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Homework Help: Need Help Choosing A Topic To Write A Physics Paper On

  1. Jan 27, 2008 #1
    I'm in undergraduate physics 2 and I'm looking for an interesting (but not too broad) topic to write an 8-10 page paper on. I've considered color vision & color blindness, lasers, quantum theory, etc. What would be a good topic to write on? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2008 #2
    What is favorite part about physics? I don't see much a point in covering quantum theory if you don't have the required math background. Proper looks at lasers require quantum mechanics. If you are in EM then you should look at something from EM, perhaps the monopole controversy. You would also have an alright time with optics, so color vision and color blindness might be cool. My two cents.
  4. Jan 27, 2008 #3


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    Hmmm.... Physics 2 Doesn't tell us much, could you itemize the topics you covered? I presume some QM, but did you do geometric optics? Diffraction?

    Start by picking up some technical journal or popular tech. magazine and looking at the advertisements. Pick some "neat" device and get into the physics which makes it work.

    Or you could pick some mundane object or product. How do dryer sheets stop static cling?

    Think about some juicy future-tech device or weapon and try to analyze the physical limitations.
    [Assuming your class covers Electromagnetism:]
    How big an electro-magnet would you have to build to replace the Earth's magnetic field? Figure how much power it would require to keep it going assuming it is wound in electrical grade copper? How much heat would it produce? Are you better off with bigger wire and higher current or smaller wire with higher voltage and more windings? Figure the tensile force on the wire due to the magnetic field and the limitations on tensile strength of common materials. Are we better off with two magnets on the north and south poles or a big cable wound around the equator?

    You can start with a single loop of copper and work out the forces and power consumption for various dimensions.

    Too much? Off your course topic?

    Here's one, What's so special about "Blue-ray" disk players? What are the limits on how much data we can squeeze out of a square centimeter of CD/DVD surface?

    Here's another related to optics: How hard would it be to make a holographic computer screen assuming the computer's video card is fast enough to do the calculations. What kind of 2-d resolution would you need to yield a given 3-d holographic image at a given resolution?

    Let's see if I can think of something easier.... hmmm.... you could take some of the classic experiments associated with your course and work out how to do them with office supplies. What can you find out using a laser pointer and a CD disk or DVD disk. Can you figure out how closely the data is spaced on the surface? If you want to impress the heck out of your instructor actually do this experiment and write it up.

    Can you get a diffraction pattern from a laser pointer and the side of a ream of copy paper? [That just popped into my head and I don't know if its possible.]

    Well that's all I could think of without more specific info. Good luck.
  5. Jul 4, 2011 #4
    hi, Im looking for a topic too! it might not be the right place to right this but I couldnt acces the right page....could u guys help me too? I have passed these courses: EM, QM, Mechanics and physics 1,2and 3. and of ccourse calculus and dif equations.....I have abs NO IDEA! can u tell me sth?
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