Category Archives: Physics

Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fusion is when two atoms combine into another atom. This is the opposite of nuclear fission, which is when an atom is split into smaller atoms. Nuclear fission is how we generate nuclear energy on earth, and is highly efficient. Nuclear fusion, however, would be even more efficient. Instead of using uranium for fission, […] Continue reading

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Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Worlds

The difference in surface conditions of the first four terrestrial planets can be explained almost solely by their atmospheres rather than their proximity to the Sun. Mercury has very little atmosphere to where it does not really play a factor in this, but the stark differences between Venus, Earth and Mars can be explained throughContinue reading “Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Worlds” Continue reading

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Breaking “c” and the Warping of Space-time

The speed of light, often denoted by the constant “c,” is faster than anything that we know. Although there have been attempts to get certain particles to travel faster than the speed of light, like when scientists at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland tried to get a hold of neutrinos, no one has successfully brokenContinue reading “Breaking “c” and the Warping of Space-time” Continue reading

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How Spherical is the Sun?

From what we know about planets like the Earth and its properties, we may expect the Sun to also experience a bulge, causing its shape to deviate from a perfect sphere. It turns out that the Sun isn’t a perfect sphere, but it’s pretty close to one. If fact, with the help of instruments onContinue reading “How Spherical is the Sun?” Continue reading

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Spring and Neap Tides

Many are familiar with the concept that the Moon creates high and low tides on Earth, but few know that the Sun also plays a role in the process. Tides are formed from the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon pulling on the Earth differently in different places due to variations in distance. TheContinue reading “Spring and Neap Tides” Continue reading

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Ultraviolet Catastrophe

While we discussed in class the importance of blackbody spectra continuous spectra, there is an important historical footnote in understanding where the famous blackbody curve arises from. Physics in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s predicted the wavelength-intensity relationship to be I α 1/λ^4, using a derivation based on classical statistical mechanics. This relationship closelyContinue reading “Ultraviolet Catastrophe” Continue reading

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What Causes Tides?

Have you ever been fishing? If you have, you probably know that your success partially depends on whether the ocean experiences a low tide or a high tide. But do you know the science behind what causes tides? Below is a quick and simple explanation why. Tides are caused by differential gravity. We know fromContinue reading “What Causes Tides?” Continue reading

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How Gravity Affects Light

Gravity exerts a force on photons, even though it has no mass. This can distort the things we see if the light that reaches us is being distorted by gravity, as seen in the picture at the top of this post. The confusing aspect of this is that gravity affects this light even though theContinue reading “How Gravity Affects Light” Continue reading

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The Basics of Our World

The Standard Model consists of 17 elementary particles that fit into a mathematical and theoretical framework that explains matter and forces. Since last century, the model has been able to not only explain, but also to predict existences of undiscovered particles. The particles are categorized into two groups: fermions and bosons. Fermions make up matter.Continue reading “The Basics of Our World” Continue reading

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Gravity in Space

An intriguing phenomenon that took millennia for the modern human to explain is gravity. First explained by Sir Isaac M. Newton, gravity as a force as a function of mass is a difficult one for many to wrap their heads around. The reason many non-scientists struggle to understand the basics of gravity is because itContinue reading “Gravity in Space” Continue reading

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