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Applied Physical Science

Teacher / Student Resources

Amusement park physics.The following pages are for EBooks on physics lessons, application in everyday life, physics teaching-learning, physical standards and experiments. The EBooks / ETexts come from government agencies, the industry and universities.

Physics is an interesting discipline of science because physics deals with the behavior of our surrounding objects and the forces that governs their position and movement.

50 Breakthroughs by America's National Labs

National Lab scientists have created highly insulated windows that change color to modulate interior temperatures and lighting."Preserved the sounds of yesteryear: National Lab scientists engineered a high-tech way to digitally reconstruct aging sound recordings that are too fragile to play, such as Edison wax cylinders from the late 1800s. Archivists estimate that many of the millions of recordings in the world’s sound archives, including the U.S. Library of Congress, could benefit from the technology"

The Strange Life of Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla suffered from mental disturbances."While in Paris in 1883, a prominent French manufacturer sent me an invitation to a shooting expedition which I accepted. I had been long confined to the factory and the fresh air had a wonderfully invigorating effect on me. On my return to the city that night, I felt a positive sensation that my brain had caught fire. I was a light as though a small sun was located in it and I passed the whole night applying cold compressions to my tortured head. Finally the flashes diminished in frequency and force but it took more than three weeks before they wholly subsided. When a second invitation was extended to me, my answer was an emphatic NO!"

Quantum Universe: The revolution in 21st century particle physics

Recent measurements with telescopes and space probes have shown that a mysterious force–a dark energy–fills the vacuum of empty space."At the most fundamental level, particles and forces may converge, either through hidden principles like grand unification, or through radical physics like superstrings. We already know that remarkably similar mathematical laws and principles describe all the known forces except gravity. Perhaps all forces are different manifestations of a single grand unified force, a force that would relate quarks to leptons and predict new ways of converting one kind of particle into another. Such a force might eventually make protons decay, rendering ordinary matter unstable.

Most of the matter in the universe is dark. Without dark matter, galaxies and stars would not have formed and life would not exist. It holds the universe together. What is it?"

Materials Science and Technology: Teachers Handbook

Materials science and technology is a multidisciplinary approach to science."Designed materials are probably best illustrated by composites, which allow us to reinforce materials at the right places and in the right amounts to minimize weight and produce the desired mechanical properties. The graphite tennis racquet, golf club shaft, and fishing rod are all products of this designed materials revolution, as are the wings of new high-performance aircraft such as the Harrier."

From Sundials to Atomic Clocks: Understanding time and frequency

Time is a necessary component of many mathematical formulas and physical functions."Among the most fascinating remains of many ancient civilizations are their elaborate time-watching devices. Great stone structures like Stonehenge, in Southern England, and the 4000-year-old passage grave of Newgrange, near Dublin, Ireland, that have challenged anthropologists and archaeologists for centuries, have proved to be observatories for watching the movement of heavenly bodies. Antedating writing within the culture, often by centuries, these crude clocks and calendars were developed by people on all parts of our globe."

Amusement Park Physics With a NASA Twist: A Middle School Guide for Amusement Park Physics Days

An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion."You will definitely feel microgravity conditions at the amusement park, because your apparent weight may feel less than your actual weight at times. The sudden changes in motion create this effect. We can now define microgravity more precisely than we did previously to be “an environment where your apparent weight is less than your actual weight.” At the park the key to this condition is free fall. Think of a steep roller coaster hill. Gravity pulls the coaster car down towards the center of Earth. When not in the state of free fall, between the coaster and the ground is a rail that pushes up on the car to keep the coaster from falling to the ground."

German Cipher Machines of World War II

Under the general name of Geheimschreiber (Secret writer), the Germans used two devices for enciphering."Along with breaking the Japanese diplomatic cryptosystem, usually referred to as PURPLE, probably the greatest example of Allied cryptanalytic success in World War II was the breaking of the German Enigma machine. This cryptodevice was used by all of the German armed forces as the primary cryptosystem for all units below Army level or the equivalent. As D-Day approached, other German cryptodevices, the SZ-42 and the various T-52 machines, assumed great importance since they were used by the higher commands of the German armed forces. Many references to these German machines in the histories fail to provide information on what they looked like or how they worked."

The Cryptographic Mathematics of Enigma

The Enigma cipher machine had the confidence of German forces who depended upon its security."The Enigma cipher machine is one of the best known cipher machines in the world. Initially broken by Polish cryptanalysts, Enigma decrypts from British and later American efforts were given the covername ULTRA to reflect the value of the information. Today the Enigma stands as a silent sentinel to the folIy of those who placed their absolute confidence in its security. But it also stands in renowned tribute to the cryptanalysts who pitted their minds against a problem of seemingly invincible odds and who scaled its lofty heights."

Black Hole Math

No one outside of the theoretical physics community really paid  much attention to the idea of black holes."Black holes cannot suck matter into them except under certain conditions. If the sun turned into a black hole, Earth and even Mercury would continue to orbit the new sun and not fall in. There are two common cases in the universe in which matter can be dragged into a black hole. Case 1: If a body orbits close to the event horizon in an elliptical orbit, it emits gravitational radiation, and its orbit will eventually decay in millions of years. Case 2: A disk of gas can form around a black hole, and through friction, matter will slowly slide into the black hole over time."

The Sandia Cooler: A fundamental breakthrough in heat transfer technology

The Sandia Cooler."Heat is efficiently transferred across a narrow air gap from a stationary base to a rotating structure that combines the functionality of cooling fins with a centrifugal impeller. Because low-thermal-resistance CPU coolers are particularly susceptible to performance degradation due to cooling-fin fouling (a thin layer of dust can easily increase thermal resistance by a factor of two), the added benefit of immunity to fouling is also a crucial performance specification."

NASA Technologies Enhance Our Lives

NASA Technologies Enhance Our Lives."Aerogels Insulate Against Extreme Temperatures. In 1992, NASA started to pursue the development of aerogel for cryogenic insulation. Kennedy Space Center awarded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts to Aspen Systems Inc., of Marlborough, Massachusetts, that resulted in a new manufacturing process and a new flexible, durable, easy-to-use form of aerogel. Aspen Systems formed Aspen Aerogels Inc., in Northborough, Massachusetts, to market the product, and by 2009, the company had become the leading provider of aerogel in the United States, producing nearly 20 million square feet per year. With an array of commercial applications, the NASA-derived aerogel has most recently been applied to protect and insulate people’s hands and feet."

Critical Materials Strategy

Elemental materials are extracted from the earth via mining."Fourteen elements and related materials were selected for a criticality assessment within this report. Eight of these are rare earth metals, which are valued for their unique magnetic, optical and catalyst properties. The materials are used in clean energy technologies as follows. Lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, cobalt and lithium are used in electric vehicle batteries. Neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium are used in magnets for electric vehicles and wind turbines. Samarium is also used in magnets. Lanthanum, cerium, europium, terbium and yttrium are used in phosphors for energy-efficient lighting. Indium, gallium and tellurium are used in solar cells."

Interview with MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin Video: Interview with MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin