Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
4M ago
This is similar to my earlier query regarding the sequence of topics that are introduced. My earlier post was the order of introducing the concept of energy and the concept of momentum. In this post, it is the issue of the sequence of introducing the double slit interference ahead of the single-slit diffraction. This sequence is done in Knight's text "Physics for Scientists and Engineers". I don't follow that sequence because I prefer to introduce the single-slit diffraction first, show the diffraction pattern, and then introduce the double slit. The fact that the double slit pattern has inter ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
4M ago
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) will be livestreaming the total Solar Eclipse of 2024. Here is the blurb from them: Don't just watch the eclipse — explore it. On April 8, the U.S. National Science Foundation and the NSF National Solar Observatory are hosting an educational livestream all about the science of the sun.   The livestream is a free resource that educators can use in their classrooms to share the excitement of science.   You'll hear from scientists about the unique experiments happening during the eclipse. As we count down to the moment of totality ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
4M ago
In my algebra-based General Physics courses, I get many Biology/Pre-med/Life Science majors, so of course many of the examples that I choose tend to be related to those areas. When we cover traveling waves and Doppler effect, I dive into medical diagnostics to show a few of the applications of Doppler effect in that area. Interestingly enough, in Doppler Ultrasound, the color scheme that they use tend to be a bit confusing with what we use in physics. In the Doppler effect, when the source of a wave, or the source that is reflecting the wave, is moving away from the observer, the wavelength wi ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
4M ago
Please read the article carefully before you freak out. Hint: look at the date. Zz ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
4M ago
This is a rather fun article in this week's Nature. It reveals some of the fascinating origin of words used in Physics and how they may not match the more common usage of the word. All of us in physics (and in science) know of this, where we may use the same words that are used in everyday language, but they have very different meanings in physics. Unfortunately, for many people outside of physics, this can lead to a lot of confusion or misuse if they do not investigate or understand the meanings of those words as used in the context of physics. The word "spin" comes to mind when talking about ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
4M ago
Previous posts: My favorite web applications - Part 1 My favorite web applications - Part 2 My favorite web applications - Part 3 My favorite web applications - Part 4 My favorite web applications - Part 5 My favorite web application - Part 6 My favorite web application - Part 7 This is another one of my favorite web application because it has a ability to assign random values to various parameters in the problem. This is a simulation of a motional emf in the form of a rail gun. It actually is a straight-forward application of magnetic force acting on a straight current. One may also solve thi ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
11M ago
A while back, I wrote an article on how to impress upon the students of the need have units in most of the numbers that they write in physics. I gave them a recipe for a banana bread, but I left out all the units of measure. It was the students themselves who noticed what was wrong with the recipe, so in the process, I managed to convey to them that (i) without units, these numbers are meaningless and (ii) this is not just something in physics (or science) but rather something common that we encounter and take for granted. Over the Summer, I did the same thing but I showed them a recipe for my ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
1y ago
This is a nice news article that provides a basic summary of the applications of physics in healthcare and medicine. It's another one of those where if someone thinks physics only deals with esoteric and useless ideas, show him/her this. I've mentioned many examples of similar medical/health/etc. applications and concepts that came directly from physics, such as this one. As someone who often teaches general physics to life science/premed/bio/kinesiology major, this is definitely another useful evidence to get them to realize that the physics class they are taking has a direct relevance to the ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
1y ago
It's one of the reasons why I groan at popular media's reporting of science. This article is reporting on a paper that proposes a possibility of finding evidence of large-scale symmetry breaking from the  data ".. in current and upcoming surveys such as those undertaken by Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, the Euclid satellite, and the Vera C. Rubin Observatory.... ". Yet, the article is trumpeting the "Incredible new evidence...." as if it has been found. This is similar to accepting speculation as the truth. Over-selling and over-hyping science does no one any good, other than makin ..read more
Physics and Physicists
by ZapperZ
1y ago
Many of us knew that it would be a significant instrument. We just didn't know that in its early days, it would make this many discoveries. In case you were asleep for most of the past 12 months, here is an article that will highlight some of the groundbreaking discoveries made by the JWST. It will not be hard to guess that there will be more earth-shattering (universe-shattering?) discoveries to be made in the next 12 months. Zz ..read more

OR