Physics

Essay specs: line spacing: single

paragraph spacing: single line between each paragraph
minimum length 1.5 pages; maximum length: 2 pages
font size and style: 12pt Times New Roman or Garamond font (such as you
find on this page).

This assignment is due on or before Wednesday, December 8.
1. Physics in the News. Occasionally there are big stories in the news that deal directly
with the advance of physics. Find such a story and report on it. Include a discussion of how
the discovery impacts upon what you have learned in this course.
2. Movie-Mythbusters. Watch any fairly well-known movie and critique at least two
physics principles used (or abused) thereinor more if needed to flesh out the requisite
essay length. Discuss whether each physical aspect is plausible or if it strains credulity. For
example, if I were to analyze Spider-man, I might look at the physics of swinging around on
a web, and of stopping an out-of-control train full of people. For the first part I would look
at how much kinetic energy does he have at the bottom of a swing, how fast is he going,
what centripetal force acts on him, what is the tension in the spider-web, is that within the
likely limits of the material and/or his body? Have fun! (For a superb example of the kind

of thing Im talking about, check out http://www.wired.com/2016/03/captain-americas-
kick-work-rocket-powered/ – if the url is still valid)

3. Physics is Phun! Play mini-golf, or Frisbee, or basketball, or go for a swim, or a run, or
participate in some other game or physical activity. Write a thorough review of the physics
principles at play. Basically this would be the mother of all physics moments.
4. YouTube? MeToo! A number of brief but informative videos on physics may be
found on the YouTube channels MinutePhysics, Physics Girl, Smarter Every Day,
and ScienceClic English. This last one gets rather technical, but does a good job of
breaking things down with some fantastic animations. Watch between five and eight of
these (note: feel free to mix it up some; there is no need to do, say, Minute Physics for all
of them). Write your report on what you learned from each video, and how each one
pertains to topics discussed, or at least mentioned tangentially, in class.