Tagged: gravity

Gravity goes downwards - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 06, 2013

Yesterday afternoon I was engaged in a spot of DIY - putting up some shelves. Even for me, as someone who takes to DIY like a duck to mountaineering, it's a fairly simple task, and I'm pleased to say that I got there without the 'do' in DIY turning into 'destroy'. With the help of my trusty stud-finder (Karen - … Read More

Turning moments - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 16, 2013

 The last couple of weeks has seen a few changes in the house as Benji has finally mastered crawling. Being a rather LARGE baby, he's been the last of his coffee-group babies to become mobile, but now he's got it worked out he's away at high speed... Read More

Sandpile physics - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jun 22, 2011

Yesterday I had a look around the Tate Modern art gallery in London. As is the way with modern art, there was the expected mix of fabulous, bizarre and seriously-stretching-the-definition-of-art exhibits.One of the pieces on show at present is a pile of porcelain 'sunflower seeds', by the artist Ai Weiwei. This piece of artwork is probably best known for … Read More

Pendulum mayhem - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 22, 2010

One of the main intentions of our 2nd year Experimental Physics paper at the University of Waikato is to have students learn how to put together a physics experiment that measures something, and to measure that thing in a systematic and robust manner. What that means in practice is dealing with uncertainties.  Whereas the average person might want everything to … Read More

Orbits - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 30, 2009

Going back to my comments on the Karman line (100 km about the earth's surface), I think it's worth commenting a bit 'being in orbit' means. We are familiar with the fact that if we drop something it accelerates downwards and hits the ground. If we throw something away from us, it will still accelerate downwards and hit … Read More

The final frontier - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 24, 2009

New Zealand is, hopefully, just a few days away from becoming a space-nation. The private company Rocket Lab  (what a great name - I like names that describe what a business actually does) aims to put up its Atea-1 rocket from Great Mercury Island sometime around November 30th. The payload will reach an altitude of 120 km before returning to … Read More

Random use of the word ‘exponential’ - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 15, 2009

One of the things I find mildly amusing is the way that physics and maths words get taken up into everyday vocabulary, where they take on a slightly different meaning from the original. The word 'random' seems to be a favourite in NZ at present, as in "I bumped into this random guy and he said this random thing". Others include 'infinite', … Read More