Ride the wave
May 9, 2011 12:48 PM   Subscribe

 
Cool!
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:51 PM on May 9, 2011


Whenever I watch videos of wave motion, I feel like I can see the math right there on the screen.

Then I start looking for the key generator embedded in my arm.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:53 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I need acid. Stat. And a rewind button.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2011


Could anyone else hear the wow-wow-wow-wow sound all the waves were making? just me? damn.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not so SHM.
posted by Virtblue at 1:17 PM on May 9, 2011


This is just the break I need from studying from my physics final.
posted by lizjohn at 1:17 PM on May 9, 2011


After watching this for the 2nd time, it feels as though my corpus collosum just had a very pleasant massage.

Anyone know where a pendulum like that can be purchased?
posted by artof.mulata at 1:20 PM on May 9, 2011


This is witchcraft! I really liked how after all the movement in the middle it sort of started and ended in the same pattern.
posted by bjrn at 1:22 PM on May 9, 2011


My life was enriched by watching this video.
posted by Lorc at 1:35 PM on May 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Welcome to basic physics.

The great thing about this is that it's really, really easy to explain and understand. I used to love physics when I was dealing with stuff like this. Then quantum mechanics came along and wedgied me so hard my bollocks decayed into two muons.
posted by Decani at 1:35 PM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Related...uh, I think.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2011




$$T=2\pi\sqrt\frac{l}{g}$$
posted by alby at 2:05 PM on May 9, 2011


Fuck yeah Steve Reich music video
posted by Dia Nomou Nomo Apethanon at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The great thing about this is that it's really, really easy to explain and understand. I used to love physics when I was dealing with stuff like this. Then quantum mechanics came along and wedgied me so hard my bollocks decayed into two muons.

And then you'll be back to Classical (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian) Mechanics, and the math will be even more confusing, even though you're describing fundamentally simple systems that can be found in real life. (Ie. tie a pendulum to another pendulum, and try to describe its motion mathematically. Really easy to visualize, really tough to calculate.)

I'm one of those odd special snowflakes for whom Quantum Mechanics was (by far) the easiest part of my Physics degree. Once you realize it's all probabilities, and that those probabilities *always* need to add up to 1, everything makes sense.

E&M damn near killed me -- either I had a horrible combination of math instructors, or my brain simply isn't wired for computing surface integrals. Either way, this dashed my hopes of ever attending grad school or getting a PhD (which, if recent MeFi posts are any indication, may have been a good thing).

Classical Mechanics was awful the first time around, but gradually made a lot more sense once I took the higher-level course with a vastly better professor and textbook.

People like to give Feynmann all the credit, but Landau-Lifshitz have (by far) the best overall compendium of college and graduate-level physics texts (although there are a few books that are better within their individual subjects such as Griffiths' awesome E&M text.) I find Feynmann's formulation of the subject to be at odds with the way that Physics is taught to 99% of Americans and Europeans, and very difficult to understand.
posted by schmod at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I need one of these as a yard sculpture made of fluorescent bowling balls.
posted by contraption at 2:49 PM on May 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


and here is what the phenomenon sounds like

I was thinking it would sound more like this.
posted by MrFTBN at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is really much cooler than it has any right to be, given how kinda obvious it is.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:58 PM on May 9, 2011


As a kid, I loved staring out the car window at passing fields of crops. You could see rows along different sight lines and the motion gave away rhythms of other, less distinct patterns. This is different but gives me the same pleasure. Thanks.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:07 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, I did that too. I would always imagine the rows as legs of a giant spider that was racing along next to the car, keeping pace with it.
posted by contraption at 3:11 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


spikelee&c., I actually made the wow-wow-wow sounds while I watched the video.

i hope nobody was listening
posted by moonmilk at 3:45 PM on May 9, 2011


I've been meaning to start an ask me thread about hamiltonians and lagrangians, least action and equations of motion, because the whole topic makes my headspin. Is there a classical mechanics for dummies book somewhere?

I also think a lot of quantum mechanics is easier to get than classical mechanics. Though I might be deluding myself.
posted by empath at 4:29 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes, master, I will bring you barbecue every Friday, as long as I never have to watch that video again. I hear and obey.
posted by Oyéah at 4:35 PM on May 9, 2011


biorhythms
posted by DU at 4:42 PM on May 9, 2011


I also think a lot of quantum mechanics is easier to get than classical mechanics. Though I might be deluding myself.
posted by empath at 12:29 AM on May 10



I'm with Feynman on this: ""If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics." I mean, sure, it's not so scary if you high-level it and say hand-wavey stuff like "It's all about probabilities", but that's like saying "Hey, relativity is all, like, looking at stuff from different frames of reference."
posted by Decani at 6:05 PM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I should say that the math behind quantum mechanics is easier for me to get my head around that the math for classical mechanics, as long as I don't try to understand how it manifests in the real world.
posted by empath at 6:24 PM on May 9, 2011


Is there a classical mechanics for dummies book somewhere?

It's hardly intro-level stuff, but try the Landau-Lifshitz book I linked to in my first comment. Your library should have it.
posted by schmod at 6:36 PM on May 9, 2011


There's one of these at the Exploratorium.
posted by neuron at 7:00 PM on May 9, 2011


So, I don't think you would get all those neat emergent patterns if you just took any sets of pendulum lengths. Or even any decreasing sequence of pendulum lengths. Does the fact that the initial positions are on a line matter? Any ideas where we could find the lengths?
posted by benito.strauss at 7:00 PM on May 9, 2011


Well, we know that the period a simple pendulum is T = 2π√L/g. Let's say that we want all the pendula to be in phase once per minute, and each pendulum should make one more oscillation than its neighbor. Pick 1 oscillation per second for the slowest pendulum, out of the air: that's Tslowest = 60 seconds / 60 oscillations, which fixes Lslowest = 24.8 cm. The next one would have T1 = 60 seconds / 61 oscillations, or a length of L1 = 24.0 cm. You can do the rest if you like.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:56 PM on May 9, 2011 [4 favorites]




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