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Need help/examples for a topic

  1. Aug 1, 2012 #1
    Hi people, I am new to the forum so I don't know whether I am posting this in the right topic.
    The things is, I am looking for examples where interesting data which can be found with day to day mundane stuff.
    For example:
    Finding the distance of a star using parallax.
    Parallax is something which one can experience easily, sitting around and observing a finger with one eye closed and then the same with the other. But this phenomena can also be used to calculate the distance of the moon or the stars(on a larger scale).
    It does not have to be related to just physics or even science for that matter(although it would be preferred)
    So is there anything else like it?
    (sorry if I am not able to explain correctly, English is not my native language.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    This question in the Homework Help forums is an interesting example of how to weigh something using a pulley, rope and angles...


  4. Aug 2, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the reply but I am looking for something a bit more interesting and easier to explain to people so that they do not get bored.
  5. Aug 2, 2012 #4


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    We have a lot of people here who have English as a 2nd language, or in some cases a 5th or 6th. You express yourself very well.
    You didn't specify physics as a field of interest. Although that's indicated by the name of the forum, it is just a part of it. How about microscopy? I bought a microscope at the 2nd-hand shop a few months ago. Haven't used it much, because I have to buy more slides, but it can be very interesting. I don't know if that would be in your wheelhouse, because the observations are purely visual rather than having a mathematical component.
    If you want pure math, you can start handicapping horse races. :uhh:
    There's also an extensive engineering section here. If you like mucking about with cars or aeroplanes or kitchen appliances, we can set you up.
  6. Aug 2, 2012 #5
    Thanks! I'll look into it.
  7. Aug 2, 2012 #6
    Maybe finding out how many ways there are to measure the height of a building with a barometer gives some inspiration.

    I would add that if you lower it to the ground on a rope, you can swing it and measure the time of an oscilation. Then use the pendulum formulae.

    Oops after reading I see it's already in there :uhh:

    Hasn't there been a thread about somebody thought of it before?
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  8. Aug 2, 2012 #7
    Thank you so much for that! That is the kind of example I was looking for.
  9. Aug 2, 2012 #8


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  10. Aug 3, 2012 #9
    That goes on my list too.
    The thing is I am sort of making a written presentation so I need examples which sound different and interesting.
    The barometer/building one and this one are good enough but I am still need more to reach the minimum number of examples.
  11. Aug 3, 2012 #10
    You're welcome :smile:

    Another one, fill a glass jar with water, stir it vigorously so the water spins around. Then drop some sand grains in it. Notice what's going on, when the sand hits the bottom and why is that?
  12. Aug 3, 2012 #11


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    2017 Award

  13. Aug 3, 2012 #12
  14. Aug 4, 2012 #13
    I need atleast three more.
  15. Aug 6, 2012 #14


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    Since you like sand grains, how about demonstrating vibrational nodes? Sprinkle sand on a steel plate and stroke it or poke it or otherwise get it moving with something like a violin bow or a small hammer or a radio speaker. The sand makes beautiful patterns.
  16. Aug 6, 2012 #15


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    How about you research some for yourself? We've given you more than enough links to sites that list HUNDREDS of examples for you to pore over...
  17. Aug 6, 2012 #16
    Psi wheels under a glass cover maybe?

    Note that the scam is exposed there.
  18. Aug 6, 2012 #17
    Love you guys! Thanks!
    I have them all.
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