Episode0074- Moon Dog | PWN Physics 365 | 21 March 2016

April 4, 2016

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On this day in physics: 21 March 1768- Happy Birthday to Joseph Fourier, who would have turned 248 today. I can't say it better than his wikipedia article: He was "best known for initiating the investigation of Fourier series and their applications to problems of heat transfer and vibrations. The Fourier transform and Fourier's law are also named in his honour. Fourier is also generally credited with the discovery of the greenhouse effect."

Word of the Day- A Moon Dog is a phenomenon of a bright spot seen on a lunar halo, roughly 10 moons in diameter, as seen from observers on earth. They look like little swatches of light around the halo, which are caused by small ice particulates in our atmosphere at cirrus cloud height. There is a fantastic picture of moon dogs photographed in Alaska as the astronomy picture of the day, which you can see here.

Quote of the Day: "Mathematics compares the most diverse phenomena and discovers the secret analogies that unite them." -Joseph Fourier 

Keywords: Moon Dog, Moon, Sphere, Night, Sky, Woodstock, Physics, Superconductor

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Episode0073- Magnetic Monople | PWN Physics 365 | 20 March 2016

April 2, 2016

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On this day in physics: 20 March 1942- Happy birthday to Gabriele Veneziano, who turns 74 today. He has performed the most experiment at CERN ("Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire"), in Geneva Switzerland, and holds the Chair of Elementary Particles, Gravitation and Cosmology, at the College of France. 

Word of the Day- Magnetic Monopoles are currently a theoretical particle or object which has a net magnetic charge. Magnets have a north and south pole, but a magnetic monopole would have only a north or south pole. While they are considered "allowed to exist" by current physical theory, they have yet to be observed in nature. Question: Why aren't electrons and protons considered magnetic monopoles?? Answer: They are electric monopoles. 

Quote of the Day: “A physicist Is an atom's way of knowing about toms."
-George Wald

Keywords: Magnetic, Monopoles, Atoms, Cern, Elementary Particles
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Episode0072- Cooper Pairs | PWN Physics 365 | 19 March 2016

March 30, 2016

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On this day in physics: 19 March 1910- Happy Birthday to Arseny Sokolov who would have turned 106 today. He was responsible for developing synchrotron radiation theory. 

Word of the Day- Cooper pairs were named after Leon Cooper, and what he discovered was that at low temperatures, electrons and other Fermions will bind together to form pairs. These nanometers can still be up to several hundred nanometers apart and remain paired. These pairs are able to move almost effortlessly through the material that they exist in. 

Quote of the Day: “There is no democracy in physics. We can's say that some second-rate guy has as much right to an opinion as Fermi."
-Luis Walter Alvarez

Keywords: Cooper Pairs, Electrons, Superconductors, Fermi, Radiation, Theory, Synchrotron
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Episode0071- Superconductor | PWN Physics 365 | 18 March 2016

March 30, 2016

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On this day in physics: 18 March  1987- The "Woodstock of Physics" took place, which was a marathon American Physical Society meeting during which there were 51 presentations on high-temperature superconductors, a budding field at the time.

Word of the Day- A Superconductor is a material which allows electrons to flow through it with exactly zero resistance. In the real world, most materials which allow current flow with extremely little resistance are referred to as superconductors as well. Most materials which can have superconductive properties do so at extremely low temperatures. They do this because the electrons in the material pair up in what are known as cooper pairs, and in doing so also in general do not repel from other electrons in the material, but rather flow effortlessly through the material. 

Quote of the Day: In searching for physics woodstock, I came across the following quote: "A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything"- Irish Proverb

Keywords: Woodstock, Physics, Superconductor
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Episode0070- Work Function | PWN Physics 365 | 17 March 2016

March 24, 2016

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On this day in physics: 17 March 1803- Happy birthday to Carl Jacob Lowig, who was a German chemist who discovered bromine, which he did independently of scientist Antoine Jerome Ballard (more on this in the quote of the day. 

Word of the Day- The work function is the energy which binds an electron to its atom. The work function is the minimum amount of energy needed to free an electron from the shackles of a solid. This ties in with the photoelectric effect because the frequency needed or energy needed from the light must be at minimum equal to the work function of the solid and we can test this by just doing the photoelectric effect experiment, and varying the light until we start seeing the effect. There is a monster table somewhere which has the work function for pretty much any solid you could ever want. Lastly, the unit of the work function is the Joule, which makes sense since it relates to the amount of energy.

