PHYS 335, Spring 2013
Various and sundry items that might amuse or inform you will appear below at random intervals.
- Wolfram has created an online training video, "Hands-on Start to Mathematica", that introduces key features of Mathematica for education. They claim it will get you using Mathematica 7 ("and more
importantly, really understanding it") within 20 minutes. Give it a whirl and tell me what you think. You can post your reactions in our "ClassMech Lounge" Moodle forum.
- A little demo of coupled springs, made for my ODE class long ago. I hope we create more amusing toys that I can show off here.
- About the background image: It shows a curve (reddish color) that has a "bounce focus" in the sense that perfectly elastic bounces (bluish) from the curve of particles dropped from a fixed height under the influence of constant downward gravity (these vertical paths aren't shown) pass through a common point. A former student (David Poe) and I found an equation for the curve, in the form y=f(x), in terms of a Taylor series (the differential equations involved having no closed form solution that we can find). Related curves could be found for double bounces, etc. What to name this kind of curve? There's a "concurrence" of trajectories, currentis is Latin for "bounce", and so concurrentic seems okay (and nicely redundant), but I'm open to suggestions.