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Akano's Blog



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Autumn is here...

Posted by Akano , in Life Oct 07 2012 · 128 views
Autumn, October, Best Season
I went for a couple walks yesterday and today, and everything feels perfect. The air is crisp, the hoodie/jeans combo is perfectly comfortable, and the smell of fallen leaves permeates everywhere.

Now if only all the trees decided to finally change color to match the rest of the mood. :)

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There is no gravity on the moon...

Posted by Akano , in Math/Physics Oct 06 2012 · 443 views
Gravity, Moon, Intro lab
Or, so some of my students in my Intro Physics lab think. -_- Hopefully when you read the title you were ready to get your typing fingers ready to disprove me. You probably would have made an argument akin to the following mini-lecture. :P

Gravity is a force between objects/particles proportional to the objects' mass. Newton's universal gravitation looks like this:

Fg = - G m1m2/r2


where G is a proportionality constant, the m's are the masses of the two objects in question, and r is the distance between the two objects. This is why we feel the Earth's gravity affect us, but we don't feel the moon's or sun's gravity affect us. They most definitely influence the Earth (since the sun causes our orbit and the moon causes the tides), but we don't feel the effects of their presence.

So, if we have an object with mass m on Earth in free fall, its equation of motion is determined by

Fg = m a = - G m ME/r2


where ME is the mass of the Earth and a is the acceleration of the object. Note that, if we divide both sides by m, we find that

a = - G ME/r2


which means that the acceleration of an object in free fall has nothing to do with the mass of the object. In fact, you can see a video of this on the moon at Wikipedia's Gravitation page that shows Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott dropping a feather and hammer simultaneously. Since there is no air on the moon, the feather is not afloat longer than the hammer, and they fall at the same rate and hit the ground at the same time.

Also, while I said earlier that gravity affects things with mass, it also affects light, which does not have (rest) mass. However, light has energy, and as Einstein showed with his Special Theory of Relativity, energy and mass are equivalent:

E = m c2


So, you can construct the relativistic mass of light, thereby finding the equations that govern the changing of the straight path of light in a gravitational field. Using Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, you can also view the gravitational field as a curvature of spacetime, which influences straight lines to be curved in the space near the massive object, affecting the path of light.

Another interesting thing about mass: objects actually have two different masses associated with them: gravitational mass and inertial mass. Gravitational mass tells you how much an object interacts gravitationally, while inertial mass tells you how much an object resists a change in motion. In other words, more massive objects take more force/energy to alter their paths than objects with less mass. Here's the interesting thing, though: both these masses are equal, even though there really is no physical law stating that they have to be. The only reason we know these masses are equal is because empirical evidence says they are; there is no indication that these two masses are different to an appreciable/statistical extent.

So, if you think that there are no unanswered questions in the realm of physics, you are sorely mistaken. :)

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I just slept for three hours...

Posted by Akano , in LEGO, Life Oct 02 2012 · 191 views
Sleep, Reviews
And it was glorious. I was going to work on my E&M homework, but my body decided to rob me of all focus and initiative. I then ended up in my bed and slept for about three and half hours with no homework progress. Hooray?

Also, I've realized that I haven't finished my Time Cruisers/Twisters reviews, and I kind of want to retake the pictures for them (I have the pictures on my computer of when I first built them and planned to review them, but they're sub par...). Then I'd like to do some more retro (90s) set reviews. I'm thinking of tackling the good ol' Adventurers sets, as I have quite a few of those... :)

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New Comic and Such

Posted by Akano , in Set Review Sep 29 2012 · 164 views
Comic, Reviews
Hey, guys! Come over here and see the new comic this random yellow guy just posted! It's sure to make you LOL (or at least facepalm).

Also, my Halloween Accessory Set review is feeling rather unloved. Pay it a visit, won't you?

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My Apartment Is Better Than Yours

Posted by Akano , in Life Sep 26 2012 · 278 views
Chinchilla, Cute, Fluffy
It has chinchillas.

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Ask Akano

Posted by Akano , Sep 25 2012 · 423 views
Ask, Farm Animals
Yup, I caved. :P Ask me any question you desire, and I will give some sort of answer, honest or otherwise.

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Halloween Set Review and Other Stuffs

Posted by Akano , in Set Review Sep 22 2012 · 177 views

Just posted a review of the new Halloween-themed Minifigure 3-pack, so go check it out!

Also, a lot of "Ask X" blog posts have been surfacing. Do I hop on the bandwagon and start my own? Hmm...

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Just Thought I'd Mention This...

Posted by Akano , in Math/Physics Sep 17 2012 · 219 views
Acoustics, Iridescence, Rainbow and 2 more...
Science is awesome. I am currently reading a journal article about how people are making the acoustic version of iridescence. For those who don't know, iridescence is what certain insects, jewels, soap bubbles, and CDs exhibit as that rainbow effect that changes color depending on what angle it's viewed. The sonic or acoustic version of this is creating something that varies in pitch depending on the angle at which you stand relative to it.

Awesome.

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Brick-or-Treat

Posted by Akano , in LEGO Sep 14 2012 · 191 views

Why am I not there? :(

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Neutrons Bouncing on Glass

Posted by Akano , in Math/Physics Sep 13 2012 · 252 views
Gravity, Awesome, Science and 1 more...
Yes, you read that right.

So, today our physics department had our Journal Club, where one of the professors/grad students get to share a journal article or two that they found in the vast amount of physics literature available to academia. Today our resident dark matter-seeking professor gave the talk, and boy was it awesome.

The researchers whose papers he found were bouncing neutrons on glass and looking at their quantum states due solely to the potential energy caused by gravity. Quantum mechanics with gravity.

For those of you who don't understand how ridiculously awesome this is, let me put it in terms of Classical Mechanics: when a classical object is under the influence of a uniform gravitational potential (like that near Earth's surface), it follows parabolic trajectories. Imagine a ball bouncing on a table; it forms a series of parabolic bounces, each one smaller than the last due to friction and lost energy due to sound and such. This is essentially what this group did, but with neutrons and glass.

However, because neutrons are not classical particles and instead behave quantum mechanically, they don't bounce in parabolic trajectories. Instead, they abide by the laws of quantum mechanics, which means that there are only certain heights above the table at which they are likely to be found and certain heights that they cannot be found. So, a neutron in the ground (lowest) state of this system is most likely to be found at about 10 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) above the glass.

Also, when this was published back in 2005, it was the first time quantized energy levels due to Earth's gravitational potential alone were ever observed experimentally; the theory has been known for a while, but this is the first time anyone has in any way verified it.

Now, this group is attempting to test the properties of the force of gravity using this apparatus and their neutrons. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

This blog entry brought to you by SCIENCE!

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About Me

Akano Toa of Electricity
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Premier Members
Stone Champion Nuva
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1,500+ posts
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+2 for Premier Membership
+1 from Pohuaki for reporting various things in Artwork


Name: Akano
Real Name: Forever Shrouded in Mystery :P
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Likes: Science, Math, LEGO, Bionicle, Ponies, Comics, Yellow, Voice Acting
Notable Facts: One of the few Comic Veterans still around
Has been a LEGO fan since ~1996
Bionicle fan from the beginning
Misses the 90's. A lot.
Twitter: @akanotoe

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