Welcome to my explorations of the natural world, all through the lens of physics. How are broccoli and image analysis connected, or pollination and electric shocks? Read on!
Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Bobkov+Evgeniy Back in 1611, Johannes Kepler, court mathematician to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, found himself flat broke in the lead-up to the holiday season. (Apparently Rudolf didn’t pay his court all that regularly.) As he wandered across the Charles Bridge in Prague, he noticed a delicate snowflake attached to the lapel ofContinue reading “This is Why … The Snowflake is “Six-Cornered””
(Image of football/soccer player in the rain under stadium lights, from Shutterstock.com) A few days ago, my football-obsessed cousin, James, commented on Twitter on a video of an incredible header by superstar athlete Cristiano Ronaldo, concluding that the “laws of physics don’t apply to [Ronaldo]”. It wasn’t intentional, but a statement like that is aContinue reading “This is Why … The Beautiful Game is Beautiful Physics”
Like me, you may have spent a significant amount of time around a campfire this past long weekend. Singing songs, roasting marshmallows, debating the optimal wood configuration, discussing the connection between campfire smoke and eating placenta …. No? Not the last one? Well buckle your seatbelts, kids, let’s dive right in!
Our younger daughter, Mara, loves to read things like Weird But True! – filled with tons of interesting facts about the natural world. Mealtime conversations are often peppered with such declarations as “elephants drink 800 glasses of water a day!”, to which I would typically respond with something like “I’m glad I don’t have toContinue reading “This is Why … Whales Nap in the Upright Position”
(Shutterstock.com ID 1724117857) A couple of summers ago I signed up with the Wellington Sculling Club for their Learn To Row* program. Coached by an amazing group of people, I successfully completed the course and joined as a full member, but I still have plenty to learn so I head down to the lake asContinue reading “This is Why … Water Striders and I Are Kindred Spirits”
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About the author:
I’m Joanne O’Meara, a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph. I’ve been teaching university-level physics for more than 20 years and doing public outreach for even longer! My passion for teaching and learning has been recognized with many awards, including the Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2011) and a 3M National Teaching Fellowship award (2019). I’m always looking for ways to share the amazing world of physics – you can also follow me on Twitter (@NeutronJo). Thanks for visiting!
Proudly part of the vibrant Canada-wide community of science writers and communicators known as Science Borealis!