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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Physics is Everywhere

Since I slept a little later than usual, I knew that I was definitely going to be tired, but I'm slowly getting used to East Coast time. I left my room at 8:20 AM, and headed out for breakfast in the 1920 Commons. All I can say about their food is that it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. What can you do, it's dorm food. 

I finished breakfast at around 8:50 AM, but I had to go to class at 9 AM. I didn't know the way from the cafeteria to my class, but at least I found Rudy. We hurried to get out of the Commons and we eventually ran to class. We had about a minute when we were finally in range of the building, so Rudy and I sprinted to class and we arrived at exactly 9 AM. That was quite a close call, and I definitely still need to figure out the perfect time to get breakfast and be able to make it to class without rushing. I'll get the hang of it, hopefully soon.

During class today, Mary was the first professor of the day. She told us that we could call her by her and the other professors by their first name, and so we did. She discussed about the topics regarding Conservation Laws. Momentum, energy, and work were among these topics. Momentum was actually a topic that I understood really well during this discussion. I had learned about this during my freshman year, but she finally explained it in a way that just clicked in my brain. However, once she started talking about how it can be represented with equations, my brain could not process it anymore. I think I can understand the topics conceptually, but once I try to apply it to real life, it becomes difficult for me to understand. 

During our break
Thankfully, the lab today was fairly easy, and most people finished early. We simply had to track the motion of a ball bouncing on the ground, and try to see how its momentum and energy changed everytime it bounced. My group finished rather early, so we ended up having a 15 minute break before we had to go into lecture at 11:30 AM. For that next hour, we discussed about Physical Optics, which were the waves that could be found in sound and light. It was interesting, but I had not heard much about this topic from my past teacher in the 9th grade, so it was more of a gray area to me. The professor had explained it fairly well, but it was a lot of topics that were discussed in an hour, so it was difficult for me to keep up, but I think the lab helped a little bit.
Physical Optics demonstration
After the class had ended, I went to the Houston Market with Leesa and Sema, and we had a rather relaxed lunch. I wish that the Physics building was closer to all of the other restaurants because we only had an hour of break, so I had to settle something close by. When we finished, we came back to class at around 1:20 PM, and we continued the lecture about waves, but this time he focused more on light. He gave us a small plastic eye piece, and it was fascinating looking at the color spectrum from just around the room.

Laser tag
One would think that light is an easy topic to do a lab for, but that is definitely not the case. It's only the third day of class, but our lab was already becoming more difficult. My group had to do various measurements and calculations just to figure out the differences between single slit and double slit diffractions. This part of the lab took nearly 2 hours to complete, and we then moved on to the next part, which was about figuring out the wavelength of a color. This physics course is far more advanced than the previous one I have taken, but I am finally beginning to get a deeper understanding of all of the topics. After the class was over, I thought about how much Physics is actually applied everywhere in everyday life, but we just don't notice it.

I ended up taking a nice walk back to the Quad after lab with two of the people from my group, and I learned a lot about their schools and such. I went back to my room, and I managed to finally email Don about my room description. It took four days, but I finally had the time. I then left my room again to go to laser tag, which was one of the activities that Summer Discovery had provided, and it was so fun! That was my first time, but I truly enjoyed it. We ended up getting back at around 9:30 PM, so I grabbed a quick dinner from Wawa's and went back to my room. By 10:30, my RC had a floor meeting, which is required every Wednesday, and I just ended the night at that. This week feels so long, but I'm glad that my summer's not going by too quickly just yet.

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