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Nuclear Energy Basics

Keywords: energy, health, ionizing radiation, nuclear, power, safety

What is the physical basis of nuclear power? Is nuclear power good or bad for the environment, safe or dangerous for us?

A look at the energy in the nucleus of a uranium atom, how this can be used to provide a reliable source of energy, and impact of this on the environment.

7 years 2 weeks ago

Symbols and Units Used on this Site

Keywords: symbols, units

Wondering what each symbol refers to?

A summary of symbols commonly used throughout the articles.

7 years 2 weeks ago

Metabolism, Heat Loss, and Size

Keywords: allometric relation, heat, heat loss, mass, metabolic rate, surface area, volume

The bigger the better?

Heat loss per unit gram is compared for large arnimals versus smaller animals.

7 years 3 weeks ago

Wave Power – A Simple Analysis

Keywords: power, waves

Will wave power save us?

A look at the amount of power potentially available in water waves.

7 years 3 weeks ago

Solar Powered Airplanes

Keywords: airplanes, estimation, solar cells, solar energy

If we were to coat a Boeing 747 jumbo jet with solar panels, is it possible to fly it using only the energy generated by these solar panels?

This module introduces the concept of estimation, both in the sense of rounding extremely precise numbers off to remove excessive significant figures, and simplifying a complex process (the flight of a 747) to a simpler one, by evaluating the possibility of powering a 747 with solar panels.

7 years 3 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 3 weeks ago

Man on a Missile

Keywords: acceleration, force, g-force, Netwon's second law

How much force can the body withstand upon impact?

In this article we calculate the average force experienced by Colonel Stapp during one of his most famous experiments on deceleration.

7 years 4 weeks ago

Vision and Diffraction

Keywords: angle of resolution, circular aperture, diffraction, Rayleigh's criterion, vision

Why can eagles see more clearly farther away than we can?

The pupil acts like an aperture which diffracts light. The effect of this for humans and birds of prey is explored.

7 years 4 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 4 weeks ago

Nerve Impulses

Keywords: nerve impulses, neurons, reaction time

How fast does a nerve signal travel?

This example takes typical eye-hand and eye-foot reaction times and calculates the average speed at which a signal travels along the nervous system. Why are eye-foot and eye-hand reaction times different?

7 years 4 weeks ago
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