Friday, October 11, 2013

Physics (part 1) - Picking Feynman's Brain near the russian embassy

The picture above show perhaps the two most well know physics equations.

1. The top one is known as  Newton's 2nd Law of Motion:  

F = ma

The acceleration of an object as produced by a net force is directly proportional to the magnitude of the net force, in the same direction as the net force, and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.
[reference:  Newton's Second Law]

How often when doing physics homework or taking exams did I write this equation down to get me started.

2. The other is Einstein's equation:

E = mc2

Mass (m) is equivalent to energy (E).
[reference: E=mc2 | symmetry magazine]

Above are a few of the fundamental equations scientists use to describe and model what they observe in the physical universe.  And believe me there are many more ...

Which brings me to the first part of a new series - physics
that can be described as "the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them." 
[reference:  What is physics?| Explore |]

How romantic.

But how do we begin to wrap our brains about the universe?

Let's start at the dinner table ... with some libation.

Wikipedia/Pouring a glass of red wine
"The whole universe is in a glass of wine."

So Nobel prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman (1918-1988) quoted a poet.  [referenece:  Goodreads | Quote by Richard P. Feynman]

And for a great graphic of this quote, please checkout:

22 Words | The universe is a glass of wine — 
An illustrated Richard Feynman quote

Much has been written of Richard Feynman and his contributions to physics as well as his last work on a commission, his swan song - finding the cause of the Challenger disaster:  Richard Feynman: Life, the universe and everything - Telegraph

Fortunately, his work and insights are available to everyone who has a computer and internet access.  Among them are many video lectures, one such kicks off here:  Richard Feynman on Quantum Mechanics Part 1 - Photons Corpuscles of Light.FLV - YouTube

But I thought this would be a good one to start.  Dr. Feynman - with much humor - gives his lecture on the Scientific Method:

Many students (like myself) have acquired his series of physics lecture series in book form.  And all those with internet access can view them online for free:

The Famous Feynman Lectures on Physics: The New Online Edition (in HTML5) | Open Culture

Though Dr. Feynman has passed away, cyberspace is still a receptacle for the knowledge his left behind.

And with our technology, we all can ...

Pick Feynman's Brain.


Other Physics articles:

Black Holes - What does it look like inside them?
(written September 6, 2008 - S. K. Smith) 

The Scotsman who beat Einstein
(written October 1, 2008 - S. K. Smith)

Fractal Dimensions - Twilight Zone? No, Nature!
(written November 7, 2008 - S. K. Smith) 

Mr. Spock and Dr. Einstein 
(written December 19, 2008 - S. K. Smith) 

Winter Driving - It's all about the friction
(written January 10, 2009 - S. K. Smith) 


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