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 How does the value of an inverse cosine function change when the unit of its argument changes?
 Why do Airplanes Fly?
 New Online Tutoring Site: QED Infinity
 “Religious Right’s Rejection of Science is Baffling,” by David Suzuki
 The Day Niagara Falls Ran Dry
 “A Lesson in Teaching to the Test, From E.B. White,” by Anne Stone and Jeff Nichols
 “Student Learning Can Only Be Described, Not Measured,” by Rog Lucido
 A Neat Trick For Determining The Integrals Of exp(x) cos x And exp(x) sin x
 “No Student Left Untested,” by Diane Ravitch
 Confusing Use Of Numbers: BestBefore Dates
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Monthly Archives: March 2011
A Math Prof, A Psych Prof, And A Mysterious Black Dog
Once upon a time, a mathematics professor (whom I shall call Professor M) from a North American university was regaling a small group of professors and graduate students with some anecdotes concerning a psychology professor (whom I shall call Professor … Continue reading
Posted in Humour
8 Comments
What Is A Scientific Theory?
How does science work? (At least in the case of physics and other mathematical sciences.) I touched on this subject before (in a post entitled Does Nature “Obey” The Laws Of Physics?), but I would like to take a more … Continue reading
Posted in What is science?
Tagged Asimov, creating a scientific theory, deductive logic, does nature obey the laws of physics?, Gerard 't Hooft, Henri Poincare, inductive logic, John Baez, laws of physics, Modigliani, physical laws, Picasso, Red Green, scientific fact, scientific laws, scientific proof, scientific theories, Warren Siegel, what is science?
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Art And Mathematics
My friend Mary sent me this link to a video by Vi Hart about why is wrong. The video is funny, and the rest of her site is wonderful, engaging, and worth checking out. There is a nice article about … Continue reading
Posted in Art, Mathematics
Tagged a mano libera, Bill Ralph, Bob Palais, Pi is wrong, Reuben Margolin, technokinetic wave sculpture, Vi Hart
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On Choosing The Best Units
Update (21 March 2011): A great version of the Gimli glider story is here. In 1983, an Air Canada plane ran out of fuel on a scheduled flight. Running out of fuel is a very unusual situation for a modern … Continue reading
Posted in Numeracy
Tagged David Mermin, Gimli glider, speed of light, Verizon, VerizonMath
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Time Variation Of Pi
Since at least as far back as the work of Dirac in 1937 (see here), there has been discussion about whether the fundamental constants of physics might vary with time. Unfortunately, some of these ideas have been stretched by youngearth … Continue reading
Why Radian Measure Makes Life Easier In Mathematics And Physics
The two most commonly used measures for angles are degrees and radians. There are 360 degrees in a full circle (a right angle is 90 degrees), and radians in a full circle (there are radians in a right angle), so … Continue reading
Posted in Mathematics, Physics
Tagged angle measure, angular velocity, circle, definition of radian, degree, radian
21 Comments
Is Lenz’s Law Just An Instance Of Newton’s Third Law?
The short answer is, “Yes.” The longer answer exemplifies one of the lovely things about physics: its internal unity, and the fact that a few basic principles manifest in a plethora of circumstances. And one of the typical shortcomings of … Continue reading