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Eric Moore
Physics 1010
Professor Schaffer
March 3, 2015

Signature Assignment
Star Identification
I have always been fascinated by the mysteries of space. There is so much we have yet to learn
about the universe beyond our planet, infinite possibilities await our discovery. The image and
chart below contain information on four of the stars in the Centaurus/Southern Cross region of
the Milky Way galaxy. I have also identified where the coal sack is located in this image.

Figure 1: Centaurus/Southern Cross region of the Milky Way galaxy.

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NAME

DISTANCE
FROM EARTH

WHEN LIGHT
LEFT STAR

SIZE
COMPARED
TO SUN

LUMINOSITY
COMPARED
TO SUN

#1

Alpha
Centauri

4.37 Light
Years

4 years ago
in 2010

25% Larger
than the Sun

#2

Beta Centauri 350 Light


Years

1.6 Times
brighter than
the sun.
15,500 Times
as luminous
as the Sun.

#3

Gamma
Crucis

88.6 Light
Years

#4

Alpha Crucis

321 Light
Years

350 years ago 9.5 Times


in 1665
greater mass
and 8 times
the radius.
88 years ago 30% Larger
in 1903
than the Sun.
321 years ago 14 Times the
in 1694
mass of the
Sun.

1,500 Times
as luminous
as the Sun.
25,000 Times
as luminous
as the Sun.

Equation Analysis
1) E = mc
Question 1: Find out what the things in this equation are and identify them as either variables or
constants.
The equation E=mc is one of the most famous equations in popular culture although many
people have no idea of what it really means. The E in the equation represents the Energy, which
is measured in Joules. The m in the equation represents the mass of the object, which is measured
in kilograms. The c in the equation represents the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per
second. The energy and mass are variables, subject to change; the c is a constant, and remains
unchanged.

Question 2: What is the size of c?


The size of c is the speed of light squared, which is an enormous number. The exact calculation
of c is 8.98755179 10^16 m2/s2.

Question 3: Are mass and energy related? Answer yes or no and then provide a brief explanation
of your answer based on the analysis of the question.

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Yes, mass and energy are related to one another. The amount of energy gained is relative to the
amount of mass consumed, and vice versa. This relation is what led to Einsteins Theory of
Relativity. Also since both E (energy) and m (mass) are in the equation E = mc it is clear that
these two things are related to one another.

Question 4: Analyze the statement: if it is possible to change mass into energy a little bit of
mass could produce a lot of energy. Is it true or not? Provide a brief explanation based on your
analysis of the equation.
Yes, a little bit of mass could produce a lot of energy. Likewise, a lot of energy can be converted
into a small amount of mass. If a little bit of mass can produce a lot of energy imagine what a
large mass could produce? In contrast, it takes a considerable amount of energy to produce very
little mass.

2) d = gt/2
where:
d = distance an object falls when released from rest (no air resistance)
g = acceleration of gravity at Earths surface
t = time the object has been falling

Question 5: Which of the following statements do you agree with and why? Use the equation to
support your answer.
a) Heavy objects fall faster than lighter objects.
b) Objects fall at the same speed (if no air resistance) and weight doesnt matter.
I would agree with option (b) because in the equation there is nothing relating to the weight or
mass of the object. There is only the acceleration of gravity at Earths surface, the time, and the
distance.

3) v = gt
where:
v = velocity of a falling object if released from rest (no air resistance)
g = acceleration of gravity at Earths surface
t = time the object has been falling

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Question 6: Which of the following statements do you agree with and why? Use the equation
to support your answer.
c) Heavy objects fall faster than lighter objects.
d) Objects fall at the same speed (if no air resistance) and weight doesnt matter.
Again I would agree with option (d) because the equation does not rely on weight or mass,
these things do not affect the outcome. The only factors that affect the equation are velocity,
acceleration of gravity, and time.

Galileo hammer feather experiment


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mTsrRZEMwA

Question 7: For most of recorded history, people thought that heavy objects naturally and
under all conditions fall faster than lighter objects. Why did it take us so long to realize the
true state of affairs?
It took so long to realize the true state of affairs due to nobody questioning the principles set
forth by Aristotle in ancient Greece. These laws stood unchallenged for nearly 2,000 years
until Galileo did one experiment that proved Aristotle wrong.
Question 8: The Earths gravity DOES exert a greater force on heavier objects than lighter
ones (these forces are called weight). However, with no air resistance objects fall at the same
speed in a given gravity field. The weight difference can be thousands of pounds to one and
the objects still fall at the same speed. What physical property of mass compensates for the
difference in applied force?
The physical property of an object that compensates for the differences in applied force in the
objects inertia. Heavier objects contain more inertia than lighter objects do so this inertia
works as a counter force resulting in all objects falling with the same acceleration, which is
about 10 m/s.

4)

e = 1-Tcold/Thot

where:
e = efficiency of energy use
Tcold = the temperature of the environment surrounding the heat engine
Thot = the internal operating temperature of the engine

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This is the equation for the efficiency of a heat engine (your car is a heat engine
unless you have an electric model). An e=1 is 100% efficiency, meaning 100% of the
energy gets used to do what you want to do with no wasted, unrecoverable energy.
An e=0 is an efficiency of zero with none of the energy going to what you want to do
and all of the energy being wasted or in unrecoverable forms.
The temperatures in this equation are in the Kelvin scale where the lowest
temperature is 0 degrees. There are no negative temperatures in the Kelvin scale. A
temperature we might encounter on Earth would be about 300 degrees Kelvin.

