Monday, April 07, 2014

Some high-speed video from NSTA 2014 Boston

The 2014 NSTA conference was held last week in Boston. A few clips of high-speed video were made available to us, so we present them here.

Frisbee Dogs
There was a session on using Frisbee-catching dogs in the physics curriculum. Some ask "Why?" The answer is that there are people out there who love physics and love dogs, so they brought their passions together. In any case, they also brought a dog to the Boston Event and Convention Center.

Frisbee Dog (HD at 120 fps)

Pasco's Annual "Just Physics" NSTA Demo Show
The good people at Pasco once again staged their "Just Physics" demonstration show. David Maiullo assembled his blue-ribbon crew: Sam Sampere, David Sturm and Borislaw Bilash II. "Just Physics" always draws a big crowd, and serves as a welcome refuge for any physics teacher overwhelmed with all the non-physics going on at the conference. Pasco provides food, T-shirts, and resources for a first-rate show.

There were too many demos in the 90-minute show for anyone to capture them all. And not all of them lent themselves to high-speed video.

Ping Pong Bazooka
We'll begin with a clip that reveals challenges to the demonstrators and to the videographer. The Ping pong bazooka is now well-known among high-end physics demonstration professionals. But it can be finicky, and it doesn't always perform well under, uhm, pressure. The camera being used is a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200. It's capable of high-speed capture at 240 fps (VGA) and 120 fps (HD). The camera also sports a telezoom lens whose focal length can be extended to the equivalent of a 600 mm lens with an aperture of f/2.8. While the lens features image stabilization, going to full zoom challenges the IS system.

Ping Pong Bazooka (VGA at 240 fps)

Ping Pong Explosion
We move on to the Ping Pong Explosion. A plastic waste can has a bit of water at its bottom. A small, empty, plastic soda bottle is partially filled with some liquid nitrogen then capped tight. The bottle is tossed into the can and immediately covered in hundreds of Ping Pong balls. This part needs to be executed with some haste. The liquid nitrogen boils as the liquid turns to gas. But the gas requires much more volume. And that volume is not available in the small soda bottle. So this happens:

Ping Pong Explosion (VGA at 240 fps)

Liquid Nitrogen Cloudburst
In out final high-speed clip, we see what happens when a cooler of liquid nitrogen is doused with a bucket of water.

Just Add Water (VGA at 120 fps)

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