The winners of the blog post challenge for FOP 1206. Congratulations!

 

Section 1

Lisa “Lisa Marie” Townsend

 

Have you ever wondered why you experience a small shock after getting out of your car or sliding down a slide at the park? Why does static happen more in the winter than in the summer months? Why does something like static guard keep your clothes from clinging to you? In a world filled with scientific phenomena there are many unanswered questions. However, for the questions I’ve posed here, it all comes down to a rather harmonious solution.

Every thing is made up of atoms and atoms are made up of tiny particles called protons, electrons and neutrons, each having a different charge. Protons are positively charged, while electrons are negative, and for the most part, atoms are neutral.

These different charges have an effect on each other. For instance, positive and negatives attract, while negative and negative or positive and positive repel. The results we see from these different charges building up are the reactions of static electricity.

So, what exactly happens when we experience that shock is that our body has built up charge and then releases them; the shock is the charge jumping from you to whatever you touch. A product called static guard can help eliminate static by neutralizing the charges.

In the summer months the air is more humid (contains more water). This is why we experience more static electricity during the winter because dry air allows molecules to accumulate which in turn allows the accumulation of static to collect, for instance on clothing.

When you experience a shock, your body has stored up a charge and released it whenever you touched something. The shock is the charge jumping from you to whatever it is that you touched.

Even though static electricity can be annoying and even a bit painful, it can be very beneficial.  Static electricity has a role in the use of photocopiers, laser printers and is even used in saving lives in the form of defibrillators.

 

Sources:

BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_gateway_pre_2011/radiation/electrostaticsusesrev1.shtml

School for Champions

http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/static_electricity.htm

Every day Mysteries

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/static.html

Static Guard

http://www.mystaticguard.com/static-guard-history/history.html

Discovery Place

http://www.discoveryplace.org/blog/post/32/Static-electricity-in-winter

Science Made Simple

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/static.html

 

 

Section 2 (tie)

Adam Shipley

To be honest, I was completely scared of this class, when I seen it on my schedule. Finite Math, and Physics to be fully honest. Finite Math I didn’t do all that well (I did pass at the least) and not that I am “acing” Physics, I am doing a lot better in this class so far then what I thought I would. It has been a very fun and interesting class. Since I am in the game design program, it has been a very insightful class as to understand how different elements in this world can affect objects. And it amazes me how much science and physics has had an effect on the way we live, and even play games. Science is the biggest reason we have the technology and know how, of any and everything we do today. And how fast things change, because of the constant thirst of knowledge. To learn how to make this world a better and more fun place.

Ever since I started this class I was more curious about how physics has had an effect on games. I am not the smartest person in the world, but I never realized that physics has been used on games since the first pinball machine was made. Obviously in a pinball machine you have gravity pulling the ball down the “interface”, but you also have other forces in the game. The ball shooter to get the game started, followed by bumpers and flippers that have an effect on the direction and speed of the ball. Even in some of the earliest video games physics was needed to play. Pong is the simplest example of a physics game, only because it had one object to worry about. Depending on where u hit the “ball” with the paddle, and the direction the ball was moving at the time would effect the new direction and speed of it.

And today, how we have varying Physics Engines in video games, and how different the games of today are compared to 10 years ago. Most games today require a Physics Engine, other wise your cars wouldn’t crash, bend or break. You wouldn’t make that touchdown saving tackle, or put the final bullet in the last boss of Resident Evil. All these things require a Physics Engine to help the game recognize the collision of two or more “objects”. As well as to how these objects react once they do collide.

In the end, all I can say is thank you to all the Physicists, Scientists that have had their hands in helping the world understand how everything works. It has made this world a somewhat better place to live, and I know for a fact a lot more fun. I couldn’t imagine living in a world without games.

 

Caleb Sepulveda

When I first started watching Dr. Kaku Michio’s videos in the class discussions I was blown away by what I heard. One of the subjects he spoke about in the second week video’s had to do with a topic that I have not been able to get off my mind. He spoke of interplanetary colonization. To me, this has always been a subject for a sci fi film script. I was oblivious to how close we already are as a species. Sadly as I kept reading on I realized that this possibility is not based on the advancement in physics, science and the human race but a corporate vision to make money as well.

