Dot Physics

Archives for August, 2009

5th Gear Loop the Loop

Maybe this is a little old (in internet age), but it is a great example. Here is the Loop-the-loop stunt from the show Fifth Gear. I like this. First, it is a bold stunt. But also, there is some good physics here. Though, most importantly, the Fifth Gear producers were kind enough to include a…

Millikan Oil Drop without the Oil

I found this in the most recent issue of The Physics Teacher (September 2009). Surprisingly, there were several good articles in this issue. One article discusses a doable version of the Millikan Oil drop experiment. Maybe you are not a (or were not) a physics major, so you might not be familiar with how cool,…

I re-watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night and my wife and I noticed something about teaching. Of course I mentioned that this would make a good blog post (and she may still post it on her blog, but I can’t help myself). If you have not read the book or…

Underwater explosion analysis

I saw this video on digg or reddit. I can’t remember which. I was in awe. Then I started thinking. I wonder how fast that water was moving up right after the explosion. Too bad the video doesn’t have a scale. Well, it kind of does – there is that ship. I am terrible at…

I found this link on twitter from New Scientist. ‘iTunes university’ better than the real thing This pretty much sums it up: “Students have been handed another excuse to skip class from an unusual quarter. New psychological research suggests that university students who download a podcast lecture achieve substantially higher exam results than those who…

Parkour Physics: Wall Climb

Forgive me if I don’t know the official parkour term for this move. This is where you have two walls that are close to each other and you vertically climb them. Here is a shot of Mark Witmer (from Ninja Warrior) doing the wall climb. Doesn’t look too hard, does it? Well, I think it…

I got this question. How does this game work? Really, this is one of those silly things that gets forwarded a lot. It is called Regifting Robin. The basic idea is: pick a 2 digit number, like 37 subtract both the number in the tens place and the number in the ones place from the…

Student Letters from the Future

I wrote two letters (for two different classes). These are letters from the students of the near future to themselves in the present. this first one is for a non-majors lab. In this lab, I let them turn in “informal” lab reports that they can then use on the midterm and the final exam. The…

Modeling vs. Art

I have been reflecting on my recent failure to realize that the Giant Water Slide Jump was fake (more analysis here). I think the guys that made this video did a really good job on several levels. First, the motion appears to do two important things: shows constant acceleration in the vertical direction shows constant…

Hydrino and good PR

This is amazing. I can’t believe that power companies are paying Blacklight Power money, but they are. I guess Blacklight Power must have great advertising. Ok, so what is this whole Blacklight-hyrdino thing? Honestly, I am not fully familiar with it, but basically this guy says that you can get energy by getting the electron…