Thursday, February 18, 2010

Energy: It's back and its never going away!

Part A:
This unit we covered the Conservation of Energy (COE). I learned about different types of ENERGY STORAGE and how they transformed from one into another. For example, if a ball is dropped from a bridge, its potential gravitational energy disappears but is compensated with kinetic energy. There are plenty of different types of energy including the ones above, such as: chemical potential, thermal, sonic, dissipated, elastic, and internal. Internal energy usually represents DISSIPATED ENERGY DUE TO FRICTION while elastic energy comes in handy when referring to a spring or stretched cord. Dissipated energy is usually in the form of heat, as when you rub your two hands together. Internal energy remains in the system, even though, microscopically, the potential energy of the particles may change. I learned how to display the conservation of energy in Energy Flow Diagrams, so as to understand it better. I also learned about doing WORK, which is the amount of change that a force produces, and POWER, which is the rate of work. I learned how to find quantitative values by plugging them into equations involving work, kinetic energy, potential energy, and mechanical energy. With all of this newly acquired knowledge, I feel that I understand the COE much better.
This unit is definitely very difficult. There are so many options to use as equations and so many possible variables. Between work being equal to kinetic energy being equal to potential gravitational energy being equal to potential elastic energy (ONLY IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS), sometimes I don't know where to start. I draw FBDs to help aid my flaws and occasionally try every possible method as a means of getting to the answer to bypass this disadvantage.
Whether I initially know who to solve a problem or not, I always put all of my effort into solving it. My skills are efficient, and I am determined to reach the answers. My weaknesses are which method to choose while my strengths are comprehending the problems and associating them with FBDs. Some problems are more difficult than others, including ones with mu, kinematics, and circular motion. Those with springs also tend to get very tricky. I do intend on practicing what I am not good at in order to get better at them.
Part B:
Energy and everyday life are very connected. Every time we turn a doorknob or drive our car, energy is being conserved. You can see it everywhere, as when I leave the sixth story of my condo so as to reach the ground floor, in which I lose plenty of potential energy but gain kinetic energy while in the elevator. Energy is also very pertinent in biology. Mitochondria produce ATP to fuel us for the day to come. WE exhaust this energy, but it is not conserved like physical energy. What we do with the energy is conserved, like walking a long distance or hiking up a scenic mountain... or perhaps taking an elevator up this scenic mountain. Whatever we do and wherever we go, energy is present, being conserved and recycled with every step.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Application: Centrifuge Prezi

Or you can visit the prezi through its URL, which I recommend so that no text will be cut off: