A couple of years ago, I graduated from [famous university] with a decent bachelors in physics. Since then, I've been working in a job which I'm going to be slightly opaque about, but I'm basically a ‘radiation physicist’ who gets paid by the government. I'm finding lots of aspects of this job unsatisfying and I'm looking for a career change. What are good avenues to explore for physics graduates? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jul 21, 2014 -
My apartment is on the top floor of a single family home. My landlord has advised that we open the skylights, one in the bathroom and one in the stairwell, to help keep the house cool. We have a window AC unit going in one of the rooms (a bedroom next to the bathroom with the skylight). It seems like opening skylights would let the cooler air out, like any window. What is the right move here to keep the apartment cool? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jul 7, 2014 -
I'm seeking recommendations for documentaries or books that offer more than a layman's explanation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but don't require advanced studies in astrophysics to comprehend. [more inside]
posted by bkpiano
on Jun 17, 2014 -
As a by-product of this FPP about a very large water slide
, have just been involved in an inconclusive and heated argument about the physics aspects. Hypothetically, what would happen if, halfway down this very fast waterslide in a raft, you (accidentally or deliberately, it doesn't matter) defecated? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on May 20, 2014 -
So, I recently got selected to do undergraduate physics research this summer. Great! Awesome! Yay me!
However, my research advisor has asked me to use something called IDL to analyze tomographic images of compounds and turn them into 3D images. This is good news, because IDL is used a lot by astronomers to analyze astronomical data, and I want to continue my education in astronomy. But, I've never used IDL ever before. I'm not even sure exactly what it is (a programming language?).
My question is this: how do I get up to speed so that I can hit the ground running with my research?
Difficulty: Research begins in two weeks.
Details: [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw
on Apr 25, 2014 -
It's spring and the plants and trees which have been bare for months are bursting into life. I've been thinking it must take a lot of energy for a tree to go from having no leaves at all to being covered in too many to count in a relatively short period of time. But how much energy exactly? [more inside]
posted by neilb449
on Apr 16, 2014 -
For the grad-level education I want, I need an understanding of chemistry, physics, and calculus at a minimum. I have a BA in a tangentially related field (or will in a couple months). What are the best resources for learning these subjects without spending even more time/money on tuition? [more inside]
posted by Urban Winter
on Apr 4, 2014 -
If I tie a 10N weight to a balloon and fill the balloon with helium so that the weight is lifted 100m into the air, then 1kJ of work has been done. Who did that work, and when? Who lost energy?
posted by Galaxor Nebulon
on Mar 13, 2014 -
I’m in a conundrum -
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Physics and I am currently searching for a Master’s Programme at a German University specialising in the management of Oil resources and/or the relation to Oil and Physics that I studied. [more inside]
posted by theTrap
on Dec 20, 2013 -
For my pal...What is a good physics study guide for:
a) 1st semester algebra-based college physics
b) lots of solved problems
c) without calculus
I remember liking Schaum's in undergrad, but I seem to recall it being calculus based.
posted by j_curiouser
on Dec 15, 2013 -
My son is a junior physics/math major at a small midwestern state university. He needs to start looking at graduate programs. He would prefer to stay in research or academia. How can I help him start this process? (B.S. for me) Location is not an issue. It's more a question of what programs offer the best opportunities and fields of study. How can we find out that kind of information? How can I help him start with a reasonable number of candidates?
posted by DaddyNewt
on Nov 27, 2013 -
Physics geeks! Help me save energy! How do I estimate how much less energy will be used by light siding vs gray siding, based on an experiment with small boxes? I made some identical boxes, put them in the sun, measured temperatures, and am trying to figure out how to scale up. The net has info about different roof colors, but not siding colors. [more inside]
posted by amtho
on Nov 19, 2013 -
I'm a science teacher who is trying to take prerequisite courses in order to eventually apply for a graduate physics degree. The problem is as a teacher I work a set schedule everyday, and the pre-requisite classes I want are designed for the first-time college goer who is attending school full-time or has a part-time job at night. How do I get the classes I need? [more inside]
posted by Peregrin5
on Nov 18, 2013 -
I have a large road case (2.5 / 2.5 / 3 feet) that I need to weigh. It is too big to fit on one scale. Would it work to place one scale under each of the 4 wheels and average the 4 weight readings? My physics-fu is not strong enough to figure this one out on my own. Help!
