Tag Archives: physics

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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seven colours, a thousand layers

As a scientist, and an educator, there are certain things that really irritate me. “Science ruins the magic” comments are pretty close to the top of the list.   These sorts of comments undermine the efforts of science and maths teachers to produce a scientifically literate next generation who is capable of making informed decisions about climate, health… etc. (And do the people who make these comments complain that vaccines ruin the magic of viruses??)

One of the old standard pull-it-out-of-your-box-of-clichés complaints is that knowing how rainbows work takes away their magic. Continue reading

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stuck in the middle, by blue

For dVerse’s prompt: ‘true colours.
The challenge was to write from the point of view of a colour…

All across space,
we travel as a pack,
none draws ahead
and none lags back.
But once we meet
an interface
ah, that changes,
how we race. Continue reading

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Obliquity II : turn the upper cheek

From summer downunder, for Eugi’s weekly prompt “winter”.  So great to have these prompts back! Thanks Eugi!

Mother earth,
your buttocks are scorchy!
It is time to turn us
away from the fire.

For my northern hemisphere friends – hang in there, the Earth will be turning her upper cheeks to the sun soon, and you’re welcome to it.  (And if you’re thinking winter is when you’re further from the sun, you might want to read Obliquity.)

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2300, still 30C / back of the envelope

dragged from sleep by the heat,
the still air drowning me, Continue reading

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cold moon, distant earth (tanka)

For Frank’s Haikai challenge #171 “cold moon”

Sundered by violence,
circling, locked in a dance, she
always shows one face
though her partner turns away,
as they drift slowly apart. Continue reading

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one on r-squared

Proximity trumps everything.
How else can a ball of grey basalt
outshine the stars? Continue reading

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Forces By Demons (FBDs)

A follow-up to Friction does not oppose motion, for Shruba and the Twisted Mouse:

Forces by demons,
and by engine elves,
and forces of motion
belong on same shelves. Continue reading

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Friction does not oppose motion!

You can’t, of course
walk or drive, with
no friction force.
Please tell your kith
and tell your kin:
You can’t begin
without friction. Continue reading

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