Monthly Archives: September 2013

Uniform Electric Fields

If you can do gravity, you can do electrostatics. They are both inverse square laws for non-uniform fields and behave similarly for uniform fields too. Remember this diagram? This time, imagine two parallel metal plates – very large, separated by … Continue reading

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Gravitational Fields 2. Non-uniform (radial) Fields

This post follows on from this earlier one which introduced Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation. An object with mass creates a gravitational field around it sucking mass towards it – like a whirlpool. Imagine a paper boat. It will always … Continue reading

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Equipotential surfaces (gravitational)

Near the surface of the earth, we represent the gravitational field acting on an object by an arrow acting downwards, representing attraction to the centre of the Earth (brown lines). The field lines are straight and parallel, as shown. The … Continue reading

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Gravitational Fields 1. The basics

Gravity is the weakest and least understood of the four known fundamental interactions. gravity, electromagnetic, weak nuclear (responsible for beta decay), and strong nuclear – responsible for holding nuclei together. A gravitational field is a region in which a gravitational force is … Continue reading

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Data Analysis (IB)

This is a skill which you need to practise throughout the course. Put simply, it means to manipulate experimental data in order to verify or disprove an original hypothesis. As an example,  the time period of a simple pendulum can … Continue reading

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Resolving Vectors

Sometimes, it’s just convenient to represent a single vector by TWO vectors at right angles to each other. Take a look at this diagram. It isn’t a free-body diagram, since I have included resolved components. A FBD would only show … Continue reading

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Adding Vectors

You should be able to think of at least four vector quantities (size plus direction) and four scalar quantities (size only). If you can’t, look here. You can’t just add numerically when you want to add two or more vectors (of … Continue reading

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