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Category Archives: physics
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
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
Posted in mathematica, physics
7 Comments
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
Posted in mathematica, physics
8 Comments
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
Posted in mathematica, physics, syllabus creation, teaching
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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
Ampère’s law
Tomorrow I’m covering we’re working on Ampere’s law in my calcbased general physics course. In preparation I was looking around at different ways to present it, and I realized that I was getting crabby about most of the presentations I … Continue reading
Posted in physics, syllabus creation
4 Comments
I hate Kirchhoff’s loop law
Sorry for the incendiary title, but it does express my feelings pretty well. When analyzing DC circuits, students are often encouraged to use the two Kirchhoff’s laws: [sometimes called the node law] all current flowing into a node must flow … Continue reading
Posted in physics, teaching
14 Comments