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Category Archives: physics
Finding normal modes
Normal mode analysis is a typical topic in junior/senior mechanics courses. Ours suffers from a lack of linear algebra as a prerequisite so I’ve worked to find ways to engage students with this material without that background. My typical approach … Continue reading
Posted in mathematica, physics, teaching
8 Comments
Relativistic explosions
Earlier this week I got an email from a friend who has been working with his students modeling how momentum works in a situation where two carts start connected and then explode apart. I’m not sure, but I think that … Continue reading
Taking it up a notch: nail beds
About a month ago, I had an extraordinary experience: It was Bill Nye standing on me while I laid on a nail bed. Lots of fun, for sure, and I pointed out to the audience that it was the one … Continue reading
Posted in fun, physics, teaching
6 Comments
Leaving a gaping hole
This past week in my optics class I think I made a mistake. We were talking about how light interacts with a system with multiple parallel interfaces, and we started with analyzing a single interface that didn’t happen to be … Continue reading
Posted in physics, teaching
2 Comments
Finding grains
My colleague asked me to help him out with this image: He needs to know the grain size distribution, and they’ve been having trouble automating this. He knew I’d been doing some work with Mathematica’s image analysis capabilities so he … Continue reading
Posted in mathematica, physics
4 Comments
Human loop speed
Rhett Allain’s post about a human running around a loop has really got me (and him!) thinking (click through to see the video). I wondered if there was a more sophisticated way to do the calculation for the minimum speed … Continue reading
Posted in fun, physics, twitter
3 Comments
flip squared check in
This semester I’m trying to flip my flipped approach. Here’s a quick description. Today was the best day so far doing it this way. It was the fourth day of class, and the others had been ok but not great, … Continue reading
Posted in physics, syllabus creation, teaching
5 Comments
Object tracking in Mathematica
I’ve been playing with ImageFeatureTrack in Mathematica over the last few days. My interest is in helping me and my students track the beads on a swinging beaded chain (something we worked on quite a bit last summer). I just … Continue reading
Posted in mathematica, physics
5 Comments
Visualizing eigenvectors
When I was in undergrad, I dutifully did all my linear algebra homework, not really understanding why. I figured, “if they want me to find a vector or two for a given matrix that satisfiesÂ M.v=lambda vÂ , fine, I’ll do it.” … Continue reading
Posted in math, mathematica, physics, teaching, Uncategorized
5 Comments
Fourier analysis for nonscientists
Yesterday I went on twitter to try to get some help on teaching Fourier analysis for my sound and music class: teaching fourier theory to nonsciSs. Goal: that it's possible (to find freqs). notagoal: teach slickest way to do the … Continue reading
Posted in math, mathematica, physics, teaching
5 Comments