Orbital Mechanics is the study of objects with mass, planets, moons, artifical satellites and a few others, moving in gravitational fields. The relative motion and positions of the Earth, the Sun and the International Space Station from which this photograph was taken can be understood and predicted using Orbital Mechanics.


When pressure is reduced and gas comes out of supersaturated solution, bubbles form around nucleation sites such as particles suspended in the liquid or microscopic cracks in the glass. Being bouyant, bubbles rise to the surface where they self assemble into the planar hexagonal pattern on the surface of the glass of the volume of the frothy head in a process called close packing.


The Space Shuttle, part rocket, part satellite, part aircraft and home to 6 or 7 people for 2 or 3 weeks in space lands at night at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Aluminium interconnects in a CMOS SRAM are connected to other layers of the chip with tiny metalised holes called "vias".


We said that Physics is the science of how taps drip. Physics is also the science of high speed flash photography, which freezes motion and captures an instantaneous state in the dynamics of the liquid.


Modern aviation depends on an understanding of aerodynamics in two different regimes. The first is airflow over wings, fuselage, tail and control surfaces to establish flight. The second is high pressure and high temperature gas flow through the various stages of a gas turbine engine. Infrared countermeasure flares use an exothermic thermite-type chemical reaction between Magnesium and Teflon, yielding Magnesium Fluoride and Carbon soot. The precise chemistry can be tailored to produce spectral emissions that approximate an engine exhaust.


This ground run of a J58 (aka JT11D) engine from an SR-71 Blackbird shows a standing wave pattern in the supersonic exhaust plume. The orange glow from the tailpipe approximates black body radiation, and from the colour an approximate temperature could be determined. Special low volatility fuel is used, to withstand the temperature encountered at Mach 3, and also to allow use as coolant, lubricant and hydraulic fluid. The fuel is ignited in the engine using a small quantity of the pyrophoric liquid triethylborane.


This car is in freefall and the driver is experiencing 0G. (It got air.) The car is also demonstrating the exothermic chemical reaction of various hydrocarbons, nominally octane, with air. (It has flames from the exhaust.)


This time exposure taken at the target test site Kwajalein Atoll shows the tracks taken by the 8 independent reentry vehicles from an ICBM. Under other circumstances each reentry vehicle would contain a nuclear warhead.


Ice has a melting point of 0 Celsius, except when it doesn't. Heavy water (D2O) ice has an MP of 3.8 C, showing that the characteristics of the nucleus do influence the macroscopic properties of matter. Ice has a refractive index of about 1.309, except when it doesn't. Ice is birefringent. It's other refractive index is about 1.313.


Aurorae are line emission spectra of atoms or molecules excited by charged particles in the solar wind, and are most intense where the Earths magnetic field concentrates charged particles near the earths poles. Red or green auroras at lower altitudes are due to atomic Oxygen. A variety of red, blue and purple aurorae at higher altitudes are due to molecular Nitrogen.



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