Physics

The Physics Philes: Test Studying!

The Physics Philes: Test Studying!

I’m sorry, loyal readers. I can’t write a Physics Philes this week. I have a test on Tuesday and I neeeeeeeeeeeeed to study. Like, super hard. Lucky for you, however, you can study right along with me! Newton’s Laws of Motion: First Law of Motion Second Law of Motion Third Law of Motion Friction Air Resistance Uniform Circular Motion Work and Power: Kinetic Energy Potential Energ... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 94: Sinusoidal Infection

The Physics Philes, lesson 94: Sinusoidal Infection

Last week we started talking about mechanical waves. Now that we have some of the essential knowledge under our belts, let’s dig in a little deeper. It’s time to start talking about periodic waves. A note: Everything you’re about to read goes for both transverse and longitudinal waves. But it’s easier to visualize, I think, by describing it in terms of transverse waves. Jus... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 93: Do the Wave

The Physics Philes, lesson 93: Do the Wave

We’re chugging along in our journey through introductory physics. We’ve made it through a discussion of fluid mechanics. Now it’s time to start learning about mechanical waves. Before we dive in, we need to nail down the basics. A wave is a fairly familiar thing. Most of us have seen a wave at some point. In general, a wave occurs whenever a system is disturbed from equilibrium. ... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 92: Slow as Molasses

The Physics Philes, lesson 92: Slow as Molasses

So far in our discussion of fluid mechanics, we’ve assumed that the fluid we’re talking about has no internal friction and has a laminar flow. However, there are important fluids that don’t follow this pattern. What about those? In that case we need know about viscosity and turbulence. First, let’s take a look at viscosity. As we learned a couple of weeks ago, viscosity is ... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 91: Go with the Flow

The Physics Philes, lesson 91: Go with the Flow

Last week we learned about the continuity equation in fluid mechanics. To refresh your memory, that equation says that the speed of the fluid flow can change along the path of the fluid. The pressure can vary, as well, depending on the height of the fluid and the speed of the flow. These are important relationships to know, because it “flows” (HA! See what I did there?) nicely into Ber... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 90: Don’t Cross the Streams!

The Physics Philes, lesson 90: Don’t Cross the Streams!

So far in our discussion of fluid mechanics we’ve been dealing with properties of fluids when those fluids are at rest. I think we have that pretty much mastered, so it’s time to move on to something a little more complex: fluid in motion, aka fluid flow! Fluid flow is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s river and air currents. We see fluid flow basically every day. Like pr... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 89: Sink or Swim

The Physics Philes, lesson 89: Sink or Swim

OK, class. Let’s talk a little more about fluid mechanics. You’re probably already pretty familiar with buoyancy. It’s why you float in water and why helium balloons float in the air. Those things are just a physical manifestation of something called Archimedes’s Principle: When a body is completely or partially immersed in a fluid, the fluid exerts an upward force on the b... »

The Physics Philes, lesson 88: Under Pressure

The Physics Philes, lesson 88: Under Pressure

Last week we started talking about the basics of fluid mechanics. This week we’ll continue on with looking at pressure in fluids. We’ve discussed pressure before, but now we’re going to look at through a fluid lens. Let’s think about a fluid at rest. When a fluid is at rest it exerts a force perpendicular to any surface it touches. Even though the fluid as a whole is at res... »

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