Dot Physics

Archives for May, 2010

Electric eel at the aquarium

We went to the aquarium, the kids like it. In the Amazon river section, they have an electric eel. Here is the sign next to the Eel. Sorry for the poor image quality. I took the picture with my crappy phone and didn’t even realize it was bad until later. I used some magic on…

Why would I think that?

So suppose you saw something that looked like this: This is a ball shot out of a shooter device. Well, it is a vypthon animation of a ball. What would you do if you came to see this video? If I had not made it, I would say it is an unrealistic video. It does…

BANG! Physics and Art

You should check this out – its free. This is a very creative take on some of the ideas of physics. Think of it as physics meets Dr. Seuss, but with more detailed art work. Created by James Dunbar, it is quite fun to read. Of course, there are some things that are always exactly…

Thinking about teaching physics

Sometimes (ok – just once) I get asked for recommendations about reading material on the ideas of teaching physics. I used to recommend Arnold Arons book on teaching introductory physics. Still, that is a classic and a great resource. However, there is a better one. Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite – Edward Redish Originally,…

Tell and Repeat courses

Even though I have taught courses like this before (in a sense, my last physical science course was like this), I really don’t like these courses. I will classify a “tell and repeat” course as one where the instructor tells the students stuff and then the students repeat this on the test. Look around, it…

Tail-Drop Analysis

I don’t know why they call it a tail drop. Here is a video: The link I clicked that brought me to this video said the equivalent of “OMG!” That is not what I thought, really I am not sure what is so impressive (except that he didn’t fall off the skateboard). If the original…

I am still thinking about the Red Bull Stratos Jump. Sorry, but there is just tons of great physics here. Next question – how big of a balloon would you need to get up to 120,000 feet? I am not going into the buoyancy details of Archimedes Principle – I think that was covered fairly…

When is noon?

I was at the zoo this weekend, it was fun but hot. Somewhere near the middle, there was a sun dial. The cool thing (well, I think sun dials are cool anyway) was that the shadow was pointing about to the “12”. I looked at my watch and it said 1:05 PM. What is up…

A note about the end of the semester (I really should have posted this a few weeks ago): sometimes I get students that come in and say they are not happy with their grade. It is not unusual for them to come in right before the test, but it seems more common to come after…

Star Trek Space Jump

While I am still fresh on the Space Jump topic, let me take it to the extreme. Star Trek extreme. SPOILER ALERT But really, is this a spoiler alert if it is from the trailer of a movie that has been out forever? Of course, I talking about the latest Star Trek movie where three…