It is a mission that NASA has been planning for years to colonize Mars. The red planet has been on NASA’s radar and is the reason we have sent up a motorized probe named “Phoenix”. The fact that the probe has surpassed its three-month life expectancy on Mars shows that we still have to learn more about what we can make to last and explore on this planet. On its fifth month of exploration on the Martian northern territory it has helped NASA gather more information for this attempt to populate the planet.

There is so much we could benefit from a voyage to mars. We could try coming the planet to see if there are many differences between Mars and Earth in which maybe a major population could one day live on this planet. Could there be any benefits of returning with minerals or natural elements that could help us here on our home planet the same way we use and have exhausted our natural resources. Could there be a second exodus to Mars if we were facing a threat to our existence. These are questions I ask myself when I think of planetary colonization.

You can imagine how disappointed I was to read what is already being planned for this planet once we are there.  In the article “Mars for sale! NASA draws up plan to ‘colonize’ red planet with corporate help”, they mention how the planet is going to be carved up into areas were different corporations, which are planning to help fund the mission to Mars want to mine and sell some of the minerals. Land rights will also be sold and bought here on earth. There is so much we can do with a population on Mars and the first thing that is brought to the table is how to profit off of land that we yet to know can be considered ours.

 

Sources:

“Mars for sale! NASA draws up plan to ‘colonize’ red planet with corporate help”, http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/111476/20110211/nasa-mars-colonization-red-planet-mission-space-one-way-corporate-sponsorship.htm

“NASA Data Shed New Light About Water and Volcanoes on Mars”, http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/111476/20110211/nasa-mars-colonization-red-planet-mission-space-one-way-corporate-sponsorship.htm

 

Section 3

Peter Rouse

The Magic Ingredient

Video games have come a long way in the last few decades. From their humble beginnings with Spacewar! and Pong, to the 8- and 16- bit platformers, and all the way to the modern day blockbusters like Call of Duty and Mass Effect, games have made quite the journey.  But looking back at all these games from widely varied generations of technology, one notices what truly exists at the core of them all, consistent physics.

Now this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Games generally represent a life experience of some sort being recreated digitally for the player’s enjoyment and physics itself is at the core of all of our life experiences.  Physics is the most widely experienced of our sciences by everyone in their everyday lives.  Sure, biology is pretty apparent when we are outdoors seeing the wide array of life around us and cooking certainly gives us an everyday window into chemistry, but physics is truly experienced every second of every day in our lives.  Because of this we are all well educated in how the laws of physics exist.  Many might not know what Newton’s Laws are in definition, but they certainly understand the repercussions of those laws.  It is this ready understanding of physics innate in us, from our multitude of life experiences, that provides the crucial link to digitally created worlds.

Every game you boot up is built on a foundation of physics.  These might be exact copies of Earth-based physics or they may be altered to create an environment quite different from the one we experience in our daily lives.  Regardless, that system of how things behave in the game world is consistent and easy to learn due to ready understanding of various causes and resulting effects.  A game like Super Mario Brothers obviously defies our common understanding of an action like jumping, but the consistency of those physical laws within the game allow us to learn and apply that new knowledge quickly and easily.  Our understanding of projectile motion is applied to when we rain arrows down on our enemies in that FPS; our grasp of friction, acceleration, and velocity as we pull ahead in a racing game; many puzzles are designed with our knowledge of fluid mechanics and electromagnetism in mind, and our grasp of gravity assists us universally.  Ultimately, physics is the magic ingredient that creates an instant connection between a player and the game world, and allows us all to thoroughly enjoy and understand the crazy places we explore in games.

So if you really want to get good at games, or designing them, take a course in physics!

