math

Dot Physics

Category archives for math

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…

Scale Model of the Solar System

The solar system is difficult to show correctly. Why? It is difficult because the size of things are vastly different. Let me use units common in solar-system astronomy, the Astronomical Unit (or AU). One AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth. If I want to look at all the planets, I would…

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…

Science is not math

I probably should have included this idea on my “All about science” blog post. Maybe I didn’t put it in there because if I talk about what science is you can figure out what it is not. Science is not math Science is all about making models. It is true that many current models are…

In the second Cat in the Hat book (I think it is the second one), the Cat reveals that he has more smaller cats under his hat. They are labeled A – Z with Z being so small you can’t even see. Question: What is the sequence of sizes for successive cats? How big would…

The price of a piece of LEGO

This idea comes from my friend Thomas. His son is like mine in that they both think LEGO are awesome, and they are correct. For some reason, Thomas decided to calculate the price per piece of LEGO in each set. To promote repeatability, I decided to do this also. Looking at the catalog at LEGO.com,…

Basics: Fundamentals of Algebra

**pre-reqs:** *none* I know who you are. I have seen you before and talked to you before. You are taking introductory physics and you are scared. Why does this have to be so difficult? It seems like there are a bazillion equations. Calm down, I will try to help. First, realize that algebra and trig…