Applied Physics Blog

Month: September, 2014

Falling Object Comic

Scan 1(click for enlargement)


The Scale of the Universe

This site not only intrigued me, but completely blew my mind. It is amazing to see how insignificant we are in terms of mass and everything else within the universe. When I thought I could not go any bigger or smaller, I realized the scale was only slightly above or below the middle. Like, what’s a quark? And is everything really made of quantum foam?… I also felt especially interested in the planets and stars I had never heard of. I noticed that weight was only commented on within the earth’s objects. The gravitational pull on earth is the reason why so many minuscule objects are able to exist here. Other places, such as planets, stars, etc., were mostly mentioned in comparison to mass. The other aspects of the universe do not have many articles on their surface, and therefore do not usually comment on any kind of weight there.

Hypothesis for the Washcloth/Water in Space Video

Since there is no gravity in space, the water would not disperse from the washcloth due to magnetic forces. In past years, I’ve learned that a positive and negative force creates a “sticky” effect; Since these forces are opposite, they act as a magnet and stick together. The H2O molecule has two positive charges (hydrogen atom) and one negative charge (oxygen atom). Since the water molecule is predominantly positive, the washcloth must predominantly be negative. Just because there is no gravity in space, doesn’t take away from the charges and makeup of particles. Rest assured, this is solely a hypothesis.

‘Simple Linear’ Motion

A simple linear motion I use daily is the walk from the gate to the cafeteria when I arrive at school. My position begins at the gate and I walk at a constant speed towards the cafeteria. Though my displacement is always the same, my distance sometimes varies based on people or things as obstacles. My velocity also remains the same as my speed is constant. Here are some rough sketches of how this ‘simple linear’ motion would look on a graph in velocity, position, and acceleration (educated guess):

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 8.31.52 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-11 at 8.32.06 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-11 at 8.32.50 PM

Sonic Ranger Activity

The Sonic Activity was both academically and leisurely entertaining. Three major points I took away from the activity were how to view displacement graphically, what effect walking away and towards an object had on the graph, and how speed effects the graph. I learned that as one walks away from an object it is graphically positive, and when one walks towards an object it is negative. Change in speed creates a more curved line on the graph rather than a constant rate, which creates a straight line. I can use these points to understand motion by being able to tell what direction and speed one was moving just by viewing a graph. 

The one graph I found challenging was the final “Move to Match the Graph” graph. It involved walking towards the object while accelerating in speed in one meter for ten seconds. I found this difficult because I was not sure where to start and end the acceleration of my walk. I learned that as the graph continued, the slight shallowing of the line meant that the walk was slowing down. 

physics video

-What did you do to make the motion as uniform as possible?

To make the motion as uniform as possible, I attempted to count the seconds in between each step I took. In addition to maintaining an even speed, I tried to walk as straight as I could. 

-How can you check whether the motion was uniform? Explain why this is a good test.

I can check whether my motion was uniform by measuring the time and pace I walked at. This is a good test because it will show how precise and consistent my walk was. 


-Give quantitative evidence that the motion is uniform.

Quantitative evidence that the motion is uniform is that  I was able to take eight steps within each five seconds of the ten second video. 


I expect to not only gain knowledge about physics, but also how it works in the real world. I hope this course will enable me to think abstractly when observing a car going down the street or a stroller being pushed. This class will give me the utilities to scientifically understand how and why things move around me.

I am also hoping to access the skills needed to work in a group. This class is focused mainly on learning through projects. I would not only like to use my peers for guidance with group projects, but individual projects as well.