 

 

Section 4

Ronald “SmoothVerses” Kellam

Everyone knows all about riding rollercoasters, but very few understand or know the science behind rollercoasters. The main science behind the rollercoaster is physics. The physics of rollercoasters started centuries ago in Russia during the 17th century, and resulted in the development of the Ice Slides. During the 17th century, the Ice Slides were developed with the latest technology: lumber & a sheet of ice several inches thick. The concept was simple physics: people would slide down the ice-covered 70ft wooden ramp & glide until the slide stopped on its own, the end!

In later years, during the mid-1700’s & mid-1800’s, rollercoaster technology enhanced. The prototypical Ice Coaster turned into a full-fledged coaster with wheels. During this early time in history, these new rollercoasters began to test the limits of physics. The late 1800’s saw the development of rollercoasters with longer track distances & loops. And then, the 1900’s saw rollercoasters with corkscrew maneuvers and rail tracks made out of steel rather than the typical wooden structures (American Coaster Enthusiasts Worldwide).

Now fast-forward to our time, developers are creating rollercoasters that stretched the limits of a rider’s imagination even further: figure-eight maneuvers; 4th dimension coasters (where riders hang off the sides of the coaster going 76 mph); coasters rising well above 400 ft. into the air; & starting speeds going from 0 to 120 mph in a matter of seconds.

Despite all of these amazing advancements in rollercoaster technology, the old & the modern coasters still run off of the same basic principles of physics. With that being said, just like the rollercoaster from the 17th century, our modern rollercoasters still operate without engines.

All rollercoasters are moved by gravity, kept in motion through momentum, adhere to the Law of Conservation of Energy, and obey Newton’s 1st law. Below, the rollercoaster’s movements are listed:
Rollercoasters rely on gravity to gain & maintain speed.

Initial speed is created as the rollercoaster moves slowly up its 1st hill & then descends down the other side of the hill.

As the rollercoaster climbs up the 1st hill, it’s building up potential energy.

When the rollercoaster descends down the hill, it’s converting that potential energy to kinetic energy.

As the rollercoaster climbs additonal hills, it will continue to slow in speed as it climbs up the hill, regain speed as it descends down the hill, and

continuously convert potential energy to kinetic energy to effectively make it back to its original starting point.

As the rollercoaster descends to create kinetic energy, its velocity also increases.

Increased velocity gives the rollercoaster that push to travel the complete distance of the track & climb the next hill.

The increase in momentum then counters the energy lost through the friction, experienced as the rollercoaster moves through the air.

During the rollercoaster ride, energy is not created or destroyed. The energy is converted back & forth from one form of energy to another: potential energy to kinetic energy & kinetic energy back to potential energy.

To stop the rollercoaster, friction is applied via its braking system to diminish its kinetic energy.

Now who would have thought, centuries of physics (a science many hate), actually made it possible to create one of society’s favorite amusement park attractions.

 

 

Section 5

Corey “Corey ” McMillan

 

Light sabers possible or impossible?  I have always wanted to see someone create a light saber in real life.  This is of course a very difficult task because how can we create a strong enough beam of light to be able to slice through objects.  I found a video back in week one featuring Dr. Kaku that brings up the question are light sabers physically possible.  The light saber is an energy sword basically created from pure energy.  The blade is the hardest portion of the weapon to create.  The heat contained within the light saber is so incredibly hot it is near impossible to contain.  The heat would become like molten plasma that no one could ever be able to handle it.  In the Star Wars movies crystals that go within the handles power the light sabers.  Crystals are not a good source for a light saber because if any sunlight or just light in general would cancel out the beam of light showing from the handle and the crystal.  Plasma can be used to create light but must be molded using magnets.  Creating a magnetic field within what would be the blade can mold the plasma.  The plasma is about 3000 degrees.  In order to heat the plasma a power source of about 15 mega watts is needed.  The plasma could then slice through nearly any metal but would be at the same temperature as the sun.  I would love to see a light saber be created before I die I think it would be awesome.  Only time will tell us if we will ever create a true light saber.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSNubaa7n9o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp_Hq1f8-0E&NR=1&feature=endscreen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLcEYbAdyxk&feature=relmfu

These are the three videos I watched by Dr. Kaku I retrieved these on Sunday June 17, 2012, from youtube.com

 

Section 6

Desiree Flojo

Gerry Mooney once said, “Gravity.  It isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law.”  This quote is quite popular among skydivers, second only to “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.”  Gravity is often taken for granted or even hated, like when one stands on the scale.  But without gravity, the sport of skydiving would be impossible.

