Dan Sandman

06: Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman

In Books, Non-Fiction, Science on 05/02/2016 at 12:00 pm

Post OfficeThis morning I was greeted by a brand new arrangement of newspapers, household goods and confectionary. The post office has been completely refurbished.

Along the Regents Park Road, a customer walks in for his daily newspaper. Standing with pride, Sanjay directs said customer to where his paper is now located. I can see from his smile that Sanjay is enjoying himself, rightfully taking pleasure from these renewed surroundings.

Is Sanjay really made up of miniscule atoms? Is a force we call gravity actually acting upon this newspaper? Why is it less windy this morning than is was last week? Does my smartphone indeed converse with satellites orbiting the earth? How does my voice travel from my mouth to behind the shop counter?

For the curious of mind, physics provides explanations to the above phenomenon. It encourages us to think rationally, giving us workable tools for explaining the universe.

Yesterday evening, I was teaching a pupil how to play bass guitar to a song by The Rolling Stones. During the lesson, an unpleasant noise emanated from the pupil’s 10 watt guitar amplifier. Because I have been reading about electromagnetism this week, I was able to offer a basic scientific explanation for the interference. Through as series of experiments, we were able to discover several methods for decreasing buzz in noisy amps.

The three most effective methods for fixing the problem were as follows: firstly, try changing the guitar lead; secondly, fiddle with the jack; and lastly, using your body to complete an electromagnetic circuit, place your hand on the strings.

Only when all else fails, apply force.

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