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Everything posted by jfrachioni

  1. jfrachioni

    the end

    i thought because i started my bloggery with a prediction and outlook of the course, that i should end it all with an analysis of the year. my thoughts on Mr. Fullerton as a teacher are that he is great at explaining things, and teaching in general. the course is very difficult, and he makes it easier to handle. i also think independent units are a good thing, and that they should be continued. as for blogs, i definitely think writing can help cement understanding of physics concepts, however my opinion is that there are less painful ways of doing so than writing blogs. although I only took half a year of calc, i found the material i learned in that half was more than enough to carry me through this course, yet a whole year would have probably provided me with an even better understanding of this material. i think there should be more projects, contests at the end of the year, and less kerbal, although the kerbal program was extremely educational and interesting, so the best thing may be a balance of the two. all in all, its over and im looking forward to college.
  2. have you ever tried forging currency? i know i have. turns out, its not as easy as it looks. paper money has many copy-resistant properties that people can use to distinguish real from fake money. one example of this is the ink used to print a portion of the bill. this ink is special because it changes color depending on the angle it is looked at. this is achieved by infusing the ink with microscopic prisms that have sides that reflect different wavelengths of light. they also have strips of paper inside of them with ink that glows under ultraviolet light. like the highlighters i discussed in a previous post, these strips have a special chemical that turns the ultraviolet light into visible light, a trait that is very useful for detecting fake money.
  3. have you ever wondered how your refrigerator gets things cold? i have. turns out, refrigerators use the same physics to cool things as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and many other household devices. what happens is there is a compressor, two coils of tubing, and an aperture; all working together to make your beverages so damn frosty. if you listen to a refrigerator, what you probably hear is the compressor. the compressor uses electricity to create pressure in the external coil, letting it expel energy as heat, then the gas flows through the aperture and expands, soaking up the same amount of energy from inside the fridge as it just expelled through the external coil. this process is repeated, and the heat is effectively pumped out of the fridge. this principle can be demonstrated with a aerosol can. when you push the nozzle down for a few seconds, the can gets cool. this is because it soaks up the energy from your hand as the gas expands, much in the same way the gasses do in the fridge.
  4. I just read the blog post about the Faraday cage shoplifter, and felt inspired to talk about another use for faraday cages. in todays modern society, mostly everything is electronically operated. since a few years ago, this electronic wave has grown to include credit cards. some companies today put electronic tags in their cards so that one need only to swipe their purse or wallet in front of a sensor to pay for items at stores. unfortunately, hackers have managed to create a handheld device that reads the card information, such as name of person, their address, and credit card number, much in the same way that the sensors in stores do. the scary thing is that these devices are portable, so someone with one of these devices would just need to pass by you in public to read all your information. the solution to this problem has been fabricated by wallet companies, who have made a faraday cage wallet, stopping hackers in their tracks by blocking all induction by radio waves.
  5. i don't know if its a law, but as a kid I've always been told to walk on the right side of the road. whether we have adopted this because someone decided that people should have a dedicated side of the road to walk on, or for some other social reason, im here to tell you why its a good idea from a physics standpoint. at least here in america, where the cars drive on the right side as well, physics says that people are safer when they walk on the right. it all has to do with relative velocities. when cars and people are going in the same direction, the velocity of the car relative to the person is less than the velocity of a car relative to a person when people travel in the direction opposite traffic, as when people walk on the left side. what does this mean? if a person traveling on the right is hit by a car, the relative velocity of the car is less than that of a person traveling on the left, so the acceleration of the person on the right would be greater, resulting in more injury.
  6. highlighters can be useful in many situations, and when you highlight something, it is pretty surprising how bright they look. the other day i was wondering this exact thought, so i decided to look it up. when you see a color, the amount of light entering your eyes is usually the same as the amount of visible light of those frequencies the color reflects at you, however, with highlighter ink, this isn't the case. when you highlight something, apparently the color you see actually creates its own light. visible light, that is. As i found, highlighter ink contains an ingredient that takes invisible light like infra-red and ultraviolet that are emitted along with visible light in most light sources and turns them into visible light, making the ink look brighter than the light that shines on it. the fact that we know how to do this is amazing to me.