Skydivers often estimate the amount of time they will spend in freefall by using nine seconds for the first thousand feet and six seconds for each additional thousand.  This is minus the opening altitude which typically ranges from 2,500 feet for experts to 5,500 feet for beginners or tandem jumpers.  So, if an expert left the airplane at 9,500 feet, a typical jump altitude, and opened at 2,500 feet, they would estimate their freefall to last 45 seconds.  This estimate is surprisingly accurate and works because the friction of air limits the maximum speed or terminal velocity.  In fact, for a jumper weighing 150 pounds, using 9.8 m/s for gravity and 0.24 kg/m for the coefficient of drag for the air, the calculation shows that the freefall time would be 44.19 seconds.  As an interesting side note, if there was not air creating drag, the jumper could cover the same distance in just over 20 seconds.

Gravity and air work together to allow the skydivers to “fly” by using their arms and legs to control the air flow, resulting in movement.  By stretching out the legs, one can fly forward.  By pushing the hands forward, one can be made to fly backwards.  By putting the arms to the side and stretching the legs out, a skydiver can “track” or fly forward at horizontal speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour (Speed-tracking, 2012).

Finally, gravity allows the skydivers to fly around under their parachutes or canopies.  By pulling down on the skydiver, gravity causes the canopy to push against air, allowing it not only to reduce the speed of the skydiver and halt freefall, but also inflating the parachute, turning it into a wing much like that on an airplane.  As gravity continues to cause descent, the inflated wing allows the skydiver to fly forward.  This lets the skydiver fly back to the landing zone and also let’s jumpers fly in formation, enjoying canopy relative work.

In closing, skydiving is one of many sports facilitated by the gravity of the Earth.  Like hang-gliding, skydiving allows the power of gravity to be harnessed and utilized for the enjoyment of participants and observers.  Without gravity, there would be no freefall or airflow, and hence just floating, without any options for manuevering.  I, for one, am a fan of gravity.  You could say that I have fallen for it.

 

References

Speed-tracking. (2012). The project. Retrived on June 17, 2012, from http://www.speed-tracking.com/english/the-project/

 

 

Section 7

Anthony “anthony” Bruno

06/2012

 

Hello,

My presentation is on electricity. Electricity is everywhere and can produce from just about anything. Electricity is form from positive and negative proton and neutron.  It can fun to play with and very dangerous, also it help power everything around us.

One example is from sun, the power of the sun can be use as energy by using solar panels to convert the heat to energy. An energy produced by solar panels for a house would need an output of about 14,400-watt hours per day for an average house (600 watts *24 hours) depending on where you live. (TLC.com, Home)  Solar energy is the on the rise and people around the world are trying to save money and go green. Solar energy can even be seen on cars and kid toys.

Another example is using a wheel with copper wiring wipe around it inside place inside a metal shell. It produces static electricity that can be save or used to power other electronics. This tip of energy producer can be seen in many our electric item we use today. From mini fans to the giant generator that are use in the Hoover Dam.

This type of power producer is a little cheaper to build and can be use day or night. A person can use a bike with wires connected to it, connected to a generator to produce power. (G.Lindberg, eHow.com)

In conclusion, electricity is about the only part of Physic that can use each element of the earth to product energy. Not all elements will produce electricity though. Even the human body can produce a form electricity call static electricity. Also in closing I have added a website if anyone like to know more about solar and wind power. (By Solar Estimates)

 

Thank you,

Anthony Bruno

 

 

Reference

Discovery Communications LLC, TLC, Home questions,

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/question418.htm

eHow Greg Lindberg, ehow Contributor

http://www.ehow.com/how_5130413_generate-electricity-bicycle.html

Energy Matters LLC, 2000- 2012,

http://www.solar-estimate.org/?page=solar-calculations

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