Tagged: Newton’s laws

Check those approximations - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 15, 2014

A common technique in physics is 'modelling'. This is about constructing a description of a physical phenomenon in terms of physical principles. Often these can be encapsulated with mathematical equations. For example, it's common to model the suspension system of a car as two masses connected by springs to a much larger mass. Here, the large mass represents the … Read More

Managing ignition timing - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jun 13, 2014

I've just been at a great lecture by Peter Leijen as part of our schools-focused Osborne Physics and Engineering Day.   He's an ex-student of ours, who did electronic engineering here at Waikato - and graduated just a couple of years ago.  He now works in the automotive electronics industry. That's an incredibly quickly growing industry. So much of … Read More

The gearbox problem - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 27, 2014

At afternoon tea yesterday we were discussing a problem regarding racing slot-cars (electric toy racing cars).  A very practical problem indeed! Basically, what we want to know is how do we optimize the size of the electric motor and gear-ratio (it only has one gear) in order to achieve the best time over a given distance from a stationary … Read More

Apparent forces - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 01, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I had the misfortune to be on a bus which had an accident. I wasn't hurt, because I was safely seated, which is more than I can say for one unfortunate passenger who was still on his way to his seat at the time. It wasn't a high-speed event - I'd guess we were … Read More

Oh dear Mr Kohli - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 11, 2014

Wow! That was a real nailbiting finish to the first test. Well done to the New Zealand bowlers to hold their nerve as India's batsmen got close. There was some great bowling, and also some great batting at times. Maybe the difference between the teams was that New Zealand in that final innings made fewer tactical blunders.  I'm … Read More

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