Monday, July 02, 2012

July 2012 Flying Circus of Physics stories

July stories at the FCP main site: (1) From 1968 to 1991, the world record of 8.10 meters for the long jump was held by Bob Beamon, for a jump he made in Mexico City (fairly high altitude). Then in 1991, Mike Powell smashed the record with a jump of 8.95 meters. No one has come close since then, but long jumpers in London’s summer Olympics will be trying. Does the physics associated with the location affect the jump? (2) Can you set an orange on fire so that it acts as a candle? A viral video shows exactly that. Or does it? (3) A photograph of a rolling bicycle wheel reveals that the highest point is moving twice as fast as the center, and the lowest point is momentarily stationary. (4) If a Brazil nut is in a container with smaller nuts, it tends to move upward if the container is shaken or vibrated. This Brazil-nut effect drives some food packagers crazy because the contents, such as a mixed cereal, can separate out during shipment. I set out to see if having beer in the container affects the Brazel-nut effect.

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