How it can be seen

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Transparency is one of those wonderful little dysfunctions of the world. Such transparent objects as plastics or crystals, or insect wings allow light to flow from one end of the material to the other relatively undisturbed. However transparent they may be, we can still tell that the object exists regardless of the fact that the visible light is still the same… Well almost…

Because of the slight hiccup of light as it passes through a more heavily dense object than space or air, the object behind the transparency is probably further than the viewer assumes due to the funny slowing down and diffraction of light as it encounters a new material.

The oil can be seen even though it is also transparent. This is due to diffraction and varying speeds of light through the two materials

Above is the beginnings of a soup that I planned on making before anything fancy was added.
Oil and water are both transparent materials as we all know, but due to the index of refraction, light travels faster in water than in oil. It’s obvious where the oil is even though light passes through both with relative ease. Of course, some light reflects right off of the surfaces and causes a reflection, and if I had made the perfect layer of oil, this light could interfere with itself leaving a layer of a single wavelength of color being reflected back at me.

This is, of course, too hard to do with my imprecise measurements of teaspoons, and finding an exact layer will require much more information than the thickness alone.

But colors will appear under the right conditions because Physics will always Triumph.


A World of 3 Dimensions

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Most people who read this blog utilize light in the most important way for humans: the ability to see. Light is simply a massless photon moving at extremely high speeds just like a wave.

Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of light is just that, it moves like a wave. Because it can be polarized, light can be filtered by the polarization, and if a filter is positioned correctly, the entire set of light can be blocked out.

Where would this be useful?

Try 3-D movies.

Those special glasses that the ticketers give to the audience may look fun and a little stupid at the same time, but they are actually polarized light filters. The movie is then projected on to a screen that seems blurry and distorted to any person not wearing the glasses. With two pictures each polarized a different way, the images seen by each eye can fool the brain into believing that the images are actually three dimensional because of the slight nuances in each one. (one image is seen about 3 inches from the other, or the space between the eyes)

It's Fun to see

3-D Images are created by fooling your brain into seeing two images as one.

What’s also fun to do is this.

If you have two pairs of glasses, have a friend wear one pair while you wear the other.
While looking at each other, do the follow:
Blink one eye closed and keep the other one open. Then switch.
Notice anything?
The lens that you can see through keeps changing. This is because the polarized light that is allowed through is only on one eye at any time. Lenses that you can see through have the same polarization.


Posted: March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

What powers our world every day? Electricity. Without it, you could not be reading this. Without it, you’d probably be going to bed much earlier. Without it, I wouldn’t be typing this or writing about, mostly because I’d be in bed at a decent hour without being able to write any further. Without it, I’d probably be wearing glasses. Mostly because I’d be reading and/or writing about fire, the previous most used form of power.

Electricity is made by huge power generators involving rotating magnets that cause alternating currents at extremely high voltages (and small currents). By converting potential energy of water falling (and its kinetic energy), a rotating magnet will act as a resistor to the falling water, causing it to rotate the magnet in the solenoid. This change in magnetic field induces a current because of the changing magnetic field.

It's Humongous

It's hot here, anybody have a drink?

The Hoover dam is one of the largest dams in the world, providing power for a huge amount of people. The largest amount of Power generated by the dam in a single year was over 10 TWh (10 x 10^9 kWh). This huge amount could only be made by something of incomprehensible scale. By converting ton after ton of water movement into electrical energy, the dam acts as a link between kinetic and electrical energy on a massive scale.

However, it is only a link, and each link adds inefficiency, causing much energy to be lost in the form of heat because Entropy Will Always Triumph.

I Am Fully Charged!

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

A Humble Battery:

It was constructed from metals and originated from an accident.

It powers the smallest of objects and starts the largest of cars.

Such is the life of a humble battery.

But what is it?

A Battery is merely a capacitor that has a small wall separating a high potential energy of Coulombs from a lower level energy on the other side. (This is called the potential difference, or voltage) The wall acts like a dam, blocking the charges from balancing out. The energy can be harnessed into any object that can carry a charge (such as a wire or a very sweaty person) and, like a dam, will be able to output energy as something else, say heat, light, or mechanical energy.

Feed me!

This is the battery that can recharge... at cost

While the battery is a practical tool, it is limited in efficiency by something having to do with monetary expenses.
The entire concept behind the battery is the fact that the metals within the battery are dissolved and on one side, a surplus of electrons exist, causing a “pressure” of electrons. This is all good, except the fact that the metals, once degraded, can no longer be used unless more energy is added to recharge the dying battery. Such energy transfer is 30% efficient at best, causing a huge amount of wasted energy.

This loss is due to entropy and..

It’s Electric!

Posted: January 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Our latest topic is about Static Electricity, a force that acts frighteningly similarly to gravity!

We all have experienced the shock of a static buildup, but what is it really? It is stored potential energy in the form of a high concentration of electrons, or another way to look at it, a pool of water dammed up waiting to get down. When it reaches a certain threshold, the electrons will overcome the “dam” and move to an area of lesser potential energy, making the net charge closer to 0.

This static electricity also builds during everyday activities (well every week for me), such as the drying machine.

Some energy used in the process of drying is lost to potential electric difference

Move it, Electrons.

During the drying process, constant motion and friction forces the electrons into certain areas, concentrating themselves in some places, and leaving deficiencies of electrons in others. This would explain the static that is noticed when you pull a bunch of clothes from the dryer and they cling to each other. And if you put it close to your skin, you might be able to feel the little tingle from the electricity.

This Year’s Hottest Topic

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

The return of the microwave!

A natural follow-up to the uses of the microwave is the process at which it warms everything else around it. (Or burns my tongue, which does sometimes occur)

What is stored within the scalding liquid is energy, and a huge amount of it (because of water’s relatively high specific heat) When it comes into contact with another object that is cooler than it, conduction. Thus, when it comes in contact with my tongue, conduction!

When the water is hot, its volume is increased (oh so slightly) because of the increased temperature. This causes the density of water to decrease and explains why hot water rises. If water did not change volumes what-so-ever, would that mean that the temperature of any body of water would be the same throughout?

It was cooked by changing heat into work.

Side fact: The rate at which a body changes temperature is directly related to the difference between the temperature of the environment and the temperature of the body.

dT/dt = k(TempEnviro – TempBody)
Taking the integral of both sides gives an equation like this:
Temperature = -e^(kt) + Temperature(original)

Do the Wave

Posted: December 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

Waves require the sinusoidal change in pressure, movements or blah of anything fluidlike or extremely small.
As to be expected, water acts in waves and therefore has certain resonance frequencies.
The weird part of this is that water has a resonance frequency just about that of microwaves, allowing it to heat up.

Hence the Microwave oven was born.


Perhaps the most used cooking tool by the Y Chromosome

Microwaves create waves of light at the perfect frequency to increase the temperature of water at an amazingly fast pace. Because most of human food contains water, it has become an extremely convenient tool for everyday use.

Hitting the right frequency also appears when trying to make a length of string vibrate with a large amplitude, anything different from this fundamental frequency (or multiples of it) won’t be able to maintain the energy in the wave.

Hitting the molecules of water with microwaves is a very similar experience, causing it to conserve its energy and heighten even more so with each particle.

Such a revolution in cooking technology can only be due to Science as PHYSICS WILL ALWAYS TRIUMPH