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Blog Comments posted by FizziksGuy

  1. Close, it was called Tatooine. :-) Trying to out-nerd a physics teacher... that's just silly.

    Great post, and I like how you're thinking about the physics of how such a situation could exist. Do you think it would be difficult to model the gravitational field in space for two suns, if the gravitational field strength is a vector? This sounds like a great opportunity for us to try out our new simulation software, Interactive Physics!

  2. AP-C Physics can be frustrating and challenging, and at times may seem overwhelming. It's also one of those courses that will leave you feeling out-of-sorts on various occasions. And I'd like to tell you that feeling will go away, but in all honesty, as you are finally pushed to these new challenges that are uncomfortable, it really doesn't go away. In fact, the challenges you're going to continue to face make this feeling grow and grow.

    BUT, I can tell you, that the more you stick with it, the more you get used to the feeling. You'll realize it's OK to be frustrated and confused, especially as, time after time, you struggle with the material, occasionally get knocked on your butt, but get back up again, and build the confidence to realize you're good enough that you can tackle these problems and challenges that seem so insurmountable when you encounter them.

    I could give you lots of reasons to stick with physics that have to do with college credits, career paths, where you'll use it later in life, but they're all minor details compared to the most important one. You should stick with it precisely because you're not sure you can handle it. As opposed to letting go and not knowing, dive in and find out... prove it to yourself, for yourself. It'll be hard at times, and it'll push you past the boundaries of what you ever thought you could do -- but if you stick with it, you'll come out better for it on the other side.

    And you don't have to do it alone. We're ALL here to help you succeed, even when that help sometimes feels like letting you sputter and flounder in the water. Have faith you're not going to sink. I do. :wave)

    (PS -- best advice I can give you in physics C -- quit worrying and stressing. If you do your best each and every day, you've got nothing to stress over, no one can ask any more than that of you, I'll be proud, and most importantly, you should be proud!)

    Take a look at the student blogs from last year, such as this one... you'll find many feeling the same way, and as you read how they progressed throughout the year, note how much more confident they get. It's a journey!

  3. Have no fear BrightestBulb, nobody gets this course 100% the first time through it. Every time I teach it I learn something more, and I don't think that'll ever change. If you make it through any physics class, and think you understand everything you learned, you probably weren't paying attention. It takes time for things to start making sense, sometimes a few hours, sometimes days, sometimes years. That's OK. Do your best, MAKE it fun, and you'll be a success!

  4. Have you ever seen the show Sports Science? It's a fun one to watch, not only from the physics and application side, but occasionally they "mangle" the physics a bit in their explanations -- would make a great blog topic if you catch an episode (I have a couple examples of snippets from the show we'll see in class this year too).

  5. Interesting post... I was talking on Wednesday night with a physics professor and author (Rhett Allain) as well as other physics teachers about the physics of video games. Part of our discussion centered around the accuracy of the physics in these games -- and how close to real life much of video game physics is. Even the old-school Atari game "Asteroids" had pretty good physics (OK, the ship had SOME friction in space, but in general, the game was all about Newton's Laws of Motion). Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong have some weird gravity and jumps, but for the most part, the better-selling games are typically quite accurate.

    For more information on this topic, check out Allain's post about the Physics of Angry Birds or his new e-book on introductory physics, Just Enough Physics, available for $3.14 (Pi dollars) on Amazon (see review in previous post here).

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