Category Archives: physics

Doppler Drum Corps

One of my favorite oral exam questions to give students in introductory physics classes is to ask them whether marching bands should worry about tuning because of the Doppler Effect (lots of details below but the short version: if there’s … Continue reading

Posted in fun, general physics, mathematica, parenting, physics | 4 Comments

Stable, asymmetric dice

A while ago I set about trying to find asymmetric dice that might be fair. I’ve put a lot more work into it, but mostly because there’s been a lot of frustrating interesting tangents. Here’s the main thrust of the … Continue reading

Posted in fun, mathematica, physics | 5 Comments

Fair Asymmetric Dice, getting there

Ever since my son and I worked on whether different types of 20-sided dice were fair I’ve been thinking about whether there might be some oddly shaped dice that could still be fair.  I’ve watched these three numberphile videos and I’ve looked … Continue reading

Posted in fun, mathematica, physics | 6 Comments

Critical Disagreement

I’m just wrapping up my time spent at a really great conference that’s all about the First-Year Experience for students in college. I’ve got lots of thoughts running through my head, including lots of cool ideas for a large part … Continue reading

Posted in dean, physics, teaching | 2 Comments

Mass changing orbits

A few weeks ago my good friend John Burk posted some intriguing questions about what happens to planetary orbits as the sun loses mass (all that heat has to come from somewhere!). I’ve been thinking about it ever since and … Continue reading

Posted in general physics, mathematica, physics | 2 Comments

Snow wave

Earlier today I posted this pic and asked a question about it on twitter: What determines the wavelength of the snow pattern? pic.twitter.com/KqPKla2IIJ — Andy Rundquist (@arundquist) December 10, 2017 If you click through you’ll see lots of great ideas. … Continue reading

Posted in physics, teaching, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Propellers with rolling shutter

I really loved Smarter Every Day’s cool video about propellers shot by digital video cameras: I especially like how he stuck with it over several years! I liked the explanation a lot about why the propellers take on such weird … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, mathematica, physics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment