Sunday, May 1, 2016

31 March 2016- Atmosphere | PWN Physics 365

On this day in physics: 31 March 1966- The Luna 10 became the first spacecraft to orbit the moon, which was launched by the USSR.

Word of the Day- Atmosphere is a gaseous layer surrounding a planet or other body which has a strong enough gravity to hold gaseous substances to it. Think about that. The gravity of the earth is the only thing holding those gaseous particles in place on our planet. Earth's "atmosphere" has several different "layers", including the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere (where many meteors are observed), thermosphere, and exosphere. The atmosphere also highly contributes to trapping sunlight and thermal heat on our planet, making it suitable for life. By contrast, the moon has virtually no atmosphere, similar to that of Mercury. They do not have the substance of gravity to significantly bind matter to the planet.

Question of the Day- Do you appreciate your atmosphere??

Keywords: Atmosphere, Luna, USSR, Moon

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30 March 2016- Air Resistance | pwn physics 365

On this day in physics: 30 March 1922- Happy Birthday to Arthur Strong Wightman who would have turned 94 today. "[He] was an American mathematical physicist. He was one of the founders of the axiomatic approach to quantum field theory, and originated the set of Wightman axioms." [Source]

Word of the Day- Air resistance is a force which acts opposite an object traveling through air, or any gas. The particles in the gas collide with the object, and even though the molecules are microscopic, many small parcels can create a serious amount of force. It is what cars must oppose to maintain speeds on highways, and why cars are designed to look like they do, they are optimized to minimize air resistance, or drag. It's what pushes sails on sailboats and what can even create enough friction to cause extreme heat and damage upon reentry of satellites, space shuttles, and maybe even....UFOs!

Question of the Day- Do heavier objects fall more slowly than lighter objects? Answer: In the presence of no air resistance, objects fall at the exact same rate, and what changes their fall in the presence of air is AIR RESISTANCE. Check out the video to see a feather and coin fall at the exact same rate in a vacuum.

Keywords: Air, Resistance, Force, Space Shuttle, Drag

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29 March 2016- Gravitational Lensing | pwn physics 365

On this day in physics: 29 March 2010- The particle accelerator CERN officially went online, a year and a half late. [Source]

Word of the Day- Gravitational Lensing is a phenomenon which involves light from very far away and very massive galaxies. When a galaxy emits light which passes close to a very massive object like a star or a black hole, it can bend the light such that the galaxy can be behind the galaxy and appear as one or multiple galaxies to the side of the massive object. In 2011 an astronomy pic of the day featured a star which warped the light from a galaxy creating a gravitational lensing mirage. Check it out here.

Question of the Day- Do heavier objects fall more slowly than lighter objects?

Keywords: Gravitational Lensing, Mirage

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