Sunday, February 21, 2010


This unit I learned about energy. Energy is a conserved, substance like quantity with the capability to produce change. I learned that energy is not created or destroyed, but it is universal. This means that energy is unchanged, but it can be stored in different ways like elastic, gravitational potential, kinetic, and internal energy. I also learned that as energy is transferred form one method of storage to another, the total amount of energy stays constant. I've used these concepts to solve equations to find energy, work, and power.

At first I found it difficult to understand some of the concepts, but as we discussed them more I understood them much better. I also didn't understand the meaning of the energy flow diagrams, but now I have grasped their representation of the conservation of energy. I also still find it a little difficult to solve some of the problems where an addition of methods of energy storage is needed like the problems where kinetic and gravitational potential energy is need. These problems are like the ones on a roller coaster, where the car has some potential and some kinetic energy.

I feel like my problem solving skills have improved a lot. I think I have found these problems easier over the unit because of my better understanding of the concepts of this unit. I feel like I have gotten much better at understanding the conservation of energy and applying it to the problems. At first, I didn't understand how to do some of the problems where friction was acting on an object that had been pushed by a spring, but then I realized I could go back to kinematics and used my previous knowledge to find the distance the object had moved.

The conservation of energy can be connected to putting on a golf course. If you have a downhill putt, you don't want to apply as much force because more speed will be added by the gravitational energy since the ball is at a height. Then that gravitational energy transfers into kinetic energy. The ball then gets slowed down by friction which transfers the kinetic energy into internal energy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Friction Glog

Physics in the Clutch
This is my glog describing how to solve an equation for the mu of the friction between a golf ball and the green while putting.