Dot Physics

Archives for September, 2009

This is really a lab that I have students do, but I am pretty sure they don’t read this blog – so it is ok. If they are reading this, hi! We have these projectile cannons that shoot small balls. In order to look at projectile motion, they need to first determine the launch speed…

Tracker Video Analysis and Mac OS X 10.6

I was shocked. After installing Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Tracker Video Analysis didn’t work. This is one of my favorite programs for blogging. It appears that the problem is with 32 bit Java vs. 64 bit. I don’t really understand why one doesn’t work, but Tracker doesn’t work with 64 bit Java and that…

Momentum and Football

I think we are entering a new era. An era where it is quite simple to find and get great videos. Oh, just saw a great tackle on the TV? In the old days, you would have to get that video off the TV yourself. Not anymore. Welcome to the interwebs. Also, the quality is…

How high does a bullet go?

You know I like the Mythbusters, right? Well, I have been meaning to look at the shooting bullets in the air myth for quite some time. Now is that time. If you didn’t catch that particular episode, the MythBusters wanted to see how dangerous it was to shoot a bullet straight up in the air.…

Census Results

Thanks to all who participated in the Dot Physics Census. Let me share some of the things that I learned: The survey was flawed. How dumb was I? Almost everyone would fit into more than one of those categories. Oh well. Google Docs makes pretty good surveys. I made a form in google docs and…

Dot Physics Census

This is Tom’s fault (Swans on Tea). He suspects that most of the physics blogs are read by physics bloggers. I have kind of been avoiding this, but I guess I need to know who my readers are. Actually, there are two groups of readers – regular readers and googlers. So, who are you? Loading……

Light and Waves – at a basic level

Yes, this can be very complicated. But what should a middle-school student understand about light? You see stuff in textbooks that is either wrong or just a bunch of disconnected factoids (I like the word factoid). So, what do I think is important about light (not at the Maxwell’s equations level) What is a wave…

More Flu Measures

The administration are people too. I just want to start off saying that. However, in this case, I just don’t get it. The more I think about it, the less I get it. Here is the plan our administration came up with. Faculty will report class absences for every Tuesday and Wednesday course. Absence reports…

Tales from SPIN-UP

As I said before, I went a SPIN-UP workshop (you can find tons of info and the SPIN-UP report here). The basic idea of the SPIN-UP program is to first look at schools that are successful in their production of undergraduate physics majors. And with an understanding of what makes them successful, help other institutions…

Snow Board Jump Help

I really shouldn’t do this. I might be helping someone to set up something dangerous. But, I am going to anyway. Here is a question posted on some forum. (actually, it is from math help forum) “I’m anticipating a good winter this year, one with lots of snow. My yard is sloped quite a bit…