  7. I made the transition from regular to electric toothbrush a month or two ago, and aside from the noticeable improvement in my oral hygiene, I've been thinking about how the toothbrush charges. I understand the manufacturers motivation for not using exposed electrical contacts, as such a design may let water inside, however i found the alternative to be far more puzzling. when you want to charge it, conveniently, you only have to place it on the peg protruding from the base plugged into the wall. With a design including no electrical contact between base and brush, i was confused as to how energy was passed between the devices, however now i think i have an answer. what i think is that the energy in the base is sent to the brush through a magnetic field. there are two coils, one in the brush, and one in the base. when the base is energized, the magnetic field it creates envelops the brush coil, inducing a current, and charging the battery. physics is truly everywhere.
  8. as i was browsing youtube the other day, i came across this video of a kid who had the unique talent of being able to throw a business card with extreme speed and precision. as i sat in awe of his skills, i began to ponder the mechanisms by which he is able to throw such a flimsy object at such high speeds. when the movie plays through a slow motion section, i am able to have a look at the nature of the cards trajectory. I think the reason he can perform this cool task is because he throws the card with a flick of his wrist, imparting a spin on the card as it is propelled forward. like a bullet, the gyroscopic forces the spin creates allow the card to fly stable in the orientation that provides the least amount of air resistance to the card. you will notice in the video that such spin has certain side effects. air resistance acts on one side of the card more than the other, a result of the fact that the spin makes the sides of the card have different velocities relative to the air. this force, along with the gyroscopic force, cause the card to fly tangential to an invisible ark through the air. you would think this makes it hard for the kid to be accurate, yet surprisingly, he seems to do pretty well despite of it. P.S. i don't really know how to attach a video, so be sure to follow the link below. or else.
  9. recently, ive been interested in space exploration. not so much exploring stuff, but specifically life aboard the international space station. As one can imagine, everyday tasks we think little about on earth can be pretty complicated without gravity. on earth, we dont have much expirience with surface tension because gravity tends to have far more of an affect on liquids. In space, however, the absence of gravity results in surface tension being much more noticeable, and extremely useful. because the space station is filled with equiptment that is expensive and necissary, yet vulnerable to water, the fact that water likes to stick to itself is useful because when astronauts clean, drink or in general when water is floating about, the water contains itself and doesn't go flying into the nearest piece of machinery. even with simple tasks, like eating lunch, astronauts will sometimes take advantage of water tension to keep an object in place; placing a dab of water on the bottom of a can and placing it on the table to keep it from floating off. in the picture, you see a blob of free floating water in space, with an air bubble chilling inside, just because it can.
  10. a few days ago, i put a plastic water bottle in the freezer, hoping that it would cool more rapidly than if i had put it in the fridge. accidentally, i ended up forgetting about it, and a few hours later when i opened the freezer, i witnessed an intriguing phenomenon. when i opened the fridge, i expected the water to be completely frozen, however to my surprise, it was still liquid. after taking the bottle out and placing it on the counter, something else completely unexpected happened; the water immediately began crystallizing. my mind was blown as i saw the wave of ice overcome that which was once liquid. in a matter of seconds, the transformation was complete. Why did this happen? through a little research, i soon found the answer. among much speculation, most sources seemed to agree that the delayed crystallization occurred because the water was too still to crystallize when its temperature dropped below freezing. apparently the crystallization process of any material needs some encouragement. what works most of the time is the ambient vibrations of the refrigerator, or other things, lightly tapping the molecules into their crystal structure. for whatever reason, those vibrations weren't enough to get my water bottle to crystallize, however what was enough was the slight tap on the counter as i removed it. the tap shook the molecules enough for a small group to fall into their crystal structure and freeze. with the presence of that small initial crystal, or what smart people like to call a seed crystal, the rest of the water molecules started falling into place around the starting point, the crystal growing to the size of the entire bottle. physics can be pretty mysterious.
