Episode 1 – It begins (again)
OK, this really isn’t my first time trying to understand physics. I’ve had a casual interest in it that I have been secretly feeding under the table for many years.
(It followed me home… can I keep it?)
But this is the first time I’m attempting to work in a sequenced, organised, less random-spur-of-the-moment-madness, kind of way.
Seek sympathetic experts.
I have been lucky enough to meet the amazing Astrophysics Folks at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. They have agreed to help me learn as I am going to be content managing their website. (See, scientists are lovely)
One of the experts there has lent me a few books to get me going (again).
This is the first one.
No, before you ask, this physicist does not think of me in a canine capacity (I checked). This is just a very clever, funny book about someone, who happens to be a dog, learning relativity.
The basic premise, as I understand it*, is that a Physicist (Chad, presumably) is asked by his faithful companion, Emmy, to teach her all about physics. She figures he is already a teacher so it’s all really just a part of his job.
I figure, if a fictional dog character can handle it, so can I!
CHAPTER ONE – Relative dog motion: The Description of Motion.
Reading now and then it’s my turn to make dinner.
“Gun it! Hit the squirrel! Hit the squirrel! hitthesquirrel!”
*Apologies aplenty in advance for anything I misunderstand, Chad.
In our last exciting episode…
- A book was opened and summarised
- A dog was inspired
- A parent stopped learning physics to make dinner
- A squirrel may or may not have been placed in mortal danger…
Relativity: (AKA Superfast Time-Slowing Squirrel-Catching Dynamics)
There is no absolute frame of reference against which we can measure the motion of everything in the universe.
Everything is moving all the time. I already knew this because of Monty Python’s Meaning of Life.
(Sexual reference warning: I usually skip the bit in the middle, kids.)
Hats off to the Official Monty Python channel on YouTube.
So, everything is moving all the time. Why don’t we feel like we’re moving?
There’s no physics measurement you can do to distinguish between sitting still and moving at a constant velocity.
Yes, this is tricky.
Anyway. We can tell when something is speeding up or slowing down, like a car accelerating after traffic lights…
but when we’re moving at a constant speed, all the laws of physics are exactly the same as when you’re standing still.
Confused? Maybe this will help…
A big thanks to Frame of Essence on YouTube for this and all the others.
That’s enough for tonight. Pumpkining time Cinderellas. Thanks for joining me.
But what happened to the squirrel?