Scientific Idea Summaries Essay

528 words - 3 pages

Foucault's Pendulum
This idea basically says that if you have a pendulum swinging back and forth on the same plane, its path will gradually rotate over the course of time. According to Foucault, the back and forth movements of the pendulum will constantly turn beyond the point of making a full rotation. But because of many factors, including the friction of the air, it is extremely difficult to actually experiment with a real pendulum- it eventually loses momentum and the swinging comes to an end. This principle was applied to the movement of the Earth and it helped prove that our planet is indeed turning.
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and the smallest planet in our solar system. The ratio of days to years ...view middle of the document...

Drinking Bird
The drinking bird is a pivoting mechanism (shaped like a bird) that dips its head in a glass of water, "sucks" some of the water out, continues to pivot, and repeats the cycle over and over again. Apparently, this mechanism has baffled many physicists for years, including Albert Einstein- who never did find an explanation as to how the mechanism works. Today, the nature of this bird can finally be explained. The key to the mechanism is temperature difference- the head of the bird is dipped in water (giving an "evaporative coating") before it is put into motion. There is a chemical inside the bird's gut (below the pivot) called dichloromethane which has a very high vapor pressure. Because of the difference in pressure and temperature, the bird's center of gravity changes as it is rocking back and forth. Because of the center of gravity shift, the back and forth motion grows more drastic until the head dips into the water- restarting the cycle all over again.
Portal and Momentum
This experiment is based off of the game "Portal 2" which is highly related to physics. You are capable of setting portals that allow you to move from one region of space to another. The question that people ask is whether or not the person/object travelling through the portals is conserving their momentum as they do so. The answer given by modern physicists is "No." Because the subjects velocity vector is changing in the same region of space, the laws of physics do not allow momentum to be conserved. Arguably, the subjects speed can be conserved, but not its momentum. Ultimately, according to modern physicists, the laws of physics portrayed in "Portal 2" are not entirely accurate.

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