When I took my drivers test, it was in the middle of the winter, just after a bad storm had hit Rochester. Earlier that day, my dad took me to a parking lot to teach me how to handle myself if I were to lose control. My dad told me to slam on the gas, crank the wheel to one side and learn how to deal with it. As we swung around and around, I thought, "what was the point of this?" Obviously my dad knew I would learn about friction in physics class and that this would be a great blog post. The ice that I was sliding on had very little friction with my dad's car tires because the ice is really smooth and doesn't have anything for the tires to grab onto. This causes the tires to spin and me to panic. Luckily, nothing too bad happened in my test and I passed!
One day when I was driving in the terrible weather of Rochester, I thought, "Hm, why aren't I dead yet? My tires don't slide, even though it is icy." Then it hit me. My car has traction control. Mr. Fullerton wouldn't tell me how it worked, and told me to make a blog post.
Traction control is a feature on most newer cars that controls the speed of the tires as they spin. There are sensors in the gas pedal and the wheels that move the car. (ie: front wheels on a FWD car) If the tire sensor senses that the tire is spinning without moving the car, it automatically slows down the tire by decreasing the amount of gas being used to move the car.
This connects to physics because of all the friction worksheets we were forced to do. We all know that slowing the tire will allow the tire to grab on to the road and start moving. we learned this in physics class and drivers ed.
while I was thinking of a blog post idea, I noticed my pen fall off the desk. I immediately knew that I needed to use this because I was wasting time thinking about other ideas. Because of gravity, I needed to pick up my pen, which isn't something I enjoy doing, as It takes too much energy. Obviously, this means that gravity isn't your friend when your lazy. Gravity is also the reason why so many people crack their phone screens. So if your ever mad at anyone or yourself for cracking your phone screen, remember its not their fault, its gravity's. I'm sure the phone company will get a good laugh.
When I was playing Table Tennis at the Rochester Sports Garden, I realized that there is a lot of physics working on the ball. First, the ball hits my paddle, specifically the rubber. Because my rubber is tacky, the ball sticks to it a lot. The friction of the ball on the rubber creates a lot of spin on the ball. The ball usually gets topspin, which also has huge ties to physics, The topspin creates a down force that drives the ball downward into the table. Lastly, the top spin on the ball makes the ball go a lot faster after it hits the table. The friction on the table and the ball allows the ball to grab on and use its spin to produce more speed after the ball hits the table.
In physics class, there is a lot of physics, almost every day. When Mr. Fullerton drinks his coffee, the coffee is being acted upon by an outside force. Gravity helps get the coffee out of his Dunkin' cup and into his mouth. Also, Mr. Fullerton doesn't drink his coffee with any "pollutants." The normal physics of stirring in creamer and sugar doesn't apply to this case. The coffee that Mr. Fullerton relies on to be able to deal with students like me in the morning has a lot to do with physics because of all the forces acting upon it. There is also friction between his hand and his cup. without this, the cup would slip out of his hand and he wouldn't have any then. That would make Mr. Fullerton very angry.
When I play kan-jam, I contently wonder why I cannot stop winning. I realized this is because I am fully in touch with physics when I throw the Frisbee. I did some looking around on the web and learned that spin on the Frisbee gives it stability. The combination of air resistance, lift and gravity causes the disk to glide through the air. The Frisbee connects greatly to Newton's 3rd law. This is because the Frisbee constantly pushes air downward, and in return the Frisbee is propelled upward because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Frisbee also slices through the air and creates a low pressure area above and a high pressure area below it, according to the Bernoulli principle. This causes the Frisbee to lift, and is also used when trying to get planes to fly.
Every man wants to bowl well. And let's face it, it's tough. Understanding the physics behind it will help you become a bowling baller. I researched it a bit. Many people know that the lanes are greased, but what most people don't know is that the key to bowling a strike is by hitting between the two front pins, either the 1&2 pins or the 1&3 pins.
It is important to know the use of spin and the conservation of energy and momentum when bowling. The lane has little friction, so you must spin the ball a lot to catch the lane and get that nice curve. Here's where the really physics takes place. The ball contacts the pins, thus creating a chain of collisions between the pins. Without the law of conservation of momentum and energy, when the pins got hit, they wouldn't create the same collisions because momentum would disappear.
Now go hit the lanes champ, you know what to aim for.
Because I want to be big and strong like Seth, I decided to go to the weight room today. Obviously I needed to write a blog post on it.
