Physics Animations






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creepy and cool


Inertia — now they’re going to need two stretchers.


Google did a tribute to Ole Romar who gave one of the first actual calculations of the speed of light in an ingenious way.



Nice simple and clean. Shows the relationship between circular motion and Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM)



Circular motion in one dimension is Simple Harmonic Motion which graphs as a sinusoidal function. The blue dot is the shadow of the red dot on the x-axis.  Notice that the closer the red dot gets to vertical, the faster the blue dot moves.  As the red dot approaches the horizontal, the blue dot The slows down and eventually turns around.



Check out that Moment of Inertia of that baseball bat.


This animation shows the two main cross products in Physics Mechanics.  We have been studying torque, but you will study Angular Momentum (L) in AP next spring. See how the vectors follow the right hand rule.


Very interesting look at the SHM of pendulums.  Potential energy (mgh) vs. Kinetic Energy (1/2mv^2) and ±momentum of the ball (vertical axis) vs. the ±vertical angle (horizontal axis) of the string.


Gravitational Potential (mgh) vs. Kinetic Energy (1/2mv^2)  of a pendulum.


Baby UFT applied to a roller coaster.



The omega of all three vectors is the same.  The amplitudes are different.


Believe it or not, this is simple harmonic motion of the air particles in front of a speaker. The speaker woofer is represented by the red line on the left.


Shows how Hooke’s Law fits into SHM.


Another view of how sines and cosines fit to circular motion.


Shows the effect of damping on a harmonic oscillator.


This one is pretty darn important.  Blue dot is the x projection (cos).  Red dot is the y projection (sin).

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Watching this calms me down for some reason.  I don’t know of any practical use for these Nautilus Gears, but I like them.



Locomotive steam engine


Cycloid Pattern


Venturi Effect



Europa is one of those Galilean moons of Jupiter. It has more water than we do.  That’s crazy man!


Beautiful example of static equilibrium (not photoshopped).  There are people that do this sort of thing.


Lots of Physics in medicine. I could stare at this gif for 10 minutes.  So much information.



Steam engine moves between linear piston motion and circular motion.  Notice the governor above keeping the motion from going too fast.


Connection between circular motion, Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) and linear motion.





4 cycle inline internal combustion engine.  We passed around the springs along the top that are used to open and close the intake and exhaust valves.


This is called The Dark Night Sky Paradox.  Basically . . . since the night sky is dark there can’t be an infinite and eternal static universe.  Otherwise the sky would always be bright with light from an infinite number of distant stars. If the universe is static, homogeneous at a large scale, and populated by an infinite number of stars, any sight line from Earth must end at the (very bright) surface of a star, so the night sky should be completely bright. This contradicts the observed darkness of the night. It must be a dynamic universe that started in some kind of Big Bang and is expanding.


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This is a side view of an airplane wing. Notice the shape.  This is called an “airfoil”.  An airfoil is any curved surface that gives a favorable ratio of lift to drag while in flight.  Follow the air molecules above the airfoil vs. below the airfoil.  Notice how they move faster over the top. Faster airflow has a lower pressure than slower airflow.  We discussed the reason for this in class.


Another example of the air above an airfoil moving faster than the air below the airfoil.


Forces, inertia, acceleration = Physics!   You really don’t stand a chance in a wreck.  This is why you wear a seatbelt in a car.  These boaters were shaken up, but no permanent damage.  Driver was going waaaaay to fast.  Girls were NOT impressed.


Gravitational waves alternately stretch and squeeze space-time both vertically and horizontally as they propogate. For more information click here


Gravity waves formed when two black holes orbit each other.  On Feb 11th, 2016 it was announced that Gravity Waves have been confirmed (to a 5 sigma accuracy). Dr. Einstein was correct again!  It only took physicist 100 years to confirm.   LIGO finally came through.


Conservation of Angular Momentum.  As she brings her arms in she spins faster. When a massive star implodes it does the same thing. Its rate of rotation goes from, say, 2 km/sec to 2000 km/sec.

Image 7

From Earth to Uranus in 3 seconds.


Taken from Nasa’s new Deep Space Climate Observatory as the moon passes between it and the earth. (from Nasa’s website). No, it’s not a fake.

High speed golf ball impact

This around 1000 frames per second. We see at around 24 frames a second. Notice that the golf ball suffers from A LOT of internal forces during (and the microsecond after) collision. All of this results in a big loss in kinetic energy.  Therefore, no macroscopic collision is perfectly elastic. There is always some energy lost in the collision.  We simplify situations in early physics classes so that we can get the general concept.  The truth is MUCH more interesting, but unfortunately, much more difficult in a math sense.


A neutron (up quark and two down quarks) spontaneously transforming into a proton (two up quarks and a down quark).  Time in the vertical axis. Space is the horizontal axis. The neutron gives off an electron ( a beta particle in this case) and a antineutrino through the W boson force carrier.  The whole process is over and done with in less than a femtosecond.



Good example of recoil version of conservation of momentum.  He should have not locked his elbows.


Poor hamster is a victim of conservation of momentum (elastic collision in this case).  We’ll assume she caught the little guy.

H5PTaQG - Imgur

Good example of Newton’s First Law:  An object at rest will remain at reast and an object in motion will remain in motion with a constant velocity (speed AND direction) unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

BLRv6mF - Imgur

A good example of Conservation of Angular Momentum.  If the cat is going to walk counterclockwise, the chair HAS to move clockwise to keep the system’s Angular Momentum from changing.

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This animation shows that it doesn’t matter what order you add vectors in the Head-to-Tail method . . . the resultant is still the same.


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We live in a world that requires non-Euclidean Geometry.

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Newton’s 3rd Law can be very painful.


Water of Europa (a moon of Jupiter) vs. water on the Earth. Looks like Europa will be very important to humans in the next couple hundred years.

man on beach

Just passing through.  Is there a difference between the friction on his knees vs. the friction on his face?

Korean Rocket

Thrust, Center of Mass, Center of Pressure, Torque, Angular Momentum and in two disastrous seconds.

Image 7

This cat can use a bit more Meow sub s.   :  )


We talked about the Earth precessing like a gyroscope. There is more about this in the screen shots from 11/17-11/21.

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An amateur astronomer caught this accidentally in 2012. Jupiter captures another potential earth destroying asteroid that no one even knew was out there.  That visible plume from the asteroid exploding in Jupiter’s atmosphere is about the size of the Earth.   Jupiter is my best friend (sorry Randy). 


A 3D projection of an 8-cell performing a double rotation about two orthogonal planes (As in the Black hole in Interstellar)

prism animated

Newton’s burst of colorful inspiration:


Check out the pictures below.

                       Scroll over the picture to show the hour and year:

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