Wednesday, March 30, 2016

19 March 2016- Cooper Pairs | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 19 March 1910- Happy Birthday to Arseny Sokolov who would have turned 106 today. He was responsible for developing synchrotron radiation theory.

Word of the Day- Cooper pairs were named after Leon Cooper, and what he discovered was that at low temperatures, electrons and other Fermions will bind together to form pairs. These nanometers can still be up to several hundred nanometers apart and remain paired. These pairs are able to move almost effortlessly through the material that they exist in.

Quote of the Day: “There is no democracy in physics. We can's say that some second-rate guy has as much right to an opinion as Fermi." -Luis Walter Alvarez

Keywords: Cooper Pairs, Electrons, Superconductors, Fermi, Radiation, Theory, Synchrotron

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18 March 2016- Superconductor | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 18 March 1987- The "Woodstock of Physics" took place, which was a marathon American Physical Society meeting during which there were 51 presentations on high-temperature superconductors, a budding field at the time.

Word of the Day- A Superconductor is a material which allows electrons to flow through it with exactly zero resistance. In the real world, most materials which allow current flow with extremely little resistance are referred to as superconductors as well. Most materials which can have superconductive properties do so at extremely low temperatures. They do this because the electrons in the material pair up in what are known as cooper pairs, and in doing so also in general do not repel from other electrons in the material, but rather flow effortlessly through the material.

Quote of the Day: In searching for physics woodstock, I came across the following quote: "A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything"- Irish Proverb

Keywords: Woodstock, Physics, Superconductor

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Friday, March 25, 2016

PWN E090- Vectors Virtual Tour and App Launch!

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The wonderful day is finally here! We've come a long way and are finally finished with how to handle vectors. Let's wrap up by going through a tour of the new app. The first thing you will come across is the welcome screen, and then the main menu which will direct you through everything you need for your introduction to vectors.

The first place you want to start is answering the question "What's a Vector?" Tap this to enter the what's a vector menu. You can then get detailed explanations for the following: What's a Vector?, Magnitude, Direction, ijkijk (a cool trick for unit vectors), the right hand rule, and a method for vector addition and subtraction.

Now that we're initiated on what a vector is, next we dive into the anatomy of a vector. Shown is a vector on a cartesian coordinates axis with 9 different parts of the anatomy, with detailed explanations.

Now that you understand what a vector is exactly, next we go into how to do dot and cross products, as simple step-by-step procedures, and then examples of addition, subtraction, dot and cross products!

Finally, we test your knowledge with a flash card review. We test the ijkijk concept, vector anatomy, and vector addition, subtraction, dot and cross products.

As if vectors wasn't enough, we then encourage you to go beyond, check out the podcasts for deeper resources, interact with the team by giving comments and ideas, as well as seeing other apps that are available!

So, that is a quick tour of the Vectors app, and will serve to wrap up the section. Be sure to check out the app in the store by clicking the link at the top or bottom of the page. Good luck!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

17 March 2016- Work Function | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 17 March 1803- Happy birthday to Carl Jacob Lowig, who was a German chemist who discovered bromine, which he did independently of scientist Antoine Jerome Ballard (more on this in the quote of the day.

Word of the Day- The work function is the energy which binds an electron to its atom. The work function is the minimum amount of energy needed to free an electron from the shackles of a solid. This ties in with the photoelectric effect because the frequency needed or energy needed from the light must be at minimum equal to the work function of the solid and we can test this by just doing the photoelectric effect experiment, and varying the light until we start seeing the effect. There is a monster table somewhere which has the work function for pretty much any solid you could ever want. Lastly, the unit of the work function is the Joule, which makes sense since it relates to the amount of energy.

Quote of the Day: "Balard did not discover bromine, but rather bromine discovered Balard." Justus Von Liebig

Keywords: Work Function, Photoelectric Effect, Bromine, Balard, Lowig

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

PWN E089d- Linear Examples Pt 4- The Graph

In today's episode we continue digging into examples concerning our linear equation y = mx+b, where m is the slope, and b is the y-intercept. Our fourth example involves finding the equation from a graph. As usual, coffee-stained notes below. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

16 March 2016- Sublimation | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 16 March 1789- Happy Birthday to Georg Simon Ohm, who would have turned 227 today. Ohm is the namesake of our unit of resistance, the Ohm, and is the physical opposite of the inverse of the ohm, the Mho. Ohm continued the work of Alessandro Volta and his work with electrochemical cells.

