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Category archives for model

Some Tips for Punkin Chunkin

I already attacked the 2008 Punkin Chunkin Show. So, now I going to give the chunkers some tips. In case you aren’t familiar, the Punkin Chunkin contest has teams create devices to launch a pumpkin. They have different categories, but I am going to focus on the air-powered devices. The basic idea is to make…

The development of the atomic model

I love this story. It is a story of how ideas changed about the nature of the atom. These are the notes (and diagrams) I use when I teach the atomic nature of matter to non-science majors. The best thing about this story is that it is a great example of science. Science (or scientists)…

Tides. Why are they so hard?

Every introductory astronomy text and most intro physics texts talk about tides. The usual explanation is something along the lines of: The moon exerts a gravitational force on the Earth and all the stuff on the Earth. This force decreases with distance (1/r2). Thus the moon pulls greater on one side of the Earth than…

Some of the other blog sites have talked about physics vs. chemistry. It seems this started with The experimental Error blog. Tom at Swans on Tea added a very excellent point to the discussion and the discussion continues at Uncertain Principles. So, here is my take on the subject. Physics essentially deals with the fundamental…

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…

There are a couple of things I should probably not talk about. One of them is photons. But no matter what you think about photons you will probably agree that this is not a very good description of electromagnetic radiation. (from comos4kids.com) Structure of Energy:All EM energy waves travel at the speed of light when…

Some things about science

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time. Really, I wanted to reply to Chad’s article on science at Uncertain Principles, but you know how things go. So, here are my key and interesting points about science in random order.

Modeling the head of a beer

When you pour a beer, there is this foamy top called the head. The size of the head decreases over time. What is this process dependent on? Clearly, little bubbles of beer are popping. Does each bubble have an equal probability of popping? Do only the bubbles on the top (or bottom) pop? I became…

Podcasts are great. While cleaning the car today, I listened to a new one – Stuff you missed in history class (itunes link). In one episode, they were talking about alternative theories about early visits to America. There was some guy that was claiming the Chinese visited the new world 70 years before Columbus (or…

[In part I of this post](http://scienceblogs.com/dotphysics/2008/11/interaction-between-light-and-matter-no-room-for-the-photon/), I struggled to show that a particle in an infinite well can only exist at certain energies. If you try to put a particle with more than one energy, the probability oscillates at a frequency (E2 – E1)/h. So, what is next? Well I think I am ready to…