power

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Category archives for power

Power source for a lightsaber

This one has been on my mind for quite some time. What kind of power source would you need to run a lightsaber? I was actually worried recently about this post when I saw the Discovery Channel show “Sci Fi Science“. In that particular episode Michio Kaku talks about how you would actually build a…

Another electric motorcycle post. (Here is the post on the wind-recharged drag racing motorcycle) This new one is a solar powered motorcycle. The site claims that the bike can go 50 miles on a full charge (from Gas2.org). This is easily possible, but how long would it take to charge with normal solar panels? Here…

I just realized that something has been bothering me. It is this KillaCycle – the electric zoom-fast motorcycle that I posted about previously. It clearly is super fast. However there are two claims that seem iffy. It can be recharged in 4 minutes. It is recharged by wind power. It may be possible that these…

First: Car Talk is awesome. I wish I could come up with some class activities that help students become as good at trouble shooting and critical thinking as Tom and Ray are. Anyway, they are quite entertaining. So, my Dad called and told me he heard a discussion on Car Talk about the effect DC…

It is spring break, so we are at my parents house for a couple of days. The kids like it because there is a pool, a heated pool even. It really isn’t that cold outside, but yesterday the water measured at 62 oF. So, with some help from the kids, we cleaned out the pool…

Physics of the Water Rocket

I said I would come back to this, and I am. I am a man of my word. Yesterday, I posted a link to a video of this really cool water rocket thingy. How does this work? What is the physics going on here? I think this can be best explained with the momentum principle.

90,000 KWhr for half a month

I just can’t pass this up. One of the chemistry majors had a complaint with the power company. After an unusually high previous power bill, they checked the electric meter half way through the month. The meter said they had used 90,000 kilowatt-hrs of electricity. That is a lot of energy. It is also a…

Here is an article from Wired.com that talks about a used cooking oil generator. It’s a really neat idea in that the oil is right there anyway. Here is my problem – from the article: A new garage-engineered generator burns the waste oil from restaurants’ deep fryers to generate electricity and hot water. Put 80…

Gas prices may be trending down, but they are still quite high. How can we save gas? One of my colleagues suggested we can save gas by getting rid of all drive throughs. This means it is my job to estimate how much could be saved. **Starting Assumptions (estimations)** How many drive-throughs are there in…

Which wastes more fuel? (and thus produces more carbon dioxide). This is a difficult to question to answer for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that a speed change from 71 mph to 70 mph is different than a reduction from 56 to 55 mph. First, let me be clear that the question…