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Category archives for physics

Watermelon Collisions – ouch

Through random surfing, I found this clip from The Amazing Race (which is apparently some type of reality show). Don’t really know the set up except that it appears some girl is trying to launch watermelons with a slingshot. This looks bad, but she seems to not be seriously injured. Watermelon smashed on face. Wow.…

Happy g day

Actually, it should be called Happy “Magnitude of the local Earth gravitational field” day. You know, 9.8 N/kg on September 8 (9/8). Get it? Well, the idea was for the physics students and faculty to build some stuff to do outside – projectile motion type stuff. Well, we had the idea a while ago and…

What the heck is this answer 3

Congratulations Fran. Not only did she answer the “What the heck is this?” correctly, she was the first commenter. Here is the original item: It is of course a gas discharge tube. You put these tubes in there (as shown above) with helium or neon or whatever in there and it excites the gas to…

The Curving Soccer Ball

You can call it football if it makes you happy. Anyway, this is a popular story going around. The physics of the magic curving soccer kick. Here are two ends of the spectrum. First, there is the lower, easier to consume version from io9.com Physics forced to come up with whole new equation to explain…

What the HECK is that? Number 3.

Please note the official change of the title of this game, it is no longer “what is this”. Here is the item: I suspect someone will know what this is. Honestly, I didn’t figure it out right away. However, I have found that the readers as a group generally are more knowledgeable than me by…

What if everyone jumped?

Might as well jump. Jump. Go ahead, jump. – Van Halen Suppose everyone in the world got together and jumped. Would the Earth move? Yes. Would it be noticeable? Time for a calculation. Note: I am almost certain that I have done this before, but I can’t find where. Starting assumptions. 7 billion people. Average…

Variation in throwing a ball

I might as well make a new tag called “basketball throws” because I can’t stop with the analysis of these crazy basketball shots. Watch – in the end someone is going to post a video about how all these were faked (and I have said there is no clear evidence they are fake). Oh, if…

More basketball analysis

Reader Jorge has also looked at these amazing basketball shots. (here is my last basketball analysis) Jorge claims that at least one shot seems fake. He is referring to the following video (at around the 2:20 mark). ARRGH Ok, new plan. For some dumb reason, youtube won’t let me embed this video. Well, here is…

Let me start with the video. Here is a guy flying a plane in a barrel roll and pouring some tea at the same time. Talk about multitasking. How can he pour upside down? Well, there are two ways to look at this. First, I can look at this in the frame of the plane.…

Videos and traditional lecture

I see that Doug at Nanoscale Views has fond memories of the hit show The Mechanical Universe. If you have never seen this show, it is quite excellent (even if old). Perhaps the best thing about The Mechanical Universe is that it might be the best that traditional lecturing can provide. Oh, I know it…