Back-of-the-Envelope Physics by Clifford Swartz

By Clifford Swartz

Physicists use "back-of-the-envelope" estimates to ascertain even if an idea might be correct. in lots of situations, the approximate resolution is all that's wanted. This compilation of one hundred and one examples of back-of-the-envelope calculations celebrates a quantitative method of fixing physics difficulties. Drawing on a life of physics examine and approximately 3 a long time because the editor of The Physics instructor, Clifford Swartz presents basic, approximate recommendations to physics difficulties that span a wide variety of themes. What be aware do you get if you happen to blow around the best of a Coke bottle? may you reduce weight on a vitamin of ice cubes? How can a fakir lie on a mattress of nails with out getting damage? Does draining water within the northern hemisphere quite swirl in a unique course than its counterpart under the equator? In each one case, just a couple of traces of mathematics and some typical constants resolve an issue to inside of a couple of percentage. masking such topics as astronomy, magnetism, optics, sound, warmth, mechanics, waves, and electrical energy, the ebook offers a wealthy resource of fabric for lecturers and somebody drawn to the physics of lifestyle.

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Example text

Again, the system performance will not be signi®cantly degraded if the residual error on the compensated terms is much smaller than or at most equal to that due to the uncompensated wave-front modes. The point at which they are equal is indicated by a full circle on Fig. 9. The abcissa of these points gives a maximum angular distance è0 we can use as a measure of the isoplanatic patch size. To express this quantity in arcseconds, one needs to know the effective altitude of the turbulent layers.

10. Probability of ®nding a guide source brighter than a given magnitude within a given distance. Contours are for a 308 Galactic longitude. A 50% probability contour is given for the Galactic pole. Black dots indicate the guide star maximum distance and magnitude for the standard spectral bands R, I, J, H, and K. almost the full sky in the K band, and over more than 10% of the sky in the J band. Only down to the visible, the sky coverage becomes quite low. This result is roughly independent of the size of the telescope being used.

33±52. , Dordrecht. , Gilli, J. M. and Vernin, J. (1982a) On the isoplanatic patch size in stellar speckle interferometry. J. Optics (Paris) 13, 63±70. , Gilli, J. M. and Lund, G. (1982b) On the origin of speckle boiling and its effects in stellar speckle interferometry J. Optics (Paris) 13, 263±271. Roddier, F. and Roddier, C. (1986) National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) Infrared Adaptive Optics Program II. Modeling atmospheric effects in adaptive optics systems for astronomical telescopes.

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