Dot Physics

Archives for March, 2010

More ESPN Sport Science Goodness

Let me be clear. I am not really an attacker. If someone wrote a report about ski jumping or something and misused the word “momentum”, no big deal. However, if you have a show that claims to be about SCIENCE and you are obviously putting a lot of money into this show AND a whole…

Pre Reqs: vectors, forces This is typically the first topic in the second semester of introductory physics – the interaction between objects with electric charge. There are 4 fundamental forces that physics typically looks at: Gravity – an interaction between objects with mass – wow, I don’t have a post on the universal law of…

Education Should be Free

The other day I was having a discussion with my brother about software and free software. Somehow I said I like it when software is free. Since he is a programmer and likes to get paid to program, he said “education should be free.” I think I might agree with him. I previously talked about…

Activities for Pi Day

Oh, I know you missed it. Really, it wasn’t your fault. Pi day fell on a Sunday, so how are you supposed to have pi-day activities in class? Don’t let it stop you. You are better than that. Do the activity anyway. What to do? Here are some suggestions. (Suggestions aimed mostly at the high…

VCalc: Me Likie

Do you have an iPhone? I have an iPod Touch. Do you use vectors? Do you think RPN calculators are the bomb? Here is a RPN calculator for the iPhone that supports vector notation. VCalc by Silicon Prairie Ventures Inc. Oh – it is free. Here is a screen shot. I played with it some,…

Pi: how many digits do you need?

The most basic explanation of Pi is that it is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter for a circle. That seems simple enough, but it turns out that Pi is an irrational number – so you can’t just write it down. Oh, I know that you are an uber-geek and you could recite…

Scratch version of Pi estimation

I already went over a Monte Carlo method for estimating Pi – you know, for Pi-Day (March 14). Well, here is a small addition. This is the same thing done in Scratch. If you create an account on Scratch, you can download the code of any project. I like Scratch.

On the 8th Day, God made Pi

Pi day is March 14th – get it? (3.14) I am a big fan of Pi. Here is my first post to celebrate the awesomeness of Pi (I know this is early, but I was too excited to wait). How can you determine Pi? Oh sure, tons of high schools do the classic experiment. Measure…

I know many readers like the fermi questions (like how much would it cost to review all youtube submissions). Well, you are in luck – Diary of Numbers is having an estimation contest. Here is the question: Mario has appeared in over 200 video games as Nintendo’s main mascot. He has starred in TV shows,…

Hat tip to Frank for sending me a link to this video: If you have never done a demo like this (without the motorcycle), you should. It really isn’t too difficult. Here is a video of my version: Inertial demo from Rhett Allain on Vimeo. So, the question is: is the motorcycle thing real or…