Archive for September 30th, 2007

Einstein and I

Meet Albert Einstein the distinguished physicist!!!

And me with the slightly blackened complexion…alas, how damaging the rays of the Hawaiian sun can be!  Hence my promotional item of the week: sunscreen!!


Anyways, this renowned scientist and I became good acquaintances in the summer of ’06.  And he convinced me to take AP Physics.  Could there have been some intelligent reasoning behind this decision or was it a fatal error?!  I guess I’ll find out as the year progresses…

I met Vladimir Putin, Princess Diana, Yao Ming, Audrey Hepburn, Bill Gates, Jackie Chan, and others as well.

But don’t be jealous!  We’re all special in our own ways.  xD


(Why am I writing this?  To be honest, I have no idea.  Minh Luong’s Total Performance Management lecture must have backfired though…I find myself craving the euphoric sugarhighness of Coke…^ ^)

Read Full Post »

Physics of Rain

Knowledge I’ve gained after spending Friday and Saturday learning about policy debate and Sub-Saharan Africa: “The Malaria epidemic is like loading up seven Boeing 747 airliners each day, then deliberately crashing them into Mt. Kilimanjaro.”  : (  How can such a statistic not be depressing?

As for physics…it started pouring on my way home on Saturday.  (Which was actually quite a liberating experience.) 

Let’s take the hypothetical average raindrop to be a few millimeters in diameter.  With only gravity, the drop would accelerate towards the Earth at 9.8 m/s².  That’s pretty scary considering that it falls from thousands of feet above sea level.  Luckily for us, there’s air resistance, an upward force which opposes motion in air.  Drag will increase as the velocity of the raindrop increases.  When that force is equal to the downward force of gravity, the raindrop reaches its maximum or terminal velocity.  Since a raindrop is so small, it reaches its terminal velocity rather quickly and therefore won’t cause too much physical harm to those out in the rain.

Furthermore, we could even calculate the change in potential energy as rain (it’s probably too difficult to find the mass in kg of a single droplet) falls to the ground with the handy equation below! 

ΔPE = mgΔh

But we would expect the actual kinetic energy released from rainfall to be a much smaller number due to the opposing drag force. 

Anyways, throughout this whole experience I kept remembering the famous question, “Do you get wetter from walking or running in the rain?”  I’m sure the answer is physics-related… maybe Doc could answer this. : )

Rain.jpg Rain picture by xtaintedwatersx

FYI: In the time it’s taken you to read this post, 4 more children have died from malaria. 

Read Full Post »