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  1. aschu103

    Waking up

    The hardest thing we do every day - waking up and getting out of bed. Newton's first law states that things at rest are likely to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Whether that force is our alarm clock, angry parents, or the panic of sleeping in a few minutes too late, it can be hard to get moving. Most days it's better to just lay in bed and hope that your homework does itself. However, Newton's law doesn't apply in the first few minutes after getting up - once you're in motion, it's very easy to go back to sleep. This is because of a phenomenon known as the "Sleepy Teenager Complex," caused by too much homework and not enough time to do all of it while still completing necessary functions. To this day, a cure for Sleepy Teenager Complex continues to allude us.
  2. One of my recent favorite movies is James Cameron's Avatar, and while a lot of physics is a bit sketchy, some of it makes sense. The moon/planet the movie takes place on, Pandora, is a lot smaller than our earth. This means that gravity isn't as strong. So, while humans have to learn to deal with the debilitating effects of low gravity, the natural life has had plenty of time to evolve. All of the animals and plants are much bigger than their Earth counterparts. The people that live there are much taller, as well as the trees and plants, since they've had less gravity to fight against as they grew. Most animals have six legs, to give them more traction on the ground and keep them moving at a decent speed. Pandora's low gravity also allows for the existence of banshees, dragon-like creatures strong enough to carry people around to hunt or in battle.
  3. I know the importance of shoes - running shoes, that is. Most track runners own at least two pairs, some trainers to practice in and spikes to run races in. Trainers are pretty much your standard sneaker, but they can get a lot fancier than that. Most of them have extra padding in the sole, which increases the time of impact between your foot and the ground. This means the impulse in your leg is much less, causing less injury to the runner. Running spikes have much thinner soles, which can be good and bad. They're not very healthy to wear all the time, since running in them puts greater impulse on your feet and joints. But since they're so much lighter, they take less energy to lift off the ground - energy you can save for the finish line.
  4. We can all remember that one time (probably more) when you dropped your phone. I'm probably most guilty of this crime against technology, and I'm always covering up my valuables with the giant bulky cases that could probably stop bullets. But how do these work? When your phone falls and hits the ground, the impulse is dependent on its mass and velocity. Since velocity increases the further the phone falls, a greater distance means a greater impulse. That's why it's safe to drop your phone on a table, but not the driveway. The surface of the ground also plays a part. A phone falling a few feet onto tile is sure to shatter your screen, but you'd have a better chance of it surviving a fall onto your bed. This is because a harder surface stops the phone much quicker, and so it feels less of the impact. This is also why putting a case on your phone can make it live much longer.
  5. All year I look forward to the Track&Field season because of one event: the 400meter hurdles, with which I have a love-hate relationship. A lap around the track, ten obstacles to jump... who wouldn't want to do it? Physics has helped me become a better hurdler. What a lot of people do when they start learning is they overestimate how high the hurdles are - I certainly did - and focus on jumping up rather than forward. This takes a lot more energy and slows you down a lot, since you're launching into the air at a higher angle (technically, air time doesn't change, but it affects your time to the next hurdle). But when you practice for a while, you get more confident at jumping lower over the hurdle, until you're pretty much stepping over it super quickly. With a lower launch angle, you can save energy and time before moving to the next hurdle, which will get you a better time overall.
  6. NERD ALERT NERD ALERT Dragons are cool okay don't even pretend to deny it But the best part about dragons is they could totally exist. Barring of course the fact that they'd have to eat all the time and barely have enough air to breathe (more on that in like 4.6 seconds), we've seen (read: dug up) dragons who have existed in the past. Do you remember Petrie from The Land before Time? He was a pterosaur, a flying dinosaur with a wingspan up to 7.5 meters (which is probably like as tall as your house). Now, since the plant:animal ratio has changed a lot since they existed, the oxygen:carbon dioxide ratio must have also changed (because we spit out CO2 and plants spit out oxygen). Pterosaurs could have lived in a time with a lot more oxygen, allowing them to do a lot more physical activity (kinda how its harder to breathe super high up in the mountains). But one thing that hasn't changed is Earth's gravity. The force required for a constant mass to hold itself above the surface of Earth shouldn't have changed much, and so if we strapped an oxygen tank to a pterosaur today, he should have no trouble using physics to keep himself afloat.
  7. (I seriously feel the need to top Fiona's blog posts but that's just not gonna happen so bear with me) Something my parents will never let me live down is my obsession with the Lion King. From age 2-7, I apparently watched that movie every single day, without fail (I had such good taste, didn't I?). Today, I still love it, but there's a few inconsistencies that I've noticed between the world of the Pridelands and our planet Earth. Mainly, I'm referring to the song "Just Can't Wait to be King," in which Simba sings about... well, I'm sure you can guess. Towards the end of the song, all the animals in the animal kingdom gather in a giant ladder, all for the sole purpose of a single symbolic moment where Simba and Nala stand above every other animal they will one day rule (the English student in me broke out for a minute there, sorry). When the tower collapses, they fall to the ground. But I don't think they fall at 9.81m/s2, because that would presume we are on planet Earth. I severely doubt that this event could take place on our planet, or on one with similar gravity, because I don't think that on our planet elephants, giraffes, ostriches, flamingoes, rhinoes, etc. could climb up one another - seriously, picture an elephant standing on a flamingo for a second. Hello, gravity, people. This leaves only two options: Pride Rock does not exist on Earth, or the animals are all made of helium balloons. Sorry if this ruined the Lion King for you. Kind of did for me a bit. All in the name of Physics, I guess.
  8. While I'm an avid runner and ultimate frisbee is my lifeblood, I still look forward to a singular gym unit each year - archery. Not because I'm particularly good (I'm pretty much always that one person who habitually hits the back tarp), but because I hate changing into sneakers and I do mildly enjoy feeling like Katniss Everdeen. Physics is embedded in archery. When the string is released, both it and the arrow move forward with a speed dependent on the strength of the bow's wood - a stronger material is harder to draw, but will launch an arrow further and with more force. When the string hits the bow at the top and bottom of the curve, the string slows down a lot, but the momentum continues to drive the arrow forward through the air, letting go of the string and moving towards the target. Once the arrow is in the air, it enters a state of freefall, all while moving towards the target. It begins to move downward at 9.81m/s2, but the drop is typically negligible given the speed at which the arrow moves. By the time any noticable drop has occurred, the arrow has likely struck its target, hopefully a bullseye.
  9. My sister attends Bonaventure, she loves it there, good luck in your senior year!
  10. aschu103


    Hello all, my name's Amy and I'm a junior. I like to run what some consider an unhealthy amount - I'm on the cross country, indoor track, and track&field teams. I also play viola for the philharmonic orchestra at school, and I recently started a job at the nearby library. I'm totally obsessed with Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, so apologies if I start rambling! I'm taking this class because I'm interested in how things in our world interact with each other - like, why some things move faster through the air than others - as well as the crazy mess of theoretical physics, since I'm sure my vague knowledge from watching cheesy old sci-fi movies barely scrapes the surface.
  11. it was fun failing at building our marshmallow tower today!
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