Dot Physics

Archives for January, 2010

Chemistry-Physics Recruiting Video

Today is show-n-tell day (at least for this blog). Our department (Chemistry and Physics) has recently been focusing on increasing our undergraduate enrollment. One of the steps we have taken is to have the following video created. I think it is pretty good. Southeastern Louisiana University Chemistry and Physics from SELU Chem and Phys on…

Average Speed Argument

My dad and I had a disagreement. We were driving back from a trip and he let me take over the wheel for a while. His complaint was that I was driving too slow and it was driving him crazy. For me, I thought I was driving fast. My typical behavior is to drive 3…

Here is a picture of something you have seen before. These are two pictures of the same location in my house. The one on the left is taken when the Sun was up outside and the other one when it was dark outside. For both pictures, I had the same lights turned on inside. So,…

AutoTracker and a landing plane

If you know me, you know I love Tracker Video Analysis. Basically, it is a free-java program that allows you to get position-time data of a moving object from a video. In Tracker version 3.10, there is now the autotracker feature. This will automagically mark the location of an object moving in a video. How…

When to not use a camera flash

Check out this picture. These camera flashes are just awesome (well, they look awesome). They are not a very useful thing for pictures in this case. Here is the problem. Well, first here is what the flash on a camera is supposed to do. Suppose there is a camera and a ball in a dark…

Fitness Fun

I hate to be left out. ScienceBlogs, Starts with Bang has started a fitness theme that we are encouraged to participate in. I like to participate. I even had some good ideas. Here is what I was thinking: Look at the physics of Wii-fit (actually, this one is good, I should come back to it…

In a MythBusters episode some time ago, Adam and Jamie jumped off a building. There was some cool stuff in this, but I want to focus on the acceleration data they collected. Before jumping into a pit of foam, they first wanted to test the set up by dropping a dummy into it and measuring…

Some quick comments on learning

I am totally ready to get back to blogging. In fact, I have a post that is 3/4th complete that I have been working on since before Christmas. Anyway, in order to procrastinate a little bit more I would like to share two learning observations (maybe they are not really about learning). Kids these day…

This is great. Many people have already reported google’s apple-dropping homepage in honor Newton’s birthday. In case it disappears, here is a screen shot. So, I got this awesome note from Dale Basler. He said that his class had analyzed this falling apple animation. What a very Dot Physics-y idea (check out his analysis). He…

xkcd and Gravity Wells

Wow. In xkcd 681 comic, there is an impressive illustration of the common term “gravity well”. Here is a small part of that large image: I can’t resist. I must talk about this awesome illustration. My goal for this post is to help someone understand that comic (although the comic itself does a pretty good…