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Homework Help: AP Physics Bitcoin Project?

  1. Apr 24, 2014 #1
    Hi all!

    I'm a new member and I hope I did everything right (in terms of formatting), given the "special" circumstance.

    Since this isn't a textbook problem or anything, but instead is about a project of mine, I won't be using the provided format.


    Project Topic - Anything that has to do with physics (This is a AP Physics B class btw)

    Rules: Nothing that can harm self or others (no bombs, guns, or any projectiles)

    Some of the suggested topic by the teachers are: discussing a famous physicist, devising a lab that the class can participate in, and discussiing a science fiction movie.

    Time: Longer than 5min, less than 15min

    Must have visual (PPT, poster, etc.)

    This is a 75 points project.


    I want to do mine about Bitcoin, or cyptocurrency in general. So only people who have looked into cryptocurreny or have mined them can help me on this probably. I have started mining since late 2013, and have mined several coins so far, the biggest ones being Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Peercoin. I use three USB miners for the sha-256 coins and my computer's GPU for scrypt coins (I know, I won't make the ROI on those, it's more for the experience).

    My initial thought is that I could talk about the power draw of the miners and talk a bit about the Asic chips being used. However, I feel that this is too simple. What aspects of Bitcoin, or other cyrptocurrency, have to do with physics?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2014 #2


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  4. May 1, 2014 #3


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    TheFalseHuman, to be honest, I don't see how bitcoin is at all relevant to physics. Has your teacher approved your topic? Just my opinion, but this does not really sound like a physics project.
  5. May 6, 2014 #4
    You could probably relate it to quantum physics and artificial intelligence, but that would be beyond the scope of an AP Physics B course at a high school level.
  6. May 7, 2014 #5
    You can definitely relate it to statistical physics, but I think this would be well beyond of your current understanding.
  7. May 7, 2014 #6
    Bitcoins have nothing to do with physics that I can think of lol. I think something with a magnetic force on a current carrying wire would be pretty cool. Making a motor out of magnets and batteries?
  8. Dec 6, 2014 #7
    There is lots of great physics in Bitcoin. For example cryptographic proof-of-work is consistent with physics' definition of work. The conversion of energy into proof-of-work is a physical process. Bitcoin is incentivizing research and development in more efficient and sophisticated chip design.

    Blockchains are physical phenomena on networks across space generating a distributed consensus of events in that space over time. There are limits on the physical size of a blockchain network in relation to the block time due to limits on the speed of light. For example, bitcoin can not span our solar system. 10 minute block times are too short.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
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