In weight lifting, gravity is a huge factor. Without the 9.81 m/s^2 acceleration downward due to gravity, we wouldn't have any weight to lift. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a jacked guy, so I start with lighter weights an guess what, gravity was my biggest enemy. Next came some cardio. I ended up realizing that the impacts of my foot hitting the treadmill was going up my legs, as well as the fact that the treadmill was exerting a force equal to my weight, in the opposite direction.
One day I took a splendid stroll through inner city Rochester. I wondered, how come I can hear all the traffic around here? One answer, sound, and here comes another blog post.
Sound is caused by the vibrations of atoms. The law of conservation of momentum and energy has a lot to do with this. Because the vibrations travel from atom to atom, there is a conservation of momentum that travels from atom to atom. Also, some times you just can't hear someone because they are too far away, this is because the momentum has been channeled into something else, such as the ground or any other obstacles in the way.
I work at seabreeze over the summer. Amusement parks are literally playgrounds of physics. Rollercoasters rely solely on momentum to keep going, gravity keeps all the carts on the track, and so forth. The ride I want to focus on is the music express.
The music express has a plethora of physics. The most obvious is centripetal force. The music express travels in a circle at high speeds. This causes our bodies to fall towards the outside of the cart. In order to stay in, there must be some sort of acceleration towards the middle of the ride. This is known as centripetal acceleration. Without this and gravity working together, we would simply fall off the ride. OUCH!
Come to seabreeze this summer, and learn all about physics with your favorite trash grabber, yours truly.
My dear friend Ryan needed a car. I was gracious enough to give him the beat up ford in my garage. However, physics have worked against this car since 2004.
We spent hours trying to get this car to even turn the headlights on. The physics of electrons traveling between my brothers battery and the fords. It took a solid 2 hours in order to get the car to turn over.
Finally, my brother got into the car and drove it a bit to get the rust and dust off the car. As a result, the car stalled out and died 20 meters (not yards) down the street. Gravity quickly took the wheel, and the car stopped. Physics never stops working against the ford and Ryan.
As a child, I have always tried to fly. This never worked and it still hasn't, but just for fun, enjoy my story for now.
Last Friday, the last day of me as a 17 year old, I went to work like I normally would. However, this time at work was different. We were raking leaves and such for 3 hours when I had an epiphany. "Let's take these rakes, tie them together with some leaves, and try to fly. So, having said that, we were off to the races.
I tied my Boy Scout caliber knot and then got into the back of the trailer. Mind you, mass amounts of frictional force were being applied between the rope in the knot in order to keep the leaves and takes together. We never achieved flight, but we successfully found a topic for my blog posts. When I flapped my 'wings,' I created lift. This lift, plus the speed of the trailer and me, should theoretically make me fly. Lift has to do with physics obviously. Lift+drag would give me my total aerodynamic force. Which should make me fly. Unfortunately, it didn't. Then I got yelled at by my boss. Safe to say that day was productive.
Last night at work, I found the difference in amplitude of my boss' voice. Generally, my boss is a fairly quiet guy. He only yells when he has to talk over the noise of lawn mowers and other gas guzzling tools. When he speaks, it is very soft. Therefor, the amplitude of the sound waves is small. Also, he has a low voice, so his voice's frequency is much lower then the female workers in the office. When he yells, however, the amplitude of his voice is off the charts.
Every person, as a kid, always enjoyed echoes. If you say you didn't, then your lying. This past unit, I learned about sound and it's reflection off of objects. The reflection of sound off of an object is known as an echo. As a result of finding this, I know how to find the distance between me and an object based on the knowledge that d=v(t) and sound travels at 331 m/s in air at stp. By measuring the amount of time it takes for the sound to come back, and dividing it by two, I can find the distance between me and an object. Boom. I bet you all will do this tomorrow.
I saw this on myth busters, and I decided, even though they said it was not possible, I can still try, or dream of trying at least. It is possible to dodge the bullet of a sniper rifle. If the sniper rifle were far enough, that is.
When the sniper rifle shoots the bullet, 3 components travel towards the target. Light waves, sound waves and a bullet. Light is faster then the bullet and the sound. Having said that, if the sniper was far enough to have a reasonable amount of time between the muzzle flash and the sound getting to you, it is possible to get out of the way. As soon as someone sees the muzzle flash, they could get out of the way, before the sound and bullet get there.
Having said that, DO NOT TRY THAT. it's not possible. I just needed a good story that people would read. It's possible in theory, but never a good idea by any stretch.
The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.
APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.