More swimming pool physics

Have you ever thought why water is difficult to move through? What property does it have that air doesn’t, that makes it an effort to get anywhere in it? The answer is utterly straightforward, but it is worth saying: it is simply more dense than air. If you want to move through it, you’ve got […]

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Swimming pool physics

It’s summer, and for me that means the university’s 50 metre outdoor swimming pool is open. Lots of lunchtime lengths, dodging the morons who can’t cope with the concept that lanes are for lane swimming, rather than playing ball games. There’s a lot of physics that goes in with swimming. Hydrodynamics, the study of how […]

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Traffic

I visited a company in Auckland yesterday, which involved negotiating the famous Auckland traffic. Now, I have to say that arriving in Auckland after the rush hour proved a very smart move, and we cruised to our destination without any fuss, but it got me thinking about traffic flow and physics.

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Water, water everywhere

Yesterday a very politely written letter arrived at the department, addressed to the physicists. I was curious as to what it was, and read it carefully all the way to the word ‘homeopathy’, at which time I began preparing a space for it in the ‘cranky letter’ folder of my filing cabinet. I will spare you […]

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Under pressure

I got some new taps for my kitchen yesterday. The boring technical specitications on that bit of paper marked ‘important – please read’ said ‘do not exceed a pressure of 800 kpa’.  Now, leaving aside the fact that it should be ‘kPa’ not ‘kpa’, that means 800 kilopascals. A pascal is the pressure caused by 1 […]

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