Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Stories at the main FCP site for March 2011: (1) audience scanning, in which lasers are directed into the audience to illuminate the spectators, and the use of hundreds of laser pointers in a Flaming Lips concert. It all started when Blue Oyster Cult got their hands on a powerful laser. (2) A current television commercial shows an athlete first buried in sand on a beach and then leaping up to land on the beach. Is that physically possible? (3) St. Elmo’s fire is display of electric sparking that can occur on sharp objects when the atmospheric electric field is very strong. On a bush, it gives the appearance of the Biblical “burning bush.” (4) Pub trick of the month: Can you light a candle with a match without putting the wick in the flame of the match? You can if you know the physics. (5) Article of the month: my article explaining the physics and chemistry underlying the charm of a candle flame. The latest video posted on the FCP site in Facebook is about what happens to helium balloons in a closed car when the car undergoes an abrupt turn. (I am slammed in one direction; they float in the opposite direction.)


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