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Archive for the tag “minutephysics”

Are We Winning Or Losing?

We know that pandemics tend to grow exponentially at first and that growth is difficult to understand. But sooner, rather than later, the disease will run out of new people to infect. That’s why it’s incumbent on the media and government to let us know where we’re headed and if we are making any progress. To put it simply: Are we winning or losing? Host Henry Reich of Minutephysics explains.

Hacking the Periodic Table

A quick glance at the Periodic Table can give you the impression that it’s not very well designed. Why the awkward tall columns and huge gaps in the middle, separating closely related elements? Host Henry Reich shows off his cutting and taping skills to give us some fun, more user-friendly forms in this informative edition of minutephysics.

Why is Our Solar System Flat?

Our solar system formed more than 4.5 billion years ago in a nebulous cloud of swirling gas and dust, which coalesced thanks to the force of gravity. This nebulous cloud started out as a huge, shapeless blob, so how did our solar system end up with all its planets and their moons orbiting a star in a flat disk? minutephysics brings us the answers.



The Man Who Corrected Einstein

After Albert Einstein developed the theory of general relativity–a new and more powerful description of gravity–he was using the formula to make predictions willy nilly. Most of the predictions were confirmed by science. But then he plugged the universe into the equation and got a prediction that it was static and unchanging, which was wrong. Enter Russian physicist Aleksandr Friedmann, who claimed that Einstein had erred and put forth that the universe was still expanding. After tossing a few barbs at Friedmann and holding strong to his prediction, Einstein relented and admitted his mistake. Learn the rest of the story from MinutePhysics.

Free-falling Through Earth

Imagine the Earth were hollow. How long would it take us to fall through the planet? First off, says minutephysics host Henry Reich, assuming the Earth is perfectly spherical and has the same density everywhere, it turns out that the gravitational attraction from any spherical, symmetric object is the same as if all of its mass was concentrated at the center of that object. Phew! That was a mouthful. Tune in as Reich turns to his wheelhouse–math and physics–to give us an answer.

Some Days Aren’t 24 Hours

A stellar day is how long it takes the Earth to complete a full rotation about its axis, measured with respect to a distant stationary reference point in space. But our traditional concept of a day has to do with our Sun, not the galactic center. For each turn of the Earth, there’s a time when the Sun is highest, and a day is simply the time it takes for the Sun to get back to that point. A solar day is not the same thing as a day kept by our clocks, since it uses the Sun as a reference point as to when noon is. But the length of time when the Sun is highest isn’t constant, changing up or down by about a minute over the course of a year. So do we really have 24 hours in a day? minutephysics host Henry Reich unravels the mystery.

Unraveling Simpson’s Paradox

Simpson’s Paradox is a statistical anomaly and ecological fallacy where seemingly contradictory results are implied by a single set of data, depending on how it’s grouped. The paradox can arise in medical studies, student test scores and so on. minutephysics explains.

Conquering the Impossible Bet

Henry Reich of minutephysics presents a mind-blowing solution to what many gamblers thought was an impossible bet. The presentation is intense and a bit technical, but all you have to do is follow the math.

Walk Or Run in the Rain?

Henry Reich, host of minutephysics, takes on the age-old question: To stay as dry as possible, should you walk or run in the rain? The answer is a bit more complicated than you think.

A Glimpse of the Past

If you’ve ever taken in the wonders of the night sky, chances are you may be glancing into the distant past. Even the things you see surrounding you are old news. Well, maybe only mere nano seconds old. “Light travels at about 1 foot per nano second,” says Katie Mack of minutephysics. “Everything you look at is to one degree or another in the past. The farther away in space, the more ancient in time.” Take the Andromeda Galaxy, our Milky Way’s closest neighbor. If you’re lucky enough to see this cosmic giant on a clear evening, you’re viewing it 2.5 million years in the past.

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