Word of the Day- Sublimation is a process where a solid changes immediately to the gaseous state without entering the intermediate liquid state. Sublimation occurs when temperatures change that cause a solid to exist, to temperatures which cause a gas to exist. At certain pressures (which are lower than a substance's "triple point"), it is not possible to have that substance exist in a liquid state.

Quote of the Day: "Resistance is Futile" -Georg Ohm (I was cruising for quotes and I came across this joke quote, which I thought was too good not to share here)

Keywords: Resistance, Ohm, Sublimation, Triple Point, Gas, Solid

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15 March 2016- Photoelectric Effect | PWN Physics 365

On this YESTERDAY in physics: 14 March 2015- Happy Birthday to a little man named ALBERT EINSTEIN, the founder of one of the two pillars of modern science, Relativity, Nobel Prize winner for his work on the Photoelectric Effect, and all around great guy. He would have been 137 yesterday.

Word of the Day- The photoelectric effect is a phenomenon which exists in many metals. These metals will emit electrons when light shines upon them. These electrons are called "photoelectrons" and the energy of these electrons come in multiples of the frequency of the light which shines on the metal. Each metal also has what is known as a "threshold frequency", which if incoming light is of a lower frequency will not induce the photoelectric effect.

Quote of the Day: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." -Albert Einstein

Keywords: Einstein, Relativity, Speed, Mass, Time

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14 March 2016- Verschränkung | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 14 March 2015- We celebrated super pi day, or 3-14-15. March fourteenth usually describes the first three numbers in pi, 3.14, but last year we celebrated the pi day which describes pi to five decimal places, 3.1415, which only occurs once every hundred years!

Word of the Day- Verschränkung is the German word first used by Erwin Schrodinger to describe the idea of quantum entanglement. Entangled particles are two particles whose states only occur once measured. If a decay happens and two particles are emitted, their combined spins must add to zero, so if one is measured to have spin of -1/2, the other MUST immediately have a spin of 1/2. Verschränkung describing entanglement was first used in the description of the Schrodinger Cat thought experiment featured as yesterday's word of the day.

Quote of the Day: "Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness with the universe.” -Erwin Schrodinger

Keywords: Schrodinger, Cat, Quantum Mechanics, Superposition, Entanglement

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13 March 2016- Schrodinger's Cat | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 13 March 1899- Happy Birthday to John Hasbrouck Van Vleck who would have turned 117 today. He was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in 1977 for his contributions understanding the behavior of electrons in magnetic solids. He was also one of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during The Second World War.

Word of the Day- Schrodinger's Cat is a story or metaphor devised by Erwin Schrodinger to describe the superposition of states a quantum particle can exist in before measurement. In this scenario there is a cat in a box which can release poison by pressing a button. Until the observer opens the box to take stock of the cat's state, it is impossible to know whether it is alive or dead. It is from this experiment that the very paradoxical idea that the cat is in a superposition of being both alive and dead comes from. It's to describe the idea of quantum entanglement.

Quote of the Day: "We spend the first years of our children's lives teaching them how to walk and talk and the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and shut up.” -Neil Degrasse Tyson

Keywords: Schrodinger, Cat, Quantum Mechanics, Superposition

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Monday, March 14, 2016

12 March 2016- Density | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 12 March 1954- Happy Birthday to Elena Aprile who turns 62 today. As per wikipedia: "She has been a Professor of Physics at Columbia University since 1986. She is the founder and Spokesperson of the XENON Dark Matter Experiment since 2002. Aprile is well known for her work with noble liquid detectors, and for her contributions to particle astrophysics in the search for dark matter." [Source]

Word of the Day- Density is the measure of how compact the mass is per volume. It is calculated as mass divided by volume. When solids are placed in a liquid, objects more dense than the liquid will sink and objects less dense will float. Liquids when mixed together will sort based on their densities, the most dense closest to the bottom and the least dense towards the top.

