Most of us have observed jellyfish in action at one time or another. In my experience, I have watched them as they surrounded the small boat I was on, on a sunny summer day with no way to swim until they’d made their way past. I’ve also watched them in an exhibition at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. From the vantage point there, I was able to see the portions of the jellyfish that were below the waterline. It was a beautiful site. Continue reading
In this BBC presentation, Physicist Dr Helen Czerski takes us on an amazing journey into the science of bubbles. Bubbles may seem to be just fun toys, but they are also powerful tools that push back the boundaries of science. From the way animals behave to the way drinks taste, Dr Czerski shows how bubbles affect our world in all sorts of unexpected ways. Whether it’s the future of ship design or innovative new forms of medical treatment, bubbles play a vital role.
It’s a long video, but well worth the time. Pop your self some popcorn. Grab a bottle of water. Settle back to be enthralled by —— bubbles
One of the most impressive things about penguins – and puffins – is the way they rocket out of the water to land on the ice. Not only do they stick the landing, they come out of the water with enough momentum to gain a foothold.
In this video, Helen Czerski – physicist and oceanographer based at the Institute for Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton – explains the role that fluid dynamic principles play in this amazing penguin ability.
Another, slightly more technical, look at Cayley’s Four Forces of Flight!
Cayley’s Four Forces
Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky was born in Russia in 1857. The fifth of eighteen children, Tsiolkovsky first imagined a place without gravity when he was 8. It was a small hydrogen-filled ballon that rose to the ceiling each time he let it go that excited his imagination. Tsiolkovsky’s mother taught him to read and write. Before he entered his teens, his life took a turn that would forever alter his path.
As Tsiolkovsky wrote later, ” Age of 10 or 11, the beginning of winter, I rode a toboggan. Caught a cold. Fell ill, was delirious. They though I’d die but I got better, but became very deaf and deafness wouldn’t go. It tormented me very much.” The reality of a profound hearing loss a the time and in the area that Tsiolkovsky lived meant that his opportunities for education were extremely limited. He needed to depend upon himself to set goals and seek knowledge on his own. Continue reading
Russian Rocketman Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, truly a “Citizen of the Universe,” introduced these Sixteen Stages of Space Exploration in 1926. He believed that these incremental steps would bring man into space and allow him to thrive:
- Design of rocket-propelled airplanes with wings.
- Progressively increasing the speeds and altitudes reached with these airplanes. Continue reading
Ueli Gegenschatz takes everything we know about aerodynamics and puts it all into a series of brilliant extreme sports experiences in the pursuit of his dream of human flight. You can view this video and think about lift, drag, thrust, and weight, but chances are you’ll be too busy wishing you were there with him!
Says Gegenschatz: “I believe this is probably the closest possibility to come to the dream of being able to fly.”
There are claims that Boston pitcher Jon Lester cheated in the Series opener against St. Louis in Boston on Wednesday night. These claims are based upon an observable blob of something – I think I’d rather not know precisely what – in his glove. The substance in his glove does not necessarily equate to cheating. It’s what Lester did or did not do with the substance that counts.
A major league pitch moves through the air at speeds of 90 mph or more. As the ball moves forward, it is subject to aerodynamic forces known as the Magnus Force – a variation of the Bernoulli effect. In the case of the Magnus Force, it is the spinning of the ball and the raised surface of the stitches that create a whirlpool of rotating air around the ball. The moving air exerts pressure – think Bernoulli effect – and the ball moves in the direction of least resistance. A perfect curve ball curves right at the plate because of the Magnus Force. Continue reading