gravity

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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…

Stratos Jump for Mere Mortals

Crazy, but I was on CNN Saturday night. They contacted me at the last minute to talk about the Red Bull Stratos Jump. Here is a screen shot to show that I am not making this up (or that I have awesome photoshop skillz). Looking back, maybe I looked like an idiot. Really though, it…

Grades are in. So, let me just say a couple of trends that I saw on the physical science final exam. Gravity on the moon I asked the question: “why is the gravitational force on an astronaut less on the moon than on Earth?” The simplest answer is that the gravitational field on the moon…

Airlock examples

I was going through and tagging some old posts. While looking at a post attacking the movie Sunshine, I accidentally found something else on youtube. Gravity in Sunshine I could not find a clip online of the scene I want, so I made a cartoon. Basically, (oh – spoiler alert) some guys are trying to…

Debris field for a broken meteor

I happened to catch two parts of two different episodes of Meteorite Men – a show about two guys that look for meteorites. In both of the snippets I saw, they were talking about a debris field for a meteor that breaks up. In these fields, the larger chunks of the meteorite are further down…

Faster than terminal velocity

I had so much fun creating graphs for the Red Bull Stratos Space Jump calculation, that I figured I should make some more. Can you fall faster than terminal velocity? That is the question. Air Resistance Air resistance is a force exerted on an object as it moves through some stuff – air in this…

xkcd and Gravity Wells

Wow. In xkcd 681 comic, there is an impressive illustration of the common term “gravity well”. Here is a small part of that large image: I can’t resist. I must talk about this awesome illustration. My goal for this post is to help someone understand that comic (although the comic itself does a pretty good…

Millikan Oil Drop without the Oil

I found this in the most recent issue of The Physics Teacher (September 2009). Surprisingly, there were several good articles in this issue. One article discusses a doable version of the Millikan Oil drop experiment. Maybe you are not a (or were not) a physics major, so you might not be familiar with how cool,…

Giant water slide jump

Thanks to Nick for showing me this video (Check out his blog – Fine Structure): See more funny videos and TBT Videos at Today’s Big Thing. Wow. That was my first reaction. My second reaction was: no way. Is this real life? I just don’t know. How hard would it be to find out exactly…

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…