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Tag Archives: Dot Physics

How to Calculate the Physics in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

Videogames can do whatever they like with their physics. They don’t have to follow our so-called laws of nature. Yet there are indeed rules in every game, otherwise the motions of characters wouldn’t make any sense. But what are the rules? What physics govern the motion of in-game stuff? That’s …

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Trigonometry Is Essential to Physics. Here Are the Basics

You might have already passed that silly course with a title something like “Introductory Algebra and Trigonometry.” It covered a bunch of stuff, but the important part was that the class was a prerequisite for your physics course. But do you really understand the very basic concepts of trig? Yes, …

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Use a Slo-Mo Video to Calculate How Fast Glass Shatters

If you have a super-expensive camera that records in high speed, you should just record some stuff. Right? That’s exactly what Dan and Gav do on their YouTube channel, The Slow Mo Guys. In their most recent video, they decided to determine the speed of breaking glass. The plan is …

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No GPS? A DIY Radio Transmitter Can Help You Navigate

Suppose you traveled back in time—say 40,000 years into the past—and then you got stuck. What would you do? How would you rebuild all the stuff that you like? That’s the premise of the book How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler, by Ryan North. …

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An Energy Evolution: From Delicious to Dirty to Almost Free

If you think about the history of humans (disclaimer, I’m a human) you could make the argument that history is about the quest for energy. Not just any old energy, we want it cheap or maybe even free. If you have nearly limitless energy, you can do pretty much anything. …

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Aquaman Trailer: The Physics of His Leap from the Water

OK, I’m a little excited for the new Aquaman movie. Sure, I’ve been let down by DC movies before—but we also got Wonder Woman (which was awesome). Also, as a kid my mom made an Aquaman costume for me. She said it was the best costume for me since I …

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What Would It Take to Shoot a Cannonball Into Orbit?

Gravity is pretty complicated if you think about it. The motion of a ball falling on the surface of the Earth is caused by the same interaction as the moon orbiting the Earth. That’s crazy. It’s even crazier to realize that humans figured out that these two motions (falling ball …

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How Kyrie Irving Could’ve Leaned Over So Far Without Falling

In a recent video, Celtics player Kyrie Irving stands on a basketball court, with his legs straight and feet planted together, and leeeeeeans forward. He looks like he’s about to topple. But he doesn’t. He calmly returns to a normal upright standing position, shakes out his arms and stretches his …

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Flummoxed by Force and Motion? Try This Physics Experiment

You’re sitting in physics class, working on a traditional problem involving forces and acceleration, when you start to wonder where these terms even came from. Were they just dreamed up to bring anguish to students, or do they have a deeper connection to reality? The study of physics, of course, …

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