  11. yesterday i opened the window in my room because it was particularly warm outside, and throughout the day as i entered and left my room, i would accidently slam my door, even though i was accelerating it to the same speed to close it as i usually do. as i got used to my now much easier to close door, i thought about possible explainations for this annoying phenomenon. i hypothesized that the culprit was my open window. i figured that when the window was closed, the shutting of my door was harder because while shutting, i was doing work not only on the door, but also on the gasses inside my room because the door acted like a plunger, increasing the volume of my room faster than air could enter and decreasing the pressure inside. with my window open, gas can come in both through the window and through the crack under the door, increasing the speed at which air could enter, therefore decreasing the difference between the rate of incoming air and the rate of increasing volume. with this difference smaller, the door does less work on the air inside because it doesnt need to decrease the pressure to close. with the window closed, i was used to giving more speed to the door to close it, but now that the window is open and less of the energy i give the door is used to change pressure, the speed i usually use is too much, and the door slams.
  12. ill admit its a bit far to reach for a blog post. also it doesnt make too much sense without seeing the movie, which i dont reccomend.
  13. usually, when shot at, the average person would have neither the reaction time, nor the hair strength to deflect a bullet with a braid of his hair. the mere thought of such an impulse delivered to a bullet without crushing it or harming the hair seems to go against all physics, however for those of you who have seen the movie pootie tang, starring pootie tang, you know that pootie dont need no words, pootie dont need no music, and apparently pootie dont need no physics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F8ahCk_qhY
  14. last year with Mr. Powlin we made some simple water bottle rockets after the ap exam. as we designed and built, we had a basic understading of what our rockets were supposed to look like, but for the most part were in the dark as far as the technical physics behind it. this is what i hope to explain. the common expression "this isnt rocket science" may have you expecting long equations with foreign symbols, however simple rocketry in its essence is counterintuitively pretty simple. for the type of rockets we made last year, only one condition is required for it to maintain its orientation, being that the center of mass must be higher on the rocket than the center of drag. This is why Mr. Powlin kept telling us its better to have more weight at the tip, the farthest point ahead of the center of drag, the fins. keep in mind that this only accounts for the meathod of stabilization using friction, as there are other ways to keep a projectile oriented, such as the use of gyroscopic forces, as used in bullets. PS, if you want to calculate more complicated aspects of rocketry, you will run into some pretty nasty equations.
  15. jfrachioni


    if you were to ask an average physics student about graphene, he would probably tell you about its potential to be used for its structural properties, more specifically its unsurpassed strength to thickness ratio. However, graphene also has many unique and desireable electrical traits. Because graphene is extremely thin, relatively strong, and conductive, you can use sheets of it as plates for a capacitor. the advantageous thing about a graphene capacitor is that you can fit a lot of plate surface area into a small space, giving the capacitor a much higher energy density than conventional batteries. With this technology inside a common electronic device such as an ipod, for the same storage space one could theoretically charge it to full capacity in as little as three seconds, the charge lasting several weeks. although this technology is still far off, one can imagine how mch it would change our lives.
  16. one very dull free period today i was wondering if Mr. Fullerton had not gone into physics, what would be his profession? i found prison-hardened hardcore gangster rap artist to be the most probable of options.
  17. so the other day i let my rabbit have free range of my room for a few hours as i was doing my webassign, and after a while the mouse i was using for my computer stopped working. i checked the plug, and to my confusion it was still plugged in. as i attempted to diagnose the problem i looked below my desk for a moment, finding my rabbit with a mouthful of copper and plastic. tasty. unfortunately he had not only chewed through my mouse cable, but also that of my webcam, among others. i got out my soldering iron and strippers, and as i removed the insulating tubing from each wire i found something interesting. on the mouse wire i removed the insulation to find only the four wires typical of a usb cord, however as i peeled back the insulation on the webcam wire, there was a second layer of braided wire and foil around the center four wires. at first i thought this may be an other data-carrying wire, or possibly a ground, which wouldnt make sense since usb uses very low voltage. i then realized it was just a conducting shell there to block interference with the webcams image quality from outside radio noise using the faraday cage effect. i hypothesized that my mouse didnt have this extra layer because the location of a mouse pointer is somewhat arbitrary on the small scale, so blocking this small ammount of interference would not be cost effective for the company that made it. moral of the story: faraday cages can be pretty useful.