Question 9: Is it possible to achieve 100% efficiency, in theory, by lowering the temperature


of the environment surrounding the heat engine (Tcold)? Why or why not?
Yes, in theory it is possible to achieve 100% efficiency if the temperature of the environment
surrounding the heat engine is lowered to zero. e=1-Tcold/Thot would become e=1-0/Thot,
which results in e=1-0 or e=1, which means 100% efficiency.

Question 10: Is it possible, in practice, to achieve 100% efficiency by lowering the


temperature of the environment surrounding the heat engine (Tcold)? Why or why not?
In practice it is not possible to maintain a Tcold temperature of zero, so no, it is not possible to
achieve 100% efficiency by lowering the temperature of the surrounding environment.

Question 11: Is it possible to achieve 100% efficiency, in theory, by raising the internal
operating temperature of the heat engine (Thot)? Why or why not?
It is possible to achieve almost 100% efficiency by raising the internal operating temperature
of the heat engine, however it would require a constant supply of intense heat. e=1-Tcold/Thot
would become e=1-10/100, which results in e=1-0.1 or e=0.9, which means near 100%
efficiency.

Question 12: Is it possible to achieve 100% efficiency, in practice, by raising the internal
operating temperature of the heat engine (Thot)? Why or why not?
In practice this would not be feasible because it would require an intense level of constant
heat which would probably melt the car and the driver. So in practice, no this method would
not achieve 100% efficiency.

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Question 13: If your car is not electric, it is a heat engine and is subject to the efficiency
equation. Is it possible to build a car, using any kind of burning fuel, that is 100% efficient?
Explain.
No, using any form of burning fuel will result in less than 100% efficiency. Much of the
energy is lost to thermal heating of the engine. Because the engine temperature is much
higher that the temperature of the surrounding environment it results in a great deal of energy
that is lost and not converted to the work at hand.

Learning About a Law of Physics


Pick any Law or Principle of Physics in your textbook and:
1. Give me an explanation of what it is and what it means.
-Newtons Third Law states that: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
This means that energy is conserved in the sense that the amount of force carried by the
first object carries over to the second object. This also implies that forces act in pairs and
one cannot exist without the other.
2. Give me 3 examples in the real world involving the law or principle.
-An example of Newtons Third Law in the real world would include a bird that flaps its
wings in order to remain aloft. As the bird pushes air downward with its wings, there is
an upward lifting force that is opposite and equal to the downward force. Another
example is that of a fish that paddles its tail back and force through the water to propel
itself forward. As the fishs tail moves back and forth a forward momentum is created that
is equal to the force exerted by the fishs tail. As a third example a cannon that is fired has
a recoil force that is equal to the force of the cannonball but in the opposite direction. Due
to the cannon balls smaller mass its distance is greater than that of the cannon. There are
perfect examples of Newtons Third Law in motion all around us in everything that we
do.

Explanation of Fermis Paradox and Possible Resolution


This involves the possible existence of alien life in the Universe. A net search should
bring up some immediate information on the subject.
1. Clearly explain what this paradox involves and why it is a paradox.
-Fermis paradox involves the contradiction between the high probability of the existence
of extraterrestrial life in the universe and humanitys lack of contact or evidence to prove
such a theory. This is a paradox because if there is a high probability of extraterrestrial
life in our universe then why have we not discovered them yet, or them us.

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2. List and briefly explain (like in a paragraph for each) 4 possible resolutions to the
paradox.
-This paradox has led to a great deal of discussion toward possible resolutions to the
matter. There are many theories, some of which make good sense and others which may
appear to be outlandish. Either way until there is a definitive answer these ideas will
remain theories. Below are four possible resolutions to Fermis Paradox.
One possible resolution to this paradox is the Zoo Hypothesis, which implies that any
super-intelligent life in our universe may regard the inhabitants of our planet as we regard
animals in the zoo. If we are of lesser intelligence than we may not be worthy of the
aliens time or energy. Perhaps the extraterrestrial lifeforms consider us hostile which is
why they remain hidden from us.
Another possible solution is the Rare Earth Hypothesis, which states that our world is one
of a kind and the possibilities of another planet with all the same ingredients is very
unlikely. Many people feel that since we have not made contact that it means we are
alone in the universe. Others feel that other lifeforms may still be waiting to catch up to
where we are in terms of evolution.
Others feel that we are simply looking in the wrong places or perhaps listening for the
wrong things. There are hopes that by sending a probe into deep space that transmits a
signal for communication that perhaps an advanced lifeform will hear the message and
respond. Since we are unaware of the kind of lifeform we might be contacting we should
be cautious when considering this approach, we may contact something that seeks to
destroy us.
A fourth possible resolution to the paradox is that They Are Us. Some people believe that
human beings are the descendants of previous alien civilizations. Perhaps alien DNA
crash landed here on the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs, then it somehow mixed with
mammal DNA which is suited for survival on this planet. The hybrid of these two DNA
sequences then created the human species. That would make us the aliens and lead to the
notion of life elsewhere in the universe.
Until definitive proof is provided toward the existence of extraterrestrial life all we have
are our theories and best educated guesses. All it will take is one meaningful discovery of
intelligence somewhere other than Earth to put an end to Fermis Paradox. This is without
a doubt a profound question and one that will continue to be a cause of debate until the
theory is either proven or found invalid. It definitely gives you a lot to think about.