SPS this Week

  • SPS will meet at 4:30 to 5:30 on Wednesday, October 6th this week in VanderWerf 102.

This Week in Physics

October 2 1909: Orville Wright sets an altitude record, flying at 1,600 feet. This exceeded Hubert Latham’s previous record of 508 feet.

October 3 1985: The Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its maiden flight.

October 4 1957: Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, is launched, beginning the “space race.” The satellite, built by Valentin Glushko, weighed 184 pounds and was launched by a converted Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Sputnik orbited the earth every 96 minutes at a maximum height of 584 miles. In 1958, it reentered the earth’s atmosphere and burned up.

October 4 2004: SpaceShipOne, which had achieved the first privately funded human space flight on June 21, wins the Ansari X Prize for the first non-government organization to successfully launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space.

October 5 1882: Robert Goddard, an American rocket scientist who held more than 200 rocketry patents, is born.

October 6 1995: Astronomers discover 51 Pegasi, which is the second star known to have a planet orbiting it.

October 6 1931: Riccardo Giacconi, an Italian astrophysicist who won the Nobel Prize in Astrophysics for his pioneering contributions that led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources, is born.

October 7 1885: Niels Bohr, physicist whose model of atomic structure helped establish quantum theory is born.

October 9 1879: Max von Laue, German physicist is born.

Problem of the Week

A rubber band is held in place with one end fixed to a wall and the other end held by a curious physicist. An ant sits at the end of the rubber band held by the physicist. Suddenly, the physicist begins to pull the rubber band at a constant velocity, while the ant crawls at a constant speed (relative to the band) towards the wall.

While pulling the rubber band, the curious physicist begins to wonder: is it possible for me to pull the rubber band fast enough so that the ant never reaches the wall?

Send a written answer to this question, as well as a username you would like to be referred by, to jason.gombas@hope.edu. We will publish the username of any student who answer the curious physicist’s question.

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