Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - William Butler Yeats

And edutainment is making that fire dance to music! Given the simplicity of construction and operation of a Rubens' Tube, coupled with the enthusiasm it generates in the classroom, this totally tubular device is near the top of my must-have demo list. The stellar song in this video was written by bassist Andrew Kratzat.

You hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of Row Reduced Echelon Form.

If I had to pick between bullet-dodging skills and linear algebra skills, I'd probably go with bullet-dodging skills. But since Mythbusters already demonstrated that bullet-dodging is not an aquirable skill for mere mortals, I decided to make a video tutorial on Kirchoff's Rules using linear algebra.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One atom. Two forces. And a physics problem that will change the way you see the world.

The gravitational force governs the motions of solar systems and galaxies. But in the atomic realm, the electric force is king. In this problem, we compare these two fundamental forces using the proton and electron pair in the Bohr Model of the Hydrogen Atom (BMOTHA). The result will shock you! (Bah-dum-pshhhh!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Dinner.

From the air track to the particle collider, the Principle of Conservation of Linear Momentum (POCOLM) is one of the most useful tools we have to predict, explain or analyze the outcomes of an exchange of force. I felt compelled to make this particular collision more interesting than other intro-to-POCOLM classics: bodies-on-ice (ooooh) or particles-in-space (aaaah). So here we have two fish colliding in an inviscid lake (one of the lesser prominent locales of Physicsland). Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When the prof's in the crib, ma'...

(... drop it like it's hot.) One of the first topics in an introductory physics course is falling bodies and impact speeds. Analyzing the motion of a dropped object turns out to be relatively simple - negecting air resistance, of course. In this video we determine the impact speed of a dropped body using The Big Three (a.k.a. the Kinematic Equations) and some simple algebra.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zepplin rules! So does Kirchoff.

I was incredibly flattered that so many folks - from so many different places! - enjoyed my lecture video of Kirchoff's Rules that I posted on YouTube for my students at Henry Ford Community College. I was also a bit perplexed. Why did so many folks skip over the higher quality tutorials to watch fuzzy old me scrawling on a whiteboard? The answer, I found, was because high quality videos explaining physics don't really exist... yet.

This blog, and the embedded videos, are my humble attempt to remedy that situation. And get rich and famous. (What? A guy can have delusions of grandeur, can't he?) I hope that my efforts are helpful to many and enjoyable to most.

Hello, world.