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Tag Archives: Python

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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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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Fall Is Here! Time to Learn the Physics of… Falling

Take a pencil, stretch out your arm and let go. We all know that the pencil will fall. OK, but what about dropping a bowling ball? Is that the same thing? No wait! How about a watermelon dropped off a tall building? Why would you do that? I would do …

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How to Prove That the Earth Orbits the Sun

One of my favorite classes to teach is Physics for Elementary Education. It’s a physics class designed to address the needs of future elementary school teachers—grades 1 through 6 or so. To guide the class, I’ve been using a version of Next Gen Physical Science and Everyday Thinking for a …

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Why Big Stuff Cools Off Slower Than Small Stuff

Welcome to another chapter in my ongoing saga entitled “big things are not small things.” In this edition of big vs. small, let’s look at hot stuff. Here I have three aluminum objects. A large block, a small block, and a heat sink. Just for reference, the big block is …

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Why Do You Feel Lighter at the Top of a Ferris Wheel?

Here is what I like to do (for fun). Take a classic physics problem and go over the solution. After that, I take it just one step further to see what happens. Today, let’s start with this problem (you can find a version of this in just about every physics …

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