and letting it go. Unlike what some may think, when pulling the arrow back, you are not stretching the string. What you are actually doing is chan
I know you guys are probably wondering how many music related blog posts I could possibly come up with, and the answer is... a lot. For those of you who do not know yet, I am planning on going to college as a physics major and music minor, so anytime I can bring these two subjects together is a great time for me! On that note (hehe, music pun), as a musician and physics student, I thought I would share with you some physicists who are also musicians!
Albert Einstein played violin! (just l
What distinguishes music from noise is actually mathematical form. I find this funny because most musicians I know are afraid of math and claim to be terrible at it. Noise and music are a mixture of sound waves, but music is considered "ordered sound" while noise is considered "disordered sound". Music can be separated into different frequencies, some having a more dominant sound, which makes music sound more pleasant. This is not the case for noise. However, not all music sounds pleasant.
I'm guessing all of us in this class have seen at least one movie with Thor in it, right? (And if you haven't, don't talk to me) As anyone who is familiar with Thor would know, he carries a hammer (until the latest movie, but we won't talk about that) that only the worthy can lift. Other members of the Avengers like Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America have tried, but all have failed. How is this possible? Well, according to Marvel, the hammer weighs about 42 pounds. That's ce
Since we just started electrostatics, I thought I'd do a blog post about something related to that. So we all remember the demonstration with a balloon and someone's hair, right? I know we did it in physics last year, but it's probably something most of us did as kids. Well, my brother and I used to do something a little different. Notice, I said used to, so I tooooootally wasn't doing this last week. Instead of a balloon and our hair, we used a couch. I know that sounds really weird, and
On Monday we were given a problem: Make a spinning top. We had two paper plates, six pennies, a sharpened pencil, and some tape. With no further instructions given, we were left to our own devices to solve the problem. Though I cannot speak for my partner, I can say that I was not thinking of the engineering design process at the time. However, the engineering design process was precisely how we were going about our task. We had a problem to solve and we began by constructing our solution.
On Friday, we had a little discussion in English regarding terminal velocity. Thank goodness honestly, otherwise I probably would have fallen asleep. That's what happens when you put a bunch of physics students together in an English class. We will take over. Anyway, it began by talking about the terminal velocity of cats and how they can survive very high jumps. We then had to explain this concept of terminal velocity to our English teacher. We told him that eventually, due to air resista
One of my favorite things about this class is how it can lead to some of the most entertaining sort-of-on-topic-but-not-entirely conversations. One recent conversation in class stands out in my mind as the spirit our group seems to have when we work together. I wish I had done this post sooner so I could remember what exactly we were working on or how we got to this topic. I believe we were working on the Work, Energy, and Power unit. We were working through a problem when one of us said, "w
On a violin, there are two types of tuners. There are the large black tuning pegs that anyone can easily see, and there are also fine tuners. These are very tiny and are located on the ends of the string that are closer to the chin of the player. The job of both sets of tuners is to adjust the tension in the string in order to produce a specific note. On a violin, these notes are G, D, A, and E. When the string is tighter, it produces a higher pitched sound. when it's looser, the sound is
Another violin post, yay! I'm sure many of you already understood what I was talking about in my previous post, but this topic will likely be new to those of you who do not play a string instrument. Did you know that if you buy a new violin and just take it out and try to play it right away, it will make no sound? Now that's just crazy, right? It may sound like it; but if this were to happen, it's because you missed one very important step. You forgot to put rosin on your bow.
A bow is
This is one of what will likely be a few violin blog posts because, well, I just love playing the violin. One of the most important parts of a violin (or any string instrument for that matter) is the body. The body of a violin is made of wood that is curved on the top and bottom and is very thin. A violin is very light, but the body is still strong enough to handle the tension of the strings. The body creates a sound box for the vibrating strings, making the notes you play audible.
Whenever I go camping, a Frisbee is a must. My brother and I can spend a significant amount of time throwing one around (and a significant amount of time running after it when one of us makes a bad throw). The last time we went camping, my brother tried to throw the Frisbee without spin. When he did this, it fell to the ground almost immediately. Why? I thought. Well, spinning the Frisbee provides angular momentum. Angular momentum is what keeps it stable. The more spin you put on a Frisb
Last week in physics, we completed what was called the Newton's second Law Lab in groups, in which we were to determine the mass of a cart without using any scales or balances. The procedure was only meant to take us one, maybe two, class periods. However, our group went into a third period. We kept trying to collect new data because we had a larger percent error than we would have liked and assumed we were doing something wrong. We ended up spending a lot more time trying to get better resu