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Cheetah Chase

Keywords: constant acceleration, displacement, kinematics, uniform motion, velocity

How far away can a cheetah be from a gazelle and still be guaranteed to catch it?

This example combines both constant acceleration and uniform motion to determine the maximum distance that a gazelle can be away from a cheetah for the cheetah to have a chance of catching the gazelle.

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7 years 4 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.

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7 years 4 weeks ago

Falling Cats

Keywords: drag force, terminal velocity

Why does your cat have a better chance of surviving a fall from a large cliff than you do?

This example incorporates air resistance into free fall to derive the terminal velocity reached. The terminal velocities and physiology of cats and humans are compared.

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7 years 4 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.

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7 years 4 weeks ago

True, False, or Not Sure? Philosophy of Science in the 21st century

Keywords: nature of science, normal science, philosophy of science, post-normal science

Whatever happened to objective reality? Why is climate change so hard to prove?

A brief overview of normal and post-normal science.

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7 years 4 weeks ago

Energy Use in Cars 6: Gasoline Cars vs. Bicycles

Keywords: air resistance, bicycle, energy use in cars, fuel economy, rolling resistance, vehicle transportation

When does a car have the same fuel efficiency as a bicycle?

A comparison of the energy cost of transportation between cars and bicycles.

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7 years 4 weeks ago

Energy Use in Cars 5: Gasoline Cars vs. Electric Cars

Keywords: electric cars, energy use in cars, fuel economy, vehicle transportation

How do the greenhouse gas emissions of electric and gasoline cars compare?

A comparison of the energy cost and greenhouse gas emissions of gasoline and electric cars.

 

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7 years 4 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.

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7 years 4 weeks ago

Energy Use in Cars 4: Regenerative Braking Systems

Keywords: energy use in cars, fuel economy, regenerative braking, vehicle transportation

What single system could be added to a gasoline car to improve its city driving fuel economy by 30-40%?

A calculation of the fuel consumption due to stop-and-go driving, for the purposes of estimating potential savings from a regenerative braking system.

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7 years 4 weeks ago

Energy Use in Cars 3: Rolling Resistance

Keywords: energy use in cars, fuel economy, rolling resistance, vehicle transportation

Why does Natural Resources Canada recommend keeping your tires inflated to conserve gasoline?

A rough calculation of rolling resistance in cars explores the impact of having underinflated tires.

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7 years 4 weeks ago
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