Quote of the Day: "The great thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not."- Neil Degrasse Tyson

Keywords: Density, Mass, Volume

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11 March 2016- ALARA | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 11 March 1920- Happy Birthday to Nicholaas Bloembergen who turns 96 today. The Dutch physicist won the Nobel Prize in 1981 or his work in laser spectroscopy and for probing matter with lasers to discover properties which could not have been investigated any other way. He also won the Lorentz Medal.

Word of the Day- ALARA- This may be one that most of you aren't so familiar with. Today's word of the day is ALARA, which is a term used frequently near particle accelerators. It is an acronym which is used in radiation safety and means As Low As Reasonably Achievable. It is a way of minimizing risk in radiation safety program. Outside of exposure regulations, the idea of ALARA means that you do not just keep yourself within the boundaries of regulations. If you can be exposed to a certain level of radiation for 4 hours, but you can get the work done in 2 hours, you need to do it in 2 to keep all exposure risks ALARA. To respect the dangers as well as the intrigue and progress possible in nuclear and other facilities which give exposure to radioactivity, engineers, scientists and other team members must make every reasonable effort to keep any exposure hazards to an absolute minimum.

Quote of the Day: "Increased knowledge implies increased responsibility" -Nicholaas Bloembergen

Keywords: ALARA, REM, Radiation, Particle, Accelerator.

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10 March 2016- QED | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 10 March 2011- Brian Cox, English particle physicist, gave the Ninth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture. For the uninitiated, Douglas Adams is the author of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Word of the Day- QED- QED is a short abbreviation for Quod Erot Demonstrandum, which is latin for "Therefore it is proven". It is quite frequently found at the end of a mathematical proof. When describing his new field of physics, Richard Feynman decided to call it Quantum Electro Dynamics, so he could abbreviate it QED.

Quote of the Day: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams

Keywords: QED, Quod, Erot, Demonstrandtum

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

09 March 2016- Positron | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 09 March 1611- Johannas Fabricius, a Dutch astronomer, was the first to observe and formally publish a paper on sunspots, dark spots on the Sun which he found quite curious.

Word of the Day- Positron- The positron is the antiparticle of the electron. It was first hypothesized by PAM Dirac and discovered in 1932. It has the same mass and spin as an electron, but has opposite charge. If an electron and positron were to collide, they will annihilate creating gamma ray radiation and the two particles will vanish.

Quote of the Day: "In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded." -Terry Pratchet

Keywords: Positron, electron, charge, annihilation, antiparticle.

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08 March 2016- Maxwell Equations | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 08 March 1871 - James Clark Maxwell was the first apointee of the Cavendish Professor of Physics at Cambridge. At the time Maxwell was a relatively unknown physicist, and had yet to do his best work regarding electromagnetism.

Word of the Day- Maxwell Equations- There are four Maxwell Equations which led him to be the heavyweight in physics that he is. These four equations deal with the nature of electromagnetic waves, which we also know define how light behaves, because light is an electromagnetic wave. In my senior level electromagnetics II course in college (oh by the way they don't even introduce maxwell equations until electromagnetics TWO.), these are pretty much all you need. They do everything to describe light. So, the four laws are as follows: Gauss's Law, Gauss's Magnetism Law, Ampere's Law, and Faraday's Law. Now, from the sounds of it, he just compiled together from three other guys some laws and made them his own. Kind of yes and kind of no. What he did was consolidate known electromagnetic behaviour in such a way that definitively showed that electricity and magnetism are intertwined in a way that cannot be separated. They induce each other. The other monster thing that he did was this little nugget of information that the speed limit for the propagation of an electromagnetic wave is the same as the speed of light, AND THAT LIGHT IS IN FACT AN ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE. That is a big deal.

I think we'll dig into each equation on its own for exclusive words of the day, because there is way too much to do in just a single episode. Maybe the next time we have a lapse, we'll do a monster Maxwell Equations episode to bring us right up to speed.

Quote of the Day: "[Maxwell's Work] is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since Newton" - Albert Einstein [Source]

Keywords: Maxwell, Equations, Electromagnetics, Waves, Light, Flux

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