Showing 4 posts tagged professor

A domino can knock over the next domino at about 1.5x larger (perhaps 2x larger) and this instant video classic from 2009 is a great example of this chain reaction. Watch University of Toronto’s Professor Stephen Morris knock over a 1-meter tall domino that weighs over 100 pounds by starting with a 5mm high by 1mm thick domino. TINY.

There are 13 dominoes in this sequence. If Professor Morris used 29 dominoes in total, with the next one always being 1.5x larger, the last domino would be the height of the Empire State Building.

There are more chain reactions and many, many physics videos in the archives. 

via Physics Buzz.

Recorded on a Kennedy Space Center tour before the launch of the last Space Shuttle mission (Atlantis), watch tour attendees pick up NASA’s 2,200 degree thermal tiles — specially designed, coated LI-900 ceramic tiles made out of 99.9% pure silica glass fibres and 94% by volume of air. (Thanks, @Bilsko.) From wikipedia

White tiles (known as LRSI) are used mainly on the upper surface and have higher thermal reflectivity. These are therefore pointed towards the sun in order to minimize solar gain.

Black tiles (known as HRSI) are optimized for maximum emissivity, which means they lose heat faster than white tiles. This property is required in order to maximise heat rejection during re-entry.

Read more about how the space shuttle thermal protection systems work and watch Dr. Ainissa Ramirez demonstrate and explain more about the 27,000 ceramic tiles on the bottom of the space shuttle:

More Material Marvels and more Space Shuttle videos in the archives. 

After a friend tweeted about a research page full of passive motion robotics videos by Andy Ruina, Professor of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at Cornell and of bicycle physics paper fame (SciFri video), I happened upon this 2008 video of Andy introducing his 22-pound, four-legged bi-ped robot named Ranger.

"The basic way this thing walks is that it falls down over and over again… this is walking as falling and catching yourself over and over again." In 2011, Ranger did this for 40.5 miles — that’s 307.75 laps on a running track or 65km (watch the video) — unassisted over almost 31 hours before it needed a battery recharge.

I love how not-human this bot looks. The kid should see this!

h/t @themexican.

Science Evangelist and Former Associate Professor of Materials Science at Yale UniversityDr. Ainissa Ramirez, explains how sandwiches of silicon (in solar cells) can create energy from sunlight.

The sun? Elements? Sandwiches? Yes, please! My almost four year old co-curator really liked this one for all of those reasons. He also loved how the solar-powered cars took off so quickly! 

Dr Ainissa Ramirez’s other Material Marvels videos are just as engaging as this one. We liked her demonstration of how the space shuttle’s ceramic tiles absorb heat, too. (For more, you can find her here on Twitter.)

Well-presented science! Kids should definitely see these, and so should everyone else!

via Scientific American’s Psi-Vid. Thanks, @cosentino.