Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 128: Kinetic-Molecular Model of Ideal Gases, Part 3

We’ve just got a couple more topics to talk about before we can move on from the kinetic-molecular model of ideal gases. So let’s get going! First, let’s talk a little more about molecular speeds. Just to jog your memory, last week we determined the average translational kinetic energy of …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 127: Kinetic-Molecular Model of Ideal Gases, Part 2

It’s been a couple of weeks, but now it’s time to continue our discussion of the kinetic-molecular model of ideal gases. Let’s have a little discussion on pressure and the kinetic energies of molecules. Let’s think about the absolute value of the velocity in the x-direction from last time. That …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 125: Timmy Fell Down the Potential Well

Everything we come into contact with on a regular basis – computers, door knobs, blankets, cats – are all made of molecules. Some molecules consist of only one atom, others are made up of thousands and thousands of atoms. It’s the interactions between molecules of a substance that give matter …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 120: Very Specific Heat

Brrrr…it’s cold outside. Frigid, even. There’s a dusting of snow outside my window as I type. One might be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t as much heat outside as there is in the summer. But that’s not quite right, as least in the wonderful world of physics. Temperature and …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 119: Turn Up the Heat

Wow. It’s been three weeks since I last wrote about physics. Three whole weeks. Life, man. You know how it is. But I have not forgotten. Let me pick up where I left off. Let’s see…*flips through notes*…aha! It’s time to talk about thermal expansion. Thermal expansion is pretty much …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 118: Heat, Temperature, and the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics

Most of us have spent our entire lives learning about heat and temperature. We know we have to cook some food to make it safe, or store food in an icebox or refrigerator. We know it hurts to touch things that are too hot or two cold. But these measurements …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 116: Relativistic Doppler Shift

I know, I know…I didn’t write anything about physics last week. It hurt me more than it hurt you, I promise. Let’s see. Where did we leave off? Oh yes, Doppler shift. As we found last week, sound waves can be shifted if either the source of the sound or …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 113: Don’t Interfere (Or Do)

So far in our discussion of waves we’ve basically been working with one wave at a time. But that’s not really how waves work in real life. Waves from different sources are constantly bouncing around. Modern life is a cacophony. Physics can tell us how those waves interact. With all …

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