Experiment

Category archives for Experiment

One of the things about being a physicist that makes it tough to have any sensible work-life balance is that I’m constantly seeing little things and thinking “Oooh! Physics!” then getting distracted from what I’m actually supposed to be doing. Take, for example, our bathroom sink. I have noticed, from time to time, a weird…

Rotational Motion of a Bouncing Football

I followed up my ranty-y post about “Sports Science” with an experimental investigation over at Forbes, tossing a football around on the deck out back and then doing video analysis of the bounces. This provided a wealth of data, much of it not really appropriate for over there, but good for a physics post or…

Energy Dissipation in a Physics Toy

A little while back, I used a photo of SteelyKid’s toy Newton’s cradle as the photo of the day, with a bonus video: I mentioned that I was going to do some analysis of this at some point, but didn’t have time right then. I had a bit of time to poke at this yesterday,…

Me in the Media: Two New Interviews

I’ve been slacking in my obligation to use this blog for self-promotion, but every now and then I remember, so here are two recent things where I was interviewed by other people: — I spoke on the phone to a reporter from Popular Mechanics who was writing a story about “radionics” and “wishing boxes,” a…

The Evolution of a Sad Balloon

A few years back, I did a couple of posts on the physics of a sad balloon (that is, a helium balloon that can no longer lift itself up to the ceiling), the first on simple buoyancy, the second on how long it takes for the helium to leak out. These were based on only…

There’s a new Science Express paper on interfering clocks today, which is written up in Physics World, with comments from yours truly. The quote is from a much longer message I sent– with no expectation that it would end up as anything other than a pull quote, I might add, but I thought the background…

My Week in Waterloo

I spent the last few days in Ontario, attending the Convergence meeting at the Perimeter Institute. This brought a bunch of Perimeter alumni and other big names together for a series of talks and discussions about the current state and future course of physics. My role at this was basically to impersonate a journalist, and…

I’ve been really busy with year-end wrap-up stuff, but have also posted a bunch of stuff at Forbes. which I’ve fallen down on my obligation to promote here… So, somewhat belatedly, here’s a collection of physics-y stuff that I’ve written recently: — Using Atoms To Measure Tiny Forces: A post reporting on some very cool…

I was proctoring an exam yesterday in two different sections of the same class, so I had a lot of quite time. Which means I wrote not one but two new posts for Forbes… The first continues a loose series of posts about the exotic physics behind everyday objects (something I’m toying with as a…

Breaking Boards

One of the highlights of teaching introductory mechanics is always the “karate board” lab, which I start off by punching through a wooden board. That gets the class’s attention, and then we have them hang weights on boards and measure the deflection in response to a known force. This confirms that the board behaves like…