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$100+ billion dollar gravity business

  1. Nov 21, 2014 #1
    I've applied physics in nuclear weapons work, finance, biochemistry, molecular dynamics, space physics, and other areas. High school students, and even young Air Force officers with technical degrees often have little idea of the value of physics. And physics loses.

    Linked here to a Prezi with YouTube videos and other materials are 7 physics topics I greatly enjoy discussing with young folks. Possible research projects are suggested to high school student and teacher alike.


    Suggested improvements appreciated!!!


    1. Topic on the path from astronomical data on Mercury's orbit in 1697 to general relativity, and to today's $100+ billion dollar gravity business. Who'd have thunk it?

    2. Topic on nature and extremization. What's the best path of running on the sand and then swimming in the water for a life guard to save a drowning person? Here nature is following a principle of least time. Finding the fastest curve to get a Hot wheels car from a higher point A to a lower point B is a related topic, as is determining what shape soap films take when stretched between wire frames. Soap films take on minimal surfaces. A minimal surface defines a geometry as much as the plane does in plane geometry. What is the geometry of the universe How can I make money extremizing something?

    3. Topic on scientific models and how some are "better" than others. Based on DNA testing, Angelina Jolie had mastectomies done to avoid getting cancer. Given the presented science, what would you have done? How good are global warming models? How much of the universe is modeled by the Standard Model?

    4. Topic on random walks. Random walks form the basis of much of today's stock market and derivatives trading (trillions of dollars). Random walks were used to establish the existence of the atom and underlie the physics of light escaping the sun and neutrons inside nuclear explosives.

    5. Topic on the (not) boring spring. This is a longer presentation connecting the humble spring to quantum physics, cosmology, and theories of everything (TOEs).

    6. Topic on power laws. Power laws are found everywhere, from big stock market moves to the sizes of wars. Power laws may or may not be connected with some underlying network (or topology). In thermodynamics and statistical physics you'll find power laws where phase transitions occur, e.g., from the liquid state to the solid state. You'll find them in dense highway traffic too. Rush hour on the freeway (liquid) can suddenly turn into a solid (ice).

    7. Topic on symmetry. With the help of a TED talk, this presentation covers both geometric and algebraic symmetries, and gives a path to how particle physicists have predicted the existence of fundamental particles, e.g., the Higgs boson.


    A Alaniz
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2014 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
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