Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Flying Circus of Physics web site (find the button off to the right here to go to the site) is just getting started and we're still working out a few bugs, so please bear with us. I'm hoping that this blog site is where you and I can talk and where you can share ideas with others. Since the original FCP book was published world wide, I think blogging this site will probably be also. On that note, I am pleased to tell you that within 3 weeks of publication, the book landed 2 translation agreements: Korean and German. I'll soon start posting new FCP topics on the web site and updating the references. Oh, you might check out the store---we've already got some FCP tee shirts and a mug. -Jearl


Blogger Luke said...

Dear Jearl - I was so happy to find the 2nd edition of the book. I had no idea it was coming out. I find it in a bookstore in Oxford. My 12-year-old son and I love it!


4:23 PM  
Blogger Jearl said...

Well, thanks. It has been an intense labor of intense love. As you and your son go through the book, see if there is something I should have included and I'll try to put it on the FCP website.

1:08 PM  
Blogger FCP_fan said...

Word has spread through hospitals about the danger of using Purell, the hand sanitizer. Is it really true that if a spark jumps from you while you have Purell on your hands, that the Purell can burn?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Jearl said...

A student of mine told me that his wife, a hospital worker, had been warned of this danger. However, I cannot find a single authenticated example where a common spark has ignited the alcohol vapors coming off Purell. As I explain in the book, sparking can happen in dry weather (usually in midwinter) when the touching of clothing and skin causes electrons to move from one to the other where (because of the lack of humidity) they collect. If you become charged like this and then reach for a metal object or a faucet, a spark can jump between the object and you to neutralize your body. Because alcohol vapor can burn, presumably a spark could ignite the vapor if it is coming off your hands.
I have repeatedly tried to set my fingers on fire by pulling off a sweater on dry days, coating my fingers in Purell, and then bringing my fingers close to a nearby large metal object. (Ok, I admit that I need therapy here, but I don’t think there is a 10 step program for this particular affliction.)
Sometime I even rub the sweater through my hair, to the great concern of anyone passing my office. Never has a fire spring up on my fingers. I think the energy in a common spark is just too small to ignite the vapor, even if the electric potential I build up on my body is large.

8:18 PM  
Blogger armando said...

Hi, I love the link to the Penguins leaping out of the hole in the ice. What happened to the last guy who didn't mke it?

10:33 AM  
Blogger Jearl said...

What happens to the penguin who fails to make the leap through the hole in the ice? Let me just say: death by seal.
What happens to a student who fails to graduate? Let me just say: death by retailing hamburgers.
The message is simple: Leap as high as you can and study like crazy.

11:12 AM  

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