Physics in the Math Curriculum

Thursday, July 19

Pat started the meeting by demonstrating the musical straw flute. In this you cut a plastic straw twice at one end such that it comes to a point (creating a sort of reed). While blowing through the cut end you set up vibrations. The most exciting part occurs when you take a pair of scissors and quickly cut the straw. As you cut the straw the pitch increases.

The next demonstration was the Amazon dart gun. Using only a PVC pipe and lungpower an Expo marker was propelled at high velocity through the tube to the amazement of all. Several experiments were suggested. However, the one the group settled on finding the muzzle velocity of the blow gun. Using the work/energy theorem we determined the exit velocity of the marker was computed as ~71 miles/hour.

Our group continued to discuss our presentations and decided to have a dress rehearsal tomorrow.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.