The Physics Philes, lesson 83: Dinosaur Walking

Physical phenomena, as I’ve learned from just my brief venture into its depths, are complicated. Luckily, we have ways of kind of easing our way into understanding these things. Physicists can answer simple questions using “idealized models.” Once those easy questions are answered, we can progressively complicate the model to …


The Physics Philes, lesson 52: Torque, This is Your Moment (of Inertia)

Oh. My. Glob. This is week 52. Fifty-two weeks (give or take a couple) of studying physics. It’s been, at various times, frustrating, fun, and rage-inducing. But it’s mostly been a hoot and a half, and I’m nowhere near done. So! Let’s get on with it! As promised, this week …


The Physics Philes, lesson 49: Show Me the (Parallel-Axis Theorem) Proof!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been discussing moment of inertia, what it is, and how to calculate it. This week I’ll try to explain the related parallel-axis theorem. A body can have an infinite number of axes around which it can rotate. That means a body doesn’t have …


The Physics Philes, lesson 48: Physicists Make Weird Things for Science

In which I draw a weird thing, do math, and make promises I intend to keep. OK nerds! Class is over, which means it’s time to get down and dirty with some physics. Last time this post had something substantive in it, I discussed the kinetic energy of a rigid …