atmosphere | pwn physics 365 | 31 March 2016

May 2, 2016

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On this day in physics: 31 March 1966- The Luna 10 became the first spacecraft to orbit the moon, which was launched by the USSR.

Word of the Day- Atmosphere is a gaseous layer surrounding a planet or other body which has a strong enough gravity to hold gaseous substances to it. Think about that. The gravity of the earth is the only thing holding those gaseous particles in place on our planet. Earth's "atmosphere" has several different "layers", including the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere (where many meteors are observed), thermosphere, and exosphere. The atmosphere also highly contributes to trapping sunlight and thermal heat on our planet, making it suitable for life. By contrast, the moon has virtually no atmosphere, similar to that of Mercury. They do not have the substance of gravity to significantly bind matter to the planet. 

Question of the Day- Do you appreciate your atmosphere?? 

Keywords: Atmosphere, Luna, USSR, Moon

air resistance | pwn physics 365 | 30 March 2016

May 1, 2016

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On this day in physics: 30 March 1922- Happy Birthday to Arthur Strong Wightman who would have turned 94 today. "[He] was an American mathematical physicist. He was one of the founders of the axiomatic approach to quantum field theory, and originated the set of Wightman axioms." 

Word of the Day- Air resistance is a force which acts opposite an object traveling through air, or any gas. The particles in the gas collide with the object, and even though the molecules are microscopic, many small parcels can create a serious amount of force. It is what cars must oppose to maintain speeds on highways, and why cars are designed to look like they do, they are optimized to minimize air resistance, or drag. It's what pushes sails on sailboats and what can even create enough friction to cause extreme heat and damage upon reentry of satellites, space shuttles, and maybe even....UFOs!

Question of the Day- Do heavier objects fall more slowly than lighter objects? Answer: In the presence of no air resistance, objects fall at the exact same rate, and what changes their fall in the presence of air is AIR RESISTANCE. Check out the video to see a feather and coin fall at the exact same rate in a vacuum.

Keywords: Air, Resistance, Force, Space Shuttle, Drag

gravitational lensing | pwn physics 365 | 29 March 2016

April 30, 2016

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On this day in physics: 29 March 2010- The particle accelerator CERN officially went online, a year and a half late. 

Word of the Day- Gravitational Lensing is a phenomenon which involves light from very far away and very massive galaxies. When a galaxy emits light which passes close to a very massive object like a star or a black hole, it can bend the light such that the galaxy can be behind the galaxy and appear as one or multiple galaxies to the side of the massive object. In 2011 an astronomy pic of the day featured a star which warped the light from a galaxy creating a gravitational lensing mirage. 
Question of the Day- Do heavier objects fall more slowly than lighter objects? 

Keywords: Gravitational Lensing, Mirage 

matrix | pwn physics 365 | 28 march 2016

April 28, 2016

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On this day in physics: 28 March 1946- Happy Birthday to Wubbo Ockels, a Dutch astronaut who would have turned 70 today. He was the first Dutch citizen in space and did so aboard the American Space Shuttle.

Word of the Day- A Matrix is a square or rectangular array of numbers. A matrix is defined by how many rows and columns it has. For example, a matrix with 2 rows and 3 columns is referred to as a "2 by 3" matrix. The plural of matrix is matrices. Matrices are very useful for describing quantities which may exist in multiple dimensions, such as vector quantities or tensor quantities. They make very complicated numerical situations very easy to manipulate and are used in almost every facet of physics and mathematics. If you have ever computed a cross product, you have essentially dealt with matrices before, even if you didn't know it.

Keywords: Matrix, Space Shuttle.

drake equation | pwn physics 365 | 27 March 2016

April 15, 2016

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On this day in physics: 27 March 1845- Happy Birthday to Wilhelm Rontgen, a German Physicist and 1901 Nobel Prize winner who would have turned 171 today. He was the first to discover radiation first known as Rontgen rays and now referred to as X-rays. 

Word of the Day- The Drake Equation is an equation developed by Frank Drake in 1961 which uses probabilistic factors which are multiplied together to estimate the number of extraterrestrial intelligent species in the galaxy or universe. Per wikipedia: "The number of such civilizations, N, is assumed to be equal to the mathematical product of (i) the average rate of star formation, R*, in our galaxy, (ii) the fraction of formed stars, fp, that have planets, (iii) the average number of planets per star that has planets, ne, that can potentially support life, (iv) the fraction of those planets, fl, that actually develop life, (v) the fraction of planets bearing life on which intelligent, civilized life, fi, has developed, (vi) the fraction of these civilizations that have developed communications, fc, i.e., technologies that release detectable signs into space, and (vii) the length of time, L, over which such civilizations release detectable signals". <a href="">Check it out here.</a> By this equation and even conservative estimates there are somewhere between 1000 and 100,000,000 civilizations in the Milky Way alone.