Quote of the Day: "Balard did not discover bromine, but rather bromine discovered Balard." Justus Von Liebig

Keywords: Work Function, Photoelectric Effect, Bromine, Balard, Lowig

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Episode0069- Sublimation | PWN Physics 365 | 16 March 2016

March 17, 2016

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On this day in physics: 16 March 1789- Happy Birthday to Georg Simon Ohm, who would have turned 227 today. Ohm is the namesake of our unit of resistance, the Ohm, and is the physical opposite of the inverse of the ohm, the Mho. Ohm continued the work of Alessandro Volta and his work with electrochemical cells.

Word of the Day- Sublimation is a process where a solid changes immediately to the gaseous state without entering the intermediate liquid state. Sublimation occurs when temperatures change that cause a solid to exist, to temperatures which cause a gas to exist. At certain pressures (which are lower than a substance's "triple point"), it is not possible to have that substance exist in a liquid state. 

Quote of the Day: "Resistance is Futile" -Georg Ohm (I was cruising for quotes and I came across this joke quote, which I thought was too good not to share here)

Keywords: Resistance, Ohm, Sublimation, Triple Point, Gas, Solid
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Episode0068- Photoelectric Effect | PWN Physics 365 | 15 March 2016

March 16, 2016

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On this YESTERDAY in physics: 14 March 2015- Happy Birthday to a little man named ALBERT EINSTEIN, the founder of one of the two pillars of modern science, Relativity, Nobel Prize winner for his work on the Photoelectric Effect, and all around great guy. He would have been 137 yesterday.

Word of the Day- The photoelectric effect is a phenomenon which exists in many metals. These metals will emit electrons when light shines upon them. These electrons are called "photoelectrons" and the energy of these electrons come in multiples of the frequency of the light which shines on the metal. Each metal also has what is known as a "threshold frequency", which if incoming light is of a lower frequency will not induce the photoelectric effect. 

Quote of the Day: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." -Albert Einstein

Keywords: Einstein, Relativity, Speed, Mass, Time
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Episode0067- Verschränkung | PWN Physics 365 | 14 March 2016

March 16, 2016

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On this day in physics: 14 March 2015- We celebrated super pi day, or 3-14-15. March fourteenth usually describes the first three numbers in pi, 3.14, but last year we celebrated the pi day which describes pi to five decimal places, 3.1415, which only occurs once every hundred years!

Word of the Day- Verschränkung is the German word first used by Erwin Schrodinger to describe the idea of quantum entanglement. Entangled particles are two particles whose states only occur once measured. If a decay happens and two particles are emitted, their combined spins must add to zero, so if one is measured to have spin of -1/2, the other MUST immediately have a spin of 1/2. Verschränkung describing entanglement was first used in the description of the Schrodinger Cat thought experiment featured as yesterday's word of the day.

Quote of the Day: "Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness with the universe.” -Erwin Schrodinger

Keywords: Schrodinger, Cat, Quantum Mechanics, Superposition, Entanglement
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Episode0066- Schrodinger’s Cat | PWN Physics 365 | 13 March 2016

March 16, 2016

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On this day in physics: 13 March 1899- Happy Birthday to John Hasbrouck Van Vleck who would have turned 117 today. He was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in 1977 for his contributions understanding the behavior of electrons in magnetic solids. He was also one of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during The Second World War. 

Word of the Day- Schrodinger's Cat is a story or metaphor devised by Erwin Schrodinger to describe the superposition of states a quantum particle can exist in before measurement. In this scenario there is a cat in a box which can release poison by pressing a button. Until the observer opens the box to take stock of the cat's state, it is impossible to know whether it is alive or dead. It is from this experiment that the very paradoxical idea that the cat is in a superposition of being both alive and dead comes from. It's to describe the idea of quantum entanglement. 

Quote of the Day: "We spend the first years of our children's lives teaching them how to walk and talk and the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and shut up.” -Neil Degrasse Tyson

Keywords: Schrodinger, Cat, Quantum Mechanics, Superposition
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Episode0065- Density | PWN Physics 365 | 12 March 2016

March 15, 2016

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On this day in physics: 12 March 1954- Happy Birthday to Elena Aprile who turns 62 today. As per wikipedia: "She has been a Professor of Physics at Columbia University since 1986. She is the founder and Spokesperson of the XENON Dark Matter Experiment since 2002. Aprile is well known for her work with noble liquid detectors, and for her contributions to particle astrophysics in the search for dark matter." [Source]

Word of the Day- Density is the measure of how compact the mass is per volume. It is calculated as mass divided by volume. When solids are placed in a liquid, objects more dense than the liquid will sink and objects less dense will float. Liquids when mixed together will sort based on their densities, the most dense closest to the bottom and the least dense towards the top.  

Quote of the Day: "The great thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not."- Neil Degrasse Tyson

Keywords: Density, Mass, Volume
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