Tagged: oscillation

Modes of a square plate - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jan 15, 2015

Alison has drawn my attention to this video. It demonstrates vibrational modes of a square plate by using sand. At certain frequencies, there are well defined modes of oscillation, in which parts of the plate 'nodal lines' are stationary. The sand will find its way to these parts and trace out some lovely pictures.  Vibrational … 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

Neurons or chickens? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jan 13, 2012

Last weekend we had an expedition out to rural Waikato somewhere beyond Morrinsville (in torrential rain of course) to a chicken farm and bought a couple of young chickens. The idea is that they'll give us an egg supply, and, if properly controlled (ha ha!) dig up the weeds, fertilize the garden etc. (Or, more likely, get into the vege … Read More

Schlieren imaging - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 31, 2011

I've been sent this link to a movie of a shock wave from a trombone.  You've got to feel sorry for the poor clarinetist who is sitting in front.This sort of thing can be done neatly with the method of schlieren imagaing. (See some more examples here) This is a 'simple' way of picking up changes in … Read More

Piezoelectricity - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 04, 2011

I went to a very informative seminar this morning by Peter Pott, of the Technical University, Darmstadt, Germany. He gave a very nice introduction to the world of piezoelectric devices.In short, a piezoelectric thing is something that acquires a voltage across it when it is squeezed, stretched, sheared, etc. They can be used as sensors, e.g. in microphones, … Read More

Bessel functions - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 10, 2011

I vaguely remember the following conversation from back when I was a PhD student.Student A: What's a Bessel function?Student B (waving his arms about): It's a wavy thing - goes like this, doesn't it?Me: Sounds vaguely familiar - I think we did it in third-year.Student A: But what IS it?Me: Something to do with waves on a membrane, isn't it?Student … 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

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