Keywords: Drake, Equation, Roentgen, Extraterrestrial.

CETI | pwn physics 365 | 26 March 2016

April 13, 2016

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On this day in physics: 26 March 1938,Happy Birthday to Sir Anthony James Leggett, who turns 78 today. "Leggett is widely recognized as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics, and his pioneering work on superfluidity was recognized by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics." [Source]

Word of the Day- CETI is an acronym meaning communication with extraterrestrial life. The idea is to transmit messages that could theoretically be decoded by other intelligent civilizations. One of the most famous CETI attempt was done by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake at Arecibo observatory, in 1974. They transmitted a message from the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico of 1769 binary digits which form a picture when placed in sequence <a href="">which can be seen here.</a> We have as of this writing not received any known transmissions from this or any other CETI attempts.

Question of the Day: If you could communicate with extraterrestrial life, what would you say???

Keywords: CETI, Extraterrestrial, Superfluids

lava tubes | pwn physics 365 | 25 March 2016

April 13, 2016

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On this day in physics: 25 March 1655- Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, was discovered by Christian Huygens. 

Word of the Day- Lava Tubes- I came across an article in the National Geographic which stated that scientists had discovered Lava Tubes on the moon, and that they are currently being scouted to house a permanent moon base. So Lava Tubes are tunnels under the surface of the Moon, where lava once flowed. Now they are hollowed out caves of drained lava, but proof of volcanic activity on the Moon. Now they can be used to protect our first Moon base from space shrapnel such as asteroids and other hazards like direct exposure to the Sun. 

Question of the Day: Would you live in a Lava Tube on the moon???

Keywords: Lava, Tube, Moon, Lunar, Titan, Huygens

deimos | pwn physics 365 | 24 March 2016

April 12, 2016
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On this day in physics: 24 March 1820- Happy Birthday to Edmond Becquerel, a French physicist who is credited with first observing the photovoltaic effect. His father was Henri Becquerel, the discoverer of radioactivity, and the namesake of the SI unit of radioactivity, the Becquerel.

Word of the Day- Deimos is the second and smaller moon of Mars. It is much further away than Phobos, 23,000 km from Mars, compared to Phobos' 6,000 km. Because it is further away, it has an orbital period of roughly 30 hours, compared to Phobos' 7.5 hrs. In Greek mythology, Deimos is the twin brother of Phobos. It is half the size of Phobos and is very similar to a C or D class asteroid in makeup.

Quote of the Day- "It shouldn't be humans to Mars in 50 years, it should be humans to Mars in ten." -Robert Zubrin

Keywords: Becquerel, Radioactivity, Deimos, Mars

Phobos, Pt. 2 | PWN Physics 365

April 7, 2016

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On this day in physics: 23 March 1882- Happy Birthday to Emmy Noether, a Female German Jewish mathematician who made contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. She contributed to the explanation and relationship between mathematical symmetry and the physical laws of conservation. She was named by such giants as Albert Einstein as the most important woman in the history of mathematics...and I really don't know anything about her.

Word of the Day- Because Phobos is so close to Mars, it actually orbits Mars faster than Mars itself rotates around its axis. It takes roughly 7.5 hours to go around Mars, whereas the Martian day is about the same but slightly longer than the Earth day, 24.5 hours. Another feature of how close Phobos's proximity to Mars is is that we can say fairly certain we know about its demise. In 30-50 million years, it will either collide with the Martian surface, or break apart and give Mars a lovely ring not unlike Uranus, Saturn, or Jupiter. In Greek mythology, Phobos was the son of the God of War, Ares, also known as...Mars.

In lieu of a quote of the day today, I present to you a song from the Tony Levin album Pieces of the Sun, named Phobos. Check it out! Very spacey!

Keywords: Women, Conservation, Phobos, Moon, Mars, Connected 

Episode0075- Phobos, Pt. 1 | PWN Physics 365

April 6, 2016

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On this day in physics: 22 March 1995- Russian Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov triumphantly returns to our terrestrial home of Earth after a staggering 437 days at the MIR Space Station. To date he has logged over 22 months in space.

Word of the Day- Phobos is a moon orbiting mars. It is the largest of the two moons which orbit Mars, and orbits closer than any other moon that we know of. It is roughly 6000km from the surface, which is roughly the width of the United States. Phobos itself, on the other hand, is very small. Its kind of egg shaped, with the dimensions being roughly 27 x 22 x 18 kilometers. To put this in perspective, it's roughly a third of the size of Long Island, NY, my current home which is 118km by 37km, roughly.  You could fit three Phoboses side by side and they could kind of fit on Long Island, with room to spare. 

Quote of the Day: "We are all connected, to each other biologically, to the Earth, chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically." -Neil Degrasse Tyson

Keywords: Cosmonaut, MIR, Phobos, Moon, Mars, Connected