It appears that I understand physics better than I thought. Although I get tripped up still sometimes by the online homework format, the concepts and most of the work come pretty naturally. Also, lab is first rate! Today we had our projectile motion lab. After agonizing over proving why, in a “perfect” world (i.e. one sans air resistance, something to which I myself have always been partial), a projectile can be fired at either one of 2 angles and still travel the same distance, I did not enter the lab with high expectations. As with lectures at 8 am, proofs were not made to be done after midnight. Despite my initial frame of mind, however, I had a fantastic time. First of all, it’s nice just to be back in a lab. This was a far cry from a biotech setup, but instead of ethidium bromide and pipettes, today we got pea shooters! One end of the table was a thick plastic tub taped down on its side and padded to catch the metal bearings that we shot at it from a little spring-loaded canon clamped opposite. The canon had a plumb line to measure the angle of initial velocity, a spring with three ratcheted compression settings, and two photogates to capture time. When one released the little thing, it could make quite an impressive thunk in the tub. Since my partner (a cs major) is bad with machinery, I got to do all of the loading and firing, which meant that, for this lab, I reverted to somewhere below a fifth grade maturity level. The guy who told me I was having too much fun obviously doesn’t understand Feynman; honestly, what does a kid need other than a box, a ball, and a spring that makes them go crackthunkdididit? I think physics and I like one another.

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