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Blog Comments posted by FizziksGuy

  1. To find the net torque, recall that torque is force multiplied by distance when applied at a right angle. You know the radius of the disk, and the force applied (mg for your hanging mass)... use that to find your moment of inertia.

  2. I'm glad it went well and you thought that the book helped -- magnetism is one of the trickier topics in physics, and for many (myself included), you don't really "get it" the first or second time through.

    Random Sports Response: I can't wait to see the 49ers and Steelers match up on the 19th!!!

  3. In my previous career as a microelectronic engineer, we regularly worked with a gas known as silane (SiH4), a pyrophoric gas, which means it ignites spontaneously in air. Even better, for safety reasons they kept it outside the building in a bunker, which I had a great view of from my office window. :livid: It's fun to look at some of the safety precautions used when dealing with pyrophoric gases... double contained lines, shut-off valves, etc.

  4. The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm. The answer was so "profound"

    that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

    Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing with time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

    As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

    Since there are more than one of these religions, and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

    With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

    Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell; because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my Freshman year--"...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you."--and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true; and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.


  5. The following is a little known, true story about Albert Einstein (attributed to Paul Harvey).

    Albert Einstein was just about finished his work on the theory of special relativity, when he decided to take a break and go on vacation to Mexico. So he hopped on a plane and headed to Acapulco. Each day, late in the afternoon, sporting dark sunglasses, he walked in the white Mexican sand and breathed in the fresh Pacific sea air. On the last day, he paused during his stroll to sit down on a bench and watch the Sun set. When the large orange ball was just disappearing, a last beam of light seemed to radiate toward him. The event brought him back to thinking about his physics work. "What symbol should I use for the speed of light?" he asked himself. The problem was that nearly every Greek letter had been taken for some other purpose. Just then, a beautiful Mexican woman passed by. Albert Einstein just had to say something to her. Almost out of desperation, he asked as he lowered his dark sunglasses, "Do you not zink zat zee speed of light is zery fast?" The woman smiled at Einstein (which, by the way, made his heart sink) and replied, "Si."

    And know you know the rest of the story.

  6. Just thinking about how you could extend this, you could also calculate the work per pushup, or the power output. Then, of course, there are all the different types of pushups you can do... from diamond pushups to slide pushups to prison pushups... each designed to put your arms at different angles to work different muscles. Would be a great exploration into components of forces!


  7. Go to your profile, then near the top of the screen, choose Forum Actions --> General Settings. From there you can find a setting for avatars.

    Great thinking expanding from relative velocities to inertial navigation systems (INS). These are a core of F-16 (and other) military navigation systems. I have some friends who have done some work in this area, I'll see if I can't talk them into elaborating a little. :eagerness:

  8. Very cool! Reminds of the question I heard a few weeks ago at Syracuse University. A teacher asked "what's the benefit of all this research at CERN?" The answer -- so far, CERN's particle research has resulted in the invention of the Internet as well as tremendous advances in radiation therapy... who knows what'll be next!

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