Tag Archives: nerdity

Tonomura tango

For the dVerse prompt “This one’s for you Bjorn“, set by Lilian in honour of Bjorn who is a (fellow) physicist, and requiring the use of a line from ABBA’s “dancing queen”.

So, here is a little nerdity for Bjorn:

 

Each double slit’s a sliding door,
to a strand within the multiverse, or…
Can’t decide, and no one’s looking?
Go through both, you’ll have them cooking,
up a theory on how you danced
through those doors – by choice or chance?
Do you expose a God’s immorality
with your fluttering waves of probability?
We’ve counters, film and CCD,
you think we’re blind, but you’ve been seen –
though you’re a teaser, you turn em on,
you sneaky little el-ec-tron.

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some notes for Selma

Some notes for Selma on orbits, because I couldn’t put all this in a comment.

I can’t add a file other than an image, so here are my notes on orbits for Selma as a bunch of images. If they look fuzzy, just click on the image and it will display as a nice clear version. Continue reading

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confession of a physicist

So, I wrote my last post in response to the dVerse prosery prompt, which was to write up to 144 words of prose including  the line “I am bombarded yet I stand”. Then I thought I’d better actually read the poem by Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”, that the line comes from.  And I wrote this as my proseyness instead: 

XXXXXX

XXXXXXI have a confession:

I don’t like astronomy. I find it really boring.

Go on, gasp in horror. Judge me soulless. Continue reading

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acros(s)tic

Tuesday’s dVerse prompt was to write an acrostic or a poem inspired by puzzles. I’ve never gotten into crosswords personally…

Crosswords are, apparently,
Recommended for the brain
Or some other mental activity
So our sanity’s maintained.
Some enjoy them, that is true,
Well, they’re fine, but not me.
Other puzzles bring me pleasure –
Round here we’re much more mathsy!
Division and times-tables,
Some algebra and graphing –

Numeracy’s enabled, and
Our puzzles keep us laughing.

But this prompt did make me smile, because on the weekend I spent a couple of hours creating puzzle-clues for my kids to do treasure hunts. The kids were bored with being in quarantine so I found some chocolate tucked away and sent them on an out-of-season Easter hunt. Some of the clues were word puzzles, including one combined crossword + jumble, but many were maths-based because the little one is learning long division and times-tables, and the twins are doing algebra and graphs in online schooling.  

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friction does not oppose motion – seriously, it doesn’t.

with apologies to Gordon Sumner….: 

Every move you make,
Every step you take,
Every game you play,
Unless still you stay,
Friction’s moving you.

Oh can’t you see,
That your free bodeeeee…
Diagram is wro-oong,
That’s why I sing this so-oooong…. Continue reading

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FBD, chant with me!

I use the odd rhyme and other mnemonics in my teaching, including online last year asking my class to turn on their microphones and all repeat after me:

“I solemnly swear, to draw the forces, all the forces, and nothing but the forces, on my free  body diagrams. So help me John”. (John is my co-lecturer – and it sounded better than “so help me Kate”). 

But after pondering the dVerse prompt to meet the bar with  a chant, I now have something bigger and… maybe…better… for this year’s cohort:

Now I know ’cause Kate told me

Now I know ‘cause Kate told me

I must master free body

I must master free body

Diagrams that show each force

Diagrams that show each force

If I want to pass this course

If I want to pass this course Continue reading

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Three layers, seven colours

A while I ago I posted a rant about rainbows. It was triggered by a comment that science ruins rainbows by taking away the magic. My argument in that post was that science adds to their beauty and magic because it allows you to “see” so much more in them.
A couple of days ago I was walking across a carpark and it had just started raining. And there was a stunning rainbow on the ground:

Continue reading

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three-way [ 3(C2H2) -> C6H6 ]

Yesterday’s dVerse challenge was to write a trimeric poem. I thought “cool, a chemistry topic! My chemistry is a bit oxidised, but I still remember what a trimer is… right, here we go:

Oh ethyline, oh ethyline
you pretty little thing,
oh my darling little monomer,
from you I’ll make a ring! Continue reading

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need, greed or curiosity?

I’m a little late for the dVerse Monday quadrille, but here is my take on Curiosity:

What drives you?
What gets you out of bed,
out the door,
out of your comfort zone?
Is it need?
Or greed?
Or curiosity?
Need got us out of the trees,
greed got us across the seas…
And curiosity?
Curiosity got us to Mars.

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truss no one

I couldn’t help thinking of my students when I read today’s dVerse prompt, Poetics: build a bridge” I tell them truss analysis is just like Sudoku but more fun – just lay out your equations, fill in the gaps, and truss me, that’s all there is to it! Until the build and test, that is. 

Every member – tension or compression?
Every joint – apply Newton’s second.
Have you considered load distribution?
What external forces make a contribution?

~put theory into practice~

Embody your equations in concrete and steel,
Now do the forces balance, for real?
Have you proved yourself a truss design master?
Or will your bridge feature on Engineering Disasters?

 

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