posted by TheCoug
on Nov 4, 2013 -
Just curious why the motorcycles don't completely tip over when they corner in the motocycle races? [more inside]
posted by dbirchum
on Oct 28, 2013 -
Trees in deep snow often have a gap around them where the snow is lower (see here
). Why is this? Do trees give off enough warmth to melt snow, or do they absorb the snow as water, or is it because falling/blowing snow is blocked by the tree trunk, leaving a kind of shadow?
posted by oulipian
on Oct 27, 2013 -
What is "electric potential"? I've dug through the internet, gone to tutoring, asked my teacher, and nothing has helped. [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw
on Oct 3, 2013 -
When I hold out a weight at arm's length, I am doing no work (which, in physics, is motion over a distance against a resisting force, iirc) on it, because it remains stationary. But it feels like work! What about at the level of biophysics? Is keeping the muscle fibers of my arm contracted doing work in any way, perhaps at the cellular level?
posted by thelonius
on Sep 11, 2013 -
My friends and I are having a nearly friendly debate about the effects of superhydrophobic coatings on various items, and we've decided to look here for more input. [more inside]
posted by TomMelee
on Sep 5, 2013 -
Until last night I was unaware that the hollow earth conspiracy was a thing. Since then, I've been driven crazy by trying to imagine the physics of it. What would gravity be like on a shell planet? Details about the exact setup within. [more inside]
posted by odinsdream
on Aug 17, 2013 -
I have sort of a bozo question about insects and physics. Why is it that when I shoo a wingless insect from, say, my arm, said insects falls the human equivalent of many storeys to the ground and doesn't die? Physics was never my forte, but this seems to defy some basic law, does it not?
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl
on Aug 17, 2013 -
I'm looking for a short book or series of books for my 7.5 year old son describing the history of the search to explain planetary motion. [more inside]
posted by alms
on Aug 5, 2013 -
What are the options available to me for getting an advanced degree in physics when I have an undergraduate degree in a completely different field? [more inside]
posted by Peregrin5
on Jul 17, 2013 -
K, so I've found out through researching this that the water can come out at 200mph, but does anyone know how much pressure the water comes out at?
(I've done a fair amount of research on it, but have only found the 200mph bit out. Was hoping I might get some help from the hive.)
posted by sockpim
on Jul 15, 2013 -
Summer vacations are coming up and I am going to use some of my free time to learn physics and math, subjects that I love. In order to do that i asked collegeconfidential.com if anyone had "exclusive study materials" from their university which they could share. I mentioned that I would like to have acess to tests and exams from other universities and I could give some good materials collected by my colleagues of the physics and math course in exchange. [more inside]
posted by tsuwal
on Jul 12, 2013 -
The Coney Island Luna Park Astrotower was dismantled
this July 4th. The reason given was because weight was removed from the top of the tower it began abnormally swaying, so it had to come down. The swaying was reported by an unidentified tourist. This seems fishy to me, especially the claim that a lighter, less top heavy structure would be less stable. Was there an actual safety issue, or was it more likely that there was some kind of conspiracy to bring the tower down?
posted by Sophont
on Jul 8, 2013 -
How does the adhesive force between the water and the material of the capillary tube exert an upwards force to create the concave meniscus shape of H2O (or the convex meniscus shape of Hg)? [more inside]
posted by sunnychef88
on Jul 8, 2013 -
I need to research physics and emotions in a way that is actually scientific, but most of what I've found while googling is new age stuff.
One specific question I have is this: do emotions have wavelengths in any sense of the word? Or other quantitative properties?
