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Balance of Rates: A Thought Experiment

Keywords: carbon emissions, rates, unbalanced rates

We often look at the number of tonnes of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere for a given activity. But what if it's not a question of how much- but rather, how fast?

We are pumping tens of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. In contrast, the naturally occurring exchanges of carbon dioxide happen in the hundreds of billions of tonnes. Does this render our human activity insignificant? In this activity, we explore how even small differences in a balance can cause a large influence over time.

1 year 40 weeks ago

Balsa Gliders and 747s

Keywords: air transport, balsa glider, Boeing 747, paper airplane, transport cost

Does throwing a balsa glider or paper airplane have anything to do with the fuel consumption of a Boeing 747?

Observing the flight of a model glider to infer some basic physics information that can be transferred to estimate the amount of energy necessary to run real full-sized aircraft.

7 years 17 weeks ago

Bats and the Doppler Shift

Keywords: bats, Doppler shift compensation, echolocation

What compensation for doppler shifts do bats perform to keep their echoes within their hearing range?

This example investigates the compensation for Doppler shifts bats perform to keep their echoes within their range of maximal hearing sensitivity.

7 years 17 weeks ago

Bicycle Power

Keywords: bicycle, chi-squared, power, spreadsheets

How can you measure the mechanical power required to pedal a bicycle by observing how it slows down when you stop pedalling?

The forces acting on a bicycle can be estimated by observing the rate at which it slows down when you stop pedalling. This technique can, in principle, be used for any transportation vehicle.

5 years 36 weeks ago

Bicycling and Calories

Keywords: air drag, conservation of energy, energy transfers, metabolic efficiency, rolling friction, work done

How long do you have to ride your bicycle to burn off a doughnut?

This example looks at the relationship between physical exercise and calorie consumption.

7 years 17 weeks ago


Keywords: biofuel, energy, solar radiation, transportation

Can plants be used to fuel my car?

A look at how much land is needed to plant corn so that the energy harvested is able to power a car for one year.

7 years 17 weeks ago

Blood Pressure

Keywords: Bernoulli's equation, fluids

Why do you feel dizzy if you stand up too quickly?

This example investigates how the pressure in the major arteries will vary depending on the position of the body and some physiological consequences of such changes.

7 years 17 weeks ago

Bottle Rockets

Keywords: air, bottle, force, fuel, pressure, rocket, thrust, water

Bottle Rockets - a future mode of transport?

This article explores the physics behind bottle rockets and how they work. It also discusses whether or not bottle rockets would be a viable means of transport.

7 years 6 weeks ago

C21 Video Contest Top Videos

4 years 29 weeks ago

Capturing Solar Energy with Photovoltaic Cells

Keywords: Lend an Experiment (LEx), photovoltaic cell, photovoltaics, resistance, solar, solar cells, solar energy

Did you know that the amount of power from a solar panel depends on what it's connected to? Explore how photovoltaic panels work, converting light into electrical energy, and learn how you can find the maximum power output from a solar panel.

This activity is part of the LEx (Lend an Experiment) Climate Kit. Students use solar panels to generate electrical power, exploring how light energy can be turned into electricity. Students connect the photovoltaic cells to different loads to find their peak power output.

1 year 40 weeks ago
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C21: Physics Teaching for the 21st Century
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