Friday, July 6, 2012

Vroom Vroom

I woke up today filled with excitement, as always, and being that it is a Friday did add to the level of excitement. Then I started to wonder if I will ever wake up without excitement running through me. The answer is yes, but as long as I am at UPenn taking the Experimental Physics Academy I won’t.  I have the best teachers using the best examples relating the material to everyday life. Every Friday we will go on a field trip to explore Physics in the real world. Today, we went to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum. For those that have never heard of the museum, it contains the world’s rarest cars ever.

Before the fantastic journey to Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, we had a discussion on energy. In high school, I learned that energy gave something the ability to do work and thought that would satisfy the question of “What is Energy?” That short response was only a tenth of the complete answer. We learned that energy is actually a descriptive language of the universe that depicts moments in time. Then I learned that there is no such thing as the conservation of mass, but it’s actually the conservation of energy and mass is a form of energy. After a quick lab on the conservation of energy, we had lunch.
As we got off the bus, everyone rushed to get into the museum. This was to either to get away from the heat and/or to see the most vintage automobiles in the planet. My reasons were both, but leaned slightly more to see the awesome cars. Bill explained to us the history of the first half of the cars, until we reached our experiment zone. The basic theme was to be able to move a sixteen pound bowling ball with only the bristles of a broom. First, the bowling ball was to be moved in a straight line, without passing 8 meters. The second was to move it in a circular pattern after it rolled down a ramp. At first glance, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake, but I was horrible wrong. Getting the ball to move was easy, but stopping it was really hard. Then came the competition. Each group competited against each other in a relay race, in which we could not let the ball leave the track and could only move the ball with small taps. While I was racing, I noticed how hard it was to accelerate the ball. This enforced the lesson on inertia. My group didn’t do so good, we came in 7th, but we did get a handful of knowledge out of the experience.
Elena Using A Broom To Combat Inertia
After the competition, Bill explained to us the history of the cars and the aerodynamics behind their weird shapes. Many factors had to come into perspective went designing a race car, such as weight distribution, air drag, brakes, and so forth. It was very cool learning that the designers of such rare race cars were physicians. Once the lecture was over, we were able to roam freely, looking at the cars we wanted to. I loved this field trip, but after talking with Eli Lesser, I think there is a chance that I might love Hersey Park a bit more. From my understanding, it is very similar to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but better.
Very Happy Movie Goers
Before the day ended, we were given the opportunity to relax with of friends by going to see a movie of our choice. Almost everybody picked Ted, which was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. It was the best way to unwind and end the week, extremely satisfied. Know I just can’t wait to explore New York tomorrow.

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