Category Archives: mathematica

Rugby ball bouncing

A friend of mine was telling me that when you play rugby, you can count on the ball bouncing up nice and high for you every third bounce. He showed me in the gym how that’s basically true and I’ve … Continue reading

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How to drill a well

In one of my courses this semester students were learning about the coriolis and centrifugal forces that things seem to experience on the earth. There’s a problem at the back of the chapter that asks when a dropped rock would … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics, teaching | 7 Comments

Genetic algorithm for randomizing oral exams

I’ve written before about using genetic algorithms to solve problems, but I wanted to show how flexible they can be by writing here about how they helped me this week. My problem was that I wanted to assign standards to … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, syllabus creation | 8 Comments

Double pendulum roller coaster FIXED

My last post was wrong. I’m to blame. But in thinking about it and talking about it with with lots of helpful friends I ended up learning a ton. Here’s the upshot: There were kinks in the roller coaster loop … Continue reading

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Double pendulum roller coaster

EDIT: SEE THE NEXT POST THAT FIXES A MAJOR MISTAKE IN THIS ONE I’ve been doing a lot of modeling of beads on wires lately, but today I discovered something that really surprised me. The surprise came when I found … Continue reading

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Lagrange multipliers revisited

I spent the last few days trying to decide whether to teach Lagrange multipliers in my Theoretical Mechanics course. Ultimately I decided to go ahead and do it and I wanted to get down my thoughts on why and what … Continue reading

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What does the conducting paper lab teach?

At my school we have a lab for electric fields/potentials where they measure potentials at different locations on a piece of conducting paper that has been attached to a power supply (the + lead and – lead of the power … Continue reading

Posted in fun, mathematica, physics | 5 Comments