Tag Archives: nerdity

SNR < 1 & F(net) = 0

For the dVerse quadrille prompt “static“. A quadrille has exactly 44 words, and must include the prompt word, in this case static, or some form of it.

Some nights, sleep rises like static,
drowning out the clamouring signals
that can’t be stilled –
those remains of the day
that we cling-wrap and freeze,
to (we intend) reheat tomorrow.
Better ignore them, until,
desiccated beyond recognition,
they can be quietly thrown away.

 

And a second quick one, because I teach statics and couldn’t resist:

Sum-over-F equals zero,
that’s all that you need to know.
But remember that F is a vector, okay,
so that zero’s in every which way.
And choose your coordinates wisely,
so your maths will come out more kindly.
And that’s statics in 44 words!

next, dynamics… but that needs more than 44 words. 

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another Easter egg hunt

This year, Easter has come early. Instead of the great Easter egg hunt being held on Sunday, it was today because my husband is taking them away tomorrow to visit their grandparents for a few days.

Last year I posted about how we make our poor unfortunate children solve puzzles and do maths to get their Easter eggs. No wonder they say we’re horrible parents…

The kids have to follow the clues, each clue leading to an Easter egg and the next clue, until the final clue leads to an Easter bunny.

Some of the clues need knowledge of the property, for example that we have a small hexagonal yurt with its own water tank, and a sitting tree, and a dam with a pump located at it, and the kids have a bark hut they built. The animal feed is stored in feed bins which are home to rodents no matter what we do, as is my greenhouse. Oh, and our only heating is a slow combustion wood stove.

With that in mind, here are some of this year’s clues if you want to have a go at them (answers posted at the end):

For the 9 year old:

Unjumble

Write the notes and fill in the gaps

Some maths

Some shapes

and word puzzles:

(my photo was too blurry, so I’m typing it out)
Busy as a _____
What horses eat, minus the aitch _____
What pirates are reputed to say _______
Turn it on it’s side (drawing of a sideways K)    ______
leave a space, and then:
Your age minus one, and add a “ch”   _____
Not me, or him, or her, but _____
You can put a small white ball on me  ______

 

For the 14 year olds:

More difficult maths, both simultaneous equations:

and some simple graphing (follow the directions):

Some science (physics, chemistry and biology):

I’m typing this one out because apparently my handwriting was too hard to read:

Rapid oxidation
occurs inside my tum
then CO2 and H2O
come flying out my bum!
My colon’s very long and tall
it reaches to the sky
releasing clouds in winter time
gassing birdies flying by

And some playing with words:
(this one was dropped and lost, so I’m typing it out too)

Say a mild oath, with a missing end,
are you feeling the pressure now, my friend? 
Solve this cryptic clue, then run
to get your egg before it melts in the sun. 

 

and here are the solutions (top to bottom) (scroll down… ):

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woodshed, deck table, gate, between the yurt and its tank, bark hut, yurt, deck, green house, wood stove (fireplace), feed-bins, dam pump.

 

 

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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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