  18. you seem to have much first hand experience with impulse.
  19. there has been a large amount of misconception around this topic, a major contributor being the fact that people mix cornstarch and water and call it a non-newtonian fluid, when in fact it is only a colloid. colloids are not fluids, as they are heterogeneous, consisting of liquid and fine particle mix. they have changing viscosity because the particles cant flow away as fast as the liquid, and are bunched together as a pseudo solid. this is different from a non newtonian fluid because the fluid changes viscosity because it is in a near-crystalline state, and acts like a crystalline solid as pressure is applied. some examples of this are jolly ranchers(corn starch), some types of bullet proof glass, and shampoo
  20. due to my procrastinativity, i now have to due all ten posts in one night. its getting quite bland. i feel like talking about computer screens, as it is what i have been staring at for the last hour. so i shall. most screens are lcd, or liquid crystal display. i dont really know why crystals are involved, but it makes me sound like i know what im talking about. in an lcd screen, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of small boxes called pixels that make up an image. Typically, each pixel is composed of three sections, each for one of three of the primary colors. as you probably know, the primary colors are all you need to make any color out there, however there are two different sets of primary colors, to be used with different applications. why? one set is the additive primarys and the other is the subtractive primarys. in second grade art class, the primary colors were red, blue, and yellow; the subtractive primarys. these were used because paints and inks and such use subtractive color blending, meaning they absorb, or subtract out some wavelengths of light that hit them, the rest reflecting into your eyes as a specific color. each color subtracts a different wavelength from the original white and reflects only one wavelength, and by blending them you can subtract just the right amount of each from white for your desired color. for computer screens, however, (also projectors, ipods, anything that emits light to create colors), the additive primaries are used, being red, blue, and green, one for each section of pixel in an lcd screen. these are different because with a pixel, colors are created additively, or shining just the right ammount of each wavelength from the different color sections, adding just the right ammount of each for your intended color. for example, you see yellow on a screen because red and green light is hitting your retina, activating some green receptors and some red receptors, which your brain recognises as yellow because it is close to the middle of these two wavelengths. also, white light can only be made with additive primaries, as you add all the wavelengths while black light can only be made by subtractive primaries, when you subtract all the wavelenghts from the original white. doesnt this mean computer screens cant create black? they do so by not adding any color, relying on the background of the screen to absorb light that hits it, so actually, every pixel displaying this text is actually every pixel thats not displaying this text. mind. blown.
  21. i have a problem. every time i pick up a cat to let it fall to its death, it manages to turn around mid air and land square on its feet, even when im not giving it any initial rotational speed. the law of conservation of angular momentum says that the cat can not start rotating after i have dropped it, assuming it starts with no angular momentum at all. so how they do it? turns out, they actually bend themselves into a v shape in mid air, breaking their rotational axis in two. this lets them turn their front half against their bottom half via muscles in their torso, resulting in both rotational motion along the center of mass, and along each side of the v they created with their body. this allows them to quickly spin around while still conserving their total angular momentum. when theyve turned 180 degrees, the cat simply bends out from the v shape, into what is more or less a line, in which state the cats is not turning at all, because the net angular momentum must be zero, conserved from the beginning. therefore, cats are immortal.
  22. jfrachioni


    This being my first blog post, i feel obligated to comply with the requests of Mr. Fullerton, and share with my loyal readers some things about myself and my outlook toward physics c. To describe my background, i would say that i have a wide range of interests, a large portion of which are science related, including microelectronics, circuitry, optics, botany, and laser physics, and a small amount of computer sciences, though i am not very good at it. the main reason i am taking physics c is because my brother tells me calculus is helpful for things, and simply because i am fond of the subject. last year, Mr. Powlin told us that c is more focused on electricity and magnetism than b, which is something i would like to learn more about. the bulk of my anxiety for this class stems from the fact that there is a lot of work to be done, something i am not looking forward to. overall, i think this year will be a valuable experience. thus concludes my first transmission.
  23. you left out the retard ing forces
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