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About CharlieEckert

  • Birthday 06/05/1995

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  1. If there are an infinite number of parallel universes, in one of them Mr. Fullerton actually is a prison-hardened hardcore gangster rap artist like Joe predicted.
  2. I watched a documentary made by Stephen Hawking about time travel and stuff like that. Hawking felt a wormhole to the past would be impossible because background radiation would build up instantaneously at the wormhole and destroy the wormhole.
  3. Dang i guess i waited to long to answer these.
  4. Finally something we learned in class has a practical application!
  5. This reminds me of my post on the physics of dropping an eraser on the floor
  6. I also agree that the blog posts should remain part of the course but only because I hated doing them and don't want future class to not have to suffer as well.
  7. So I was reserving my last blog post for my momentum video I made last year. Unfortunately I couldn't find it last night. I went to Mr. Powlin today to get the video but it wouldn’t upload to the site, or to my email or Google drive for some reason. I’ll try to find the video again tonight, but if I can’t just picture me getting shot bare skin with an airsoft gun.
  8. I figured I would finish my blog posts with a reflection of how physics went this year. At the beginning of the year, Mr. Fullerton introduced us to integrals. I had absolutely no idea what how to do them since we hadn’t covered it in math yet. Fortunately by the time they finally came up on a test, we had gotten to them and calc and I finally understood them. Overall the calculus included in the course was fairly basic and wasn’t very hard. The independent units were definitely something new for me. I enjoyed them because I was able to work at my own pace. They forced us to learn how to learn the material ourselves without a teacher spoon feeding it to us; I think this will be beneficial to us all next year in college. The only thing I didn’t like was that the independent units required more work outside of class than our regular units. Fortunately I never had too much of a problem getting it all done because I spaced the work out. Overall I found the course pleasantly challenging. The course load was never unbearable as long as you didn’t wait till the last day to complete webassigns and independent units!
  9. I found an interesting article about how nuclear fallout has aided in studies on brain development. Nuclear fallout introduced small amounts of carbon 14 into our atmosphere. When our cells divide, they incorporate carbon from the environment. So the carbon 14 released from nuclear bombs eventually makes it way into the human body. This means that carbon 14 can be used to measure the age of cells. A team at the Karolinska Institute used this to show that new neurons were produced in a small part of the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus. I guess nuclear fallout has some positive benefits in terms of research. http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/06/atomic-bomb-tests-confirm-formation-of-new-brain-cells/
  10. So I read something really interesting about a particle called the “Oh-My-God particle”. Detected on October 15th, 1991 the particle was a proton that was traveling at nearly the speed of light. In fact it was traveling at 99.99999999999999999999951% of the speed of light. The proton had the energy equivalent of a baseball traveling about 100 kilometers per hour (imagine getting hit in the head and knocked out by a particle too small to see). Even the particles produced in our particles accelerators don’t come close to the energy of this particle; the proton has 40 million times more energy than the highest energy proton produced in a particle accelerator. Particles like this one has been detected multiple times since, but physicists don’t really know where it came from or what accelerated it. Wikipedia said something about spinning super massive black holes and possibly dark matter being the cause, but it quickly got too complicated for me to follow. Anyways I found this really interesting so I thought I would share it!
  11. Nuclear energy has been used since the 1950s. However all nuclear power plants have been fission reactors. Fission results from bombarding uranium or other large atoms with neutrons. The atom then breaks apart releasing energy and more neutrons leading to a chain reaction. Nuclear fusion however has never been used for energy. Fusion is when two light atomic nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus, vast amounts of energy is produced comes from binding energy due to the strong nuclear force. Fusion power would be the most efficient form of energy if it could be achieved. Deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen) would be the primary source of fuel and is abundant in the ocean and more easily assessable than fossil fuels. The only problem with using fusion as a power source is fusion requires a temperature of about 800 million kelvin. At these high temperatures, the atoms are stripped of there electrons and the positive nuclei breaks into plasma. The excess positive charge causes the fuel to repel from itself. Two approaches exist for confining the fuel for fusion once it reaches extreme temperatures, magnetic confinement and inertial confinement. Magnetic confinement is the more promising and developed approach. In would use a solenoid to cause particles to travel along magnetic field lines thus containing them. Fusion power is still a long way from being practical. However if it could be achieved, it would be the most efficient form of energy.
  12. Since I’ve already done a blog on dark matter I thought why not do one on dark energy as well! Like dark matter, the existence of dark matter has yet to be proven. Despite this, dark energy is theorized to ‘exist’ in very large quantities. Current models have dark energy occupying 68.3% of the universe. So if we can’t prove dark energy exists why do physicists believe it exists? Well because it’s the only thing that would explain why the universe is accelerating. We know from red shift that the universe must not only be expanding but is also accelerating. Thus some sort of energy must be present for the universe to accelerate. The fact that we can’t prove dark energy has lead to problems in predicting the future of the universe. If all dark energy is eventually consumed, the gravitational force of matter could cause the big crunch where the universe collapses back onto itself. Or dark energy could end up eventually overpowering gravity and the strong nuclear forces, ripping atoms apart leading to the big rip. Or the force outwards eventually equals the gravitational force and the universe stops expanding but doesn’t contract.
  13. Antimatter is a very strange concept in physics. Antimatter consists of anti particles that have the same size and mass as their corresponding ‘regular matter’ but opposite charge. For instance a positron is the size of an electron but contains a positive charge. The current theory for the universe, the Big Bang Theory, predicts that an equal amount of matter and anti matter were present at the beginning of the universe. But today, anti matter occupies a negligible amount of the universe’s composure. So physicists have been stumped as to where all the antimatter has gone. Probably the biggest issue with studying antimatter is the fact that antimatter tends to be destroyed and converted to energy a very short time after its creation, because if a particle and its corresponding anti particle collide, the two particles will annihilate and be converted to energy. This poses a problem to physicists as any anti matter created artificially or naturally will very quickly annihilate preventing physicists from studying them. Moments after the big bang, matter and anti-matter were continually colliding and annihilate and then reforming from the energy released. How the universe has become dominated by antimatter is one of science greatest unanswered questions. Antimatter tends to form nuclear decay of atoms, the antimatter then annihilates, producing gamma rays. This is how we know that portions of the universe aren’t ‘dominated’ by anti matter because large amounts of gamma rays would be produced where the matter and antimatter sections intersect.
  14. So I figured I’d, write about why our water bottle rocket failed so miserably on arts fest. Our goal was to use parachutes that would cause our rocket to slowly descend to the ground. Instead of using just one, we figured using two would slow our rockets fall even more. In theory this would have worked fine, however when our rocket reached its maximum height and the nose cone fell off exposing the parachutes, instead of fully opening, the two chutes tangled together and didn’t fully open. The unopened parachutes did very little too slow the decent, causing the rocket to fall very quickly back to the ground. Perhaps sticking to one parachute, or attaching the string of the second parachute to the top of the other would have been a better plan.
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