97-98 -- 05-06 Academic Years
14 October 1997: Fred Schaal [Lane Technical High School]
He decried the lack of good billiard tables, and described the crucial "break shot" in billiards [3 balls; table with no pockets]. The "three cushion " shot requires a decent table, in that one must hit a cushion three times before hitting the target, without hitting the "other ball". In an ideal collision with a non-spinning ball, the angle of incidence is equal the angle of reflection. With the right sort of spin this is still true, and the angular velocity reverses direction. This is related to bouncing super balls off the bottom of tables.
20 April 1999: Karlene Joseph [Lane Tech High School]
She brought in an article from 4-11 Chicago Sun Times with questions about Baseball and Physics. Distance difference of approximately 3 feet further for every increase of 10oF, the orientation so the sun will not be in front of the batter and a wind of 10 mph can change the distance a ball travels in 400 feet by 30 feet. [Strange, but True by Bill and Rich Stones].
Porter commented about changes in the game. The "spitball" was banned in 1920. Also, before 1920 only one baseball was used in a game, and it just got dirtier and dirtier. In 1921 the umpire was given the option to replace the balls when it became too Schmutzig [Deutsch: filthy]. (the average life of a ball today in the major leagues is 7 pitches); Distances were shortened for more home runs; Orientation of the wind. And, of course, the "strike zone" has shrunk dramatically over the years.
22 October 2002: Leticia Rodriguez [Reuben Salazar Dual Language
School] Cardiostrides: Aerobic Gym Shoes
Leticia has been trying out new shoes, to wear in comfort while obtaining aerobic exercise in the process.. She showed us her new Cardiostride shoes, which are described on the Team Nikken website at http://www.nikken.com/product/technology/cardioStrides/. The shoes look comfortable, and Leticia said they increase heart rate to burn more calories through aerobic exercise. Most interesting, Leticia!
23 March 2004: Betty Roombos [Gordon Tech HS,
ESPN Sports Figures Videos:
Betty showed us the ESPN video THE MU YOU DO, which concerned friction, especially in the context of NASCAR automobile racing. The tires are typically filled with nitrogen. and it is frequently said that "tires win the race". Specifically, the cars are run on a closed track with significant curves, so that static friction between the tires and the track helps the automobile stay on the track, rather than sliding over to the outer wall. The coefficient of static friction, mS = fs / N is about 1.5, according to measurements made in the video. Thus, the maximum speed at which the car could go through a curved, level track without slipping is vmax = Ö(mgR) , where g is the acceleration due to gravity, and R is the radius of the track. For a track or radius R = 200 meters, we get vmax = Ö (1.5 10 200) = Ö (3000) = 55 meters/second.
Neat stuff, Betty!
13 September 2005: Bill Colson (Morgan Park HS, physics)
Bill also found an article which describes Adidas1 self-adjusting running shoes, advertised as the World's First Intelligent Shoe [http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2005/03/adidas_1_the_wo.html], available for about $250. See the September 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine; http://www.consumerreports.org/main/home.jsp.; Check the website http://www.computergear.com/ for computer gifts, T-shirts and gadgets for geeks, nerds, techies, and computer enthusiasts!