# 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…

# Notes on the Physical Science Final Exam

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…