Archives for March, 2010

Weekend Diversion: Happy Pi Day 2010!

So here we have pi squared, which an engineer would call “10.” -Frank King It’s Pi Day today in the United States: March 14th, or as we write it, 3/14. (Don’t know how you do it in Europe, where there is no 31st of April.) So, let’s start things off with a song for the…

Earlier this week, I wrote about an inclined treadmill, and talked about physical work. Physically, the amount of work that you do is equal to the amount of force that you exert in a certain direction multiplied by the distance you move in that direction. If you walk up an incline, as opposed to moving…

The Physics of an Inclined Treadmill

A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul. -Jillian Michaels One of the most popular exercises at the gym is the treadmill. And why wouldn’t it be? Whether you’re running or walking, it’s a great way to get your heart rate up, get your body moving, and for many people,…

Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking. -Dave Barry Welcome back to our series on The Greatest Story Every Told, where we start from before the big bang and come forward in time to get the Universe we…

Find something that you’re really interested in doing in your life. Pursue it, set goals and commit yourself to excellence. Do the best you can. -Chris Evert The Olympics have recently ended, and there were a trio of athletes who left me awestruck at their level of mastery of their sport as compared to the…

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. -Chinese Proverb Every once in a while, we’ll look out into the sky with a telescope, and see some spectacular glowing gas. These nebulae typically come about from dead or dying stars, and are some of the most spectacular sight in the sky for astronomers,…

Disrespecting the Rules

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. -W. Shakespeare After writing about the 80th Birthday of Pluto becoming a planet, I was asked about Pluto’s planetary status, and whether I thought it deserves to be a planet or not. Let me just recap for…

More on Matter vs. Antimatter

Yesterday, I wrote to you about part 5 of The Greatest Story Ever Told, about how the Universe came to have more matter than antimatter in it. And many of you correctly responded that I had given too much detail and not enough explanation. So, I want to try again for all of you. Here’s…

For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that’s our present universe. -Albert Einstein Welcome back to our series, The Greatest Story Ever Told, where we’re recounting the physical history of the Universe, from before…