Archive for the ‘Science / Dot Physics’ Category

For Pi Day, Calculate Pi Yourself Using Two Colliding Balls

March 14th, 2019
On this day of numerical glory, get to know pi in an unusual way: using the elastic collision of two different masses and a wall.

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You Can Power a Calculator With Some LEDs

March 11th, 2019
LEDs generate light, which is why they're in our screens. But if you instead shine a light on an LED, you can generate current to run a small device.

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Track a Tank Shell With a Mirror and Polar Coordinates

March 6th, 2019
Ultimately you get a differential equation that you can solve with a bit of code I wrote for you.

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How Many Times Do You Have to Slap a Chicken to Cook It?

February 28th, 2019
While you could technically cook a chicken by slapping it, as proposed by a recent meme, you might also cook your hand. We crunch the numbers.

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Calculate How Fast Quicksilver Is Moving in *X-Men Apocalypse*

February 26th, 2019
To save two dozen people from an exploding building, Quicksilver must have moved at roughly 280 km/s—if you believe speed is in fact his superpower.

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Estimate the Friction Coefficient in That Massive Nascar Pile-Up

February 22nd, 2019
A crash knocked 21 cars out of the Daytona 500. But good news: Everyone walked away, and the video makes for a cool physics problem.

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Don’t Toss That Busted Toy Just Yet—Grab a Multimeter

February 20th, 2019
This essential tool lets you measure the electric current and voltage of a circuit. Here's what you need to know to use it correctly.

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Launch an 80,000-Pound Sled off an Aircraft Carrier? Sure!

February 14th, 2019
This electromagnetic catapult flings airplanes into the sky (and giant sleds into the water). Here's how to calculate the projectile motion involved.

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Sorry, Sandra Bullock: A Fire Extinguisher Is a Lousy Thruster

February 12th, 2019
In the movie *Gravity*, Sandra Bullock uses a fire extinguisher to maneuver in space. Controlling it is much, much harder than it looks.

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How to Figure Out a Drone’s Angular Field of View

February 6th, 2019
If you have a drone, you can use this trick to figure out the size of an object captured on camera.

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