I would be interested in any general information on the subject as well, especially as it pertains to grief/loss. Book recs, articles, info from your personal knowledge are all welcome. Thanks!
posted by mermaidcafe
on Jul 1, 2013 -
I read a method for making iced coffee that set off my bullshit detector. The gist of it was "if you put ice in a bunch of hot coffee it will melt and you will have warm liquid", but! "if you brew drip coffee over a pot of ice, since there is only a small amount of hot coffee hitting the ice at each moment, you will have lots of cold coffee!". That's bunk, right? [more inside]
posted by wrok
on Jun 24, 2013 -
I teach Physics and I would love to have a large, easy-to-see digital timer that would allow me to time various demos (i.e. pendulum swinging, ball falling, etc). I've found basically exactly what I want
, but it costs $460!! Can it be bought/built for cheaper? Requirements below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse
on May 31, 2013 -
There are anecdotes, usually of identical twins, who manage to "communicate" even when separated by distance and/or time. One twin just "knows" that something has happened to the other twin. I don't have a twin, but I once had this kind of connection with my then boyfriend. [more inside]
posted by booksandwine
on May 29, 2013 -
I have a song at 150 bpm, perfectly in tune. I want to repitch it down to around 120 by slowing it down. At which bpms will the notes be at pitch?
posted by semaphore
on May 23, 2013 -
Are there any online stores that sell teaching aids for demonstrating principles of architectural engineering? I am wanting to buy model columns, arches, domes, trusses, cantilevers, and so forth, to use in architectural history classes that I am teaching. The goal is to demonstrate the physical forces that act on buildings, so I don't need models of finished buildings and bridges, but rather models that show how the structures work--preferably in an interactive way. Any leads would be most appreciated.
posted by mortaddams
on May 19, 2013 -
I'm watching the X Games on ESPN, and it's the skateboard competition in a swimming pool-like skateboard park. After the initial drop-in to start a run, the competitors do not put a foot down and kick off, yet they seem to sometimes gain speed during the run, depending on their actions. What's going on here, from a physics perspective? How are they adding energy to speed up? [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell
on May 16, 2013 -
Actual question: what is the formula for the deflection of an intermediately loaded simply supported beam from multiple point loads? Reason for the question so you can question my assumptions (and know that I'm not doing homework)
I am building a swing-set, from pretty much standard swing set parts, but want to deviate from the standard dimensions a bit - in particular, I want to make the top beam in a single bay setup 1.75' longer than the usual 10'. I am doing this so I can hang a longer bench swing that would hold a couple of people, so this is more length supporting more load, and I want to calculate some things. More inside! [more inside]
posted by flaterik
on May 16, 2013 -
Please help me pronounce this formula related to projectile motion as it would be spoken out loud: L = v0^2 sin2θ / g [more inside]
posted by misozaki
on Apr 30, 2013 -
I want to relearn algebra, chemistry, basic mechanics, and basic physics this summer. For free? [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur
on Apr 25, 2013 -
Three years ago, I graduated with a Physics degree. Since then, I've been working in a soul-crushing IT job. Realistically, what are my options to push my career forward? Help me find my passion. Lots of snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Mar 25, 2013 -
What are the fatal ambient temperatures, cold & hot, for the human body? (total destruction, not just death) [more inside]
posted by herbplarfegan
on Mar 19, 2013 -
I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
posted by capricorn
on Mar 19, 2013 -
If you have an object with a given base length and a given CG height, how fast can it travel before you have to worry about it running over an obstacle and falling over? [more inside]
posted by Popular Ethics
on Mar 5, 2013 -
My dad built a proper pedestal for our new washing machine and dryer. It is 19 inches high. The challenge is getting the washer up onto the pedestal. The washer weighs 232 lbs. It is just the two of us today. I don't want to throw my back out. Neither does he. What equipment or physics tricks can we employ to get this thing up on the pedestal?
posted by jasondigitized
on Feb 17, 2013 -
I am considering writing a novel/story that involves the idea of people living among us who are somewhere between three and eight inches tall, but I don't know enough about the physics of sound to know if normal height humans would be able to speak to these tiny people. Would their voices be too high-pitched to hear at all, or just very difficult to understand? Would our voices be understandable to them? [more inside]
posted by Rock Steady
on Feb 15, 2013 -
If I know the material that I'm teaching well, but don't have any experience with tutoring or teaching, how do I learn the skills and techniques that will help me be an effective tutor? [more inside]
posted by cognitio
on Feb 3, 2013 -