physics

All posts tagged physics

Genius Deconstructed

Published April 12, 2013 by isabellai8

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/04/jobs-einstein-and-franklin/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=04.10.13%2520%281%29

So this article talks about Einstein, who we all know was a physicist.  But what I took away from this wasn’t what he worked on, but how.

Einstein was constantly thinking about what he loved- physics.  As the article says, he was a third-class examiner in the Swiss patent office when he thought up what it would be like to travel alongside a beam of light.  Einstein shows that you can always be thinking and can come up with new ideas anywhere.

He even worked and thought all the way to his deathbed.

This connects to my research because physics isn’t a topic that can only be discussed with paper and pencil or computer (though they do help).  Physics is ideas, thoughts, and new ways of looking at things.

More hyperspace

Published April 2, 2013 by isabellai8

So I read a bit more last night and I found something that I definitely had to stop and think about.  Famous mathematician Goerg Bernhard Riemann imagined a race of flatworms living on a piece of paper.  Their entire world is two dimensional.  But he questioned what would happen if someone crumpled the paper they lived on.  The worms would get crumpled with the paper, and still see their world as two dimensional.  However, if they tried to walk in a straight line, they would find themselves pushed by some unseen ‘force’- the folds in the paper.

Riemann suggests that things like gravity and other unseen ‘forces’ in our world could really be ‘crumples’ in other dimensions.

Hyperspace

Published April 1, 2013 by isabellai8

Realizing I would never be able to successfully learn physics in such a short period of time, I put down my Physics of Superheros book and picked up Hyperspace by Michio Kaku.  I am only a few pages into chapter two, but I have already learned a lot.  Apparently when we look at the laws of physics and geometry with five or more dimensions, they become simpler.  There are even ways to mathematically calculate things in more than three dimensions, even though our human minds cannot picture such an item.

Take the Pythagorean theorem.  A cornerstone of basic geometry.  We can apply this to a cube, by stating that a b and c represent three adjacent sides of a cube.  a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = d^2 where d is the diagonal of the cube.

Now let’s give the cube N dimensions and z is the length of the diagonal. a^2 + b^2 + c^2 + d^2 … = z^2

So we can mathematically find the length of a five dimensional cube, even though we cannot picture it.

I’m definitely going to have to move slowly through this book, but I think I’m going in the direction I want to.

Spacetime

Published March 20, 2013 by isabellai8

So I’m starting to understand a little bit more about spacetime.  Basically it’s the idea that Einstein came up with based on his assumption that the speed of light is always constant and nothing can go faster. (this assumption actually makes me uncomfortable, but more on that later)  So Einstein said that in order to keep the speed of light constant, space and time must bend and change as one.

The thing is, no one really knows what spacetime is.

I’m hoping to look at more quantum theory and possibly string theory and try to link them, though it might be a dead end.

It would take multiple posts to explain this and I don’t think I’m grasping the whole concept, so I’m going to skip the explanation (for now.)

Superman and Krypton

Published March 15, 2013 by isabellai8

So I guess comic books get their physics right!  The comics say that Superman has his super-strength because Krypton’s gravity is much stronger- 15x stronger- than Earth’s gravity.  In order for Krypton to be small enough (so it’s not a gas planet) while still having this gravity and not introducing any new forms of matter, Krypton’s center would have to be a neutron star (the extremely dense remnants of a supernova).  And the gravitational strain from the center would cause violent phenomenons on the surface, creating the catastrophe causing Superman’s parents to send him to Earth!

I feel behind…

Published March 15, 2013 by isabellai8

When I decided on this topic I knew that I would have to learn a lot more before I could even start specifying.  I’m learning a lot through my Physics of Super Heroes book, but I’m afraid it won’t be enough. I’m starting to think I’ll have to be really vague in a lot of areas if I do what I’ve been thinking of.

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