Category Archives: physics

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

Relativistic Lagrangians

I’m a part of a cool group of folks interested in infusing computation into undergraduate physics curriculum. One of the projects is called “relativistic dynamics” and it really got me thinking. I thought I’d get my thoughts down here. Lagrangian … Continue reading

Posted in physics, teaching, 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

Faraday’s law is overused

First let me say that I thought for sure I’d written this post last year, but it appears not. That could also mean that maybe I didn’t write it because someone else had a good breakdown of my argument, but … Continue reading

Posted in electromagnetism, general physics, physics | 6 Comments