Physics On The Golf Course

Your great drive on the golf course depends as much on physics as your skill.  The smooth balls which were used until the early 1900’s would only travel about 70 yards, even when driven well.  A good golfer today can drive dimpled golf balls over four times farther. Why do about 400 dimples, less than…

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The Universal Speed Limit

Despite the impression you get from watching Star Trek adventures, you can’t really zip around the Universe faster than the speed of light!  Light always obeys the speed limit. In the vacuum of outer space, it hurtles along at three hundred thousand kilometres a second.  The speed of light is nature’s speed limit – the…

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Automobile Air Bags

Air bags are now widely used in automobiles in North America to protect the occupants in the event of a collision.  It is essential that the bag inflate very quickly: that is, within a few one-hundredths of a second.  Thus, the gas used must be produced by some very rapid reaction.  Moreover, that gas should…

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Lap-Chee Tsui

Lap-Chee Tsui is a Chinese Canadian molecular geneticist. His research team is responsible for finding the gene for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Born in China and educated in Hong Kong, Dr. Tsui undertook his doctoral studies in biological sciences in the United States. After receiving his PhD, he became interested in genetics. He immigrated to Canada,…

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Discovery of Phosphorus

German alchemist Hennig Brand discovered phosphorous in 1669 when he strongly heated the residue left by the evaporation of urine. He observed the striking blue-green light that is emitted by phosphorus vapour when it comes in contact with air. The urine residue contained organic compounds and phosphate. When it was heated, the organic compounds were…

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