Physics and little girls

There are times when my brain just decides to cease functioning. I can go for days without a relevant thought in my head. I didn’t realize until just now that I didn’t even attempt to write a blog entry yesterday. I guess I’m taking my action of hibernating very seriously.

I realized I was a day late and went sleuthing for a topic. I found the above video on you tube. that site is a gold mine of topics to blog about.

I have never taken any physics classes. I quit the typical science track in high school after my junior year in chemistry. I did not wish to go further down that completely foreign trail by taking physics my senior year. I was afraid of that class as I was of trig and calculus. I had no confidence in my ability to think. Of course no one tried to convince me otherwise. The physics classes were the great majority boys anyway. No one even questioned my decision.

 I did take advanced biology my senior year but that was mainly memorization rather than pure thinking. To me biology seemed much easier. In physics class I figured I would have to think. That was something I did not give myself high marks in my ability to do and to understand on top of that.

Perhaps if I had instructors like in the above video who would have demonstrated what I was supposed to be learning , it would have seemed much easier. In this clip I am assuming that the round object is a magnet and the cube object is a piece of iron. I’m guessing that the square object which is placed on top of the magnet somehow demagnetizes it. However, it may just show there is no magnetic attraction. I can’t tell since there is no audio explanation. I am guessing that the liquid which is poured on the cube is liquid nitrogen and by pouring it on the cube the demonstrator is demonstrating the reversal of polarization. But all of this is only a guess. If someone can explain what is actually happening in this video I would like to know.

I had a recurring dream as a child. I saw myself in a self -propelled car which was floating down the middle of the road in a line with other cars all going very fast while those inside were playing cards and paying no attention to the car. Sometimes they would wave at passengers in cars going the opposite direction. Sometimes they would sleep. When it was time to exit, the driver took over the controls and was actually driving the car onto the exit ramp. This video reminded me of that dream. This was a dream I had before expressways even existed in my home town.

I have no idea of what is going on in the world of physics now. Can floating a magnet like this eventually lead someone to develop such a system of floating cars? Is this technology what is currently propelling the bullet trains? I heard someone on PBS talking about such cars a short time ago and I said to myself, “That was my dream!”

I think that as a young girl I did think and I did imagine. I am so pleased there are so many more young girls who are actually being encouraged to stick with the math and the sciences. Perhaps some day another little girl will grow up with similiar ideas and actually lead the discovery into a way to make floating cars as a matter of practicality and convert our highways into suspended vehicle ways. Wouldn’t that we great? There is so much potential out there waiting to be encouraged. Namaste Attic Annie



Filed under Casual conversation, diary, education, life, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Physics and little girls

  1. This is an interesting display of some of the properties of superconductors which make them so useful for things like computer components—the way their properties affect other objects and other substances depending on temperature, or the application of electrical current, which could be demonstrated with a similarly simple experiment.

  2. You’re pretty close. The round thing is a magnet. That square thing is a magnetic field detector. You can see the greenish circle form over the magnet when it’s put over it. The square block is a piece of superconducting material (the resistance goes to close to zero when it’s cooled a lot). The liquid is liquid nitrogen (most likely). When the superconducting thing goes superconducting, it repels the magnetism of the magnet, and therefore repels the magnet, which happily floats above.

    There are some levitating trains, but one problem is that you need an awful lot of liquid nitrogen to keep the superconductors super.

    It turns out that you (by which I mean “they”) can levitate non-metallic objects:

    levitating frog

    The magnetic field is pretty strong – about the same range as an MRI machine.