Category Archives: mathematica

Lasers bouncing inside stuff

I’ve written before about how I sometimes like to imagine what would happen if you shot a laser in a fully mirrored room. Back then I did a bunch of cool stuff with flat walls, mostly by calculating the distance … Continue reading

Posted in fun, mathematica, physics | 3 Comments

Help us crowd-source our drums!

My students have been working hard this summer on a project I’ve talked about before. Here’s the gist: Normal drums aren’t melodic. They have resonant frequencies but they aren’t in a pattern that we think sounds good. That’s why they’re … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics, research, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Optimal race path

I ride my bike to work so I’m often thinking about the best path to take around corners. I know bike racers and car racers (and bob sledders) are often told to head into a corner wide, then cut the … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Can a pendulum save you?

I’m so thankful to my friend Chija for pointing out this video for me: Here’s her tweet can't wait to analyze this video in class! #ilovephysics #soexcited — Chija Bauer (@bauerphysics) January 25, 2016 When I saw it I … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics, twitter, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Unstable rotation (spinning handle in space)

First, watch this: Cool, huh? My students found this last year when we were studying rigid body rotation. One of the things we did a lot was try to spin a tennis racquet about an axis in the plane of … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Best bingo board

My son is in the third grade and his math homework is to play games. The other night we played one that really got me thinking. Each player makes a 4×4 board and puts in any even number between 8 … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, mathematica, parenting, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Finite Elements Methods in Mathematica

In Mathematica 10 there’s now the ability to solve differential equations using finite element methods (FEM). I’ve spent some time this summer playing around with the tools and I thought I’d write this to help me remember some stuff. The … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica | 3 Comments