Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is Newton's Second Law?

Science for Writers:  Newton's Second Law
'Apple on books' from stockvault.net. Science for Writers Logo and text created by me.


Welcome to the latest Science for Writers post. Last time we discussed Newton's First Law. In this, the second of a three part mini-series, I will explain Newton's Second Law of motion.

I have put important words in bold. These words are important in physics and I will refer to them throughout the post. It isn't overly important for you to know the exact meaning, so long as you get the gist of what I'm talking about you will be fine following this post.

Writing Links are in italics and these discuss how the science could be used in writing.



What does it state?

Newton wrote in his book, Principa:
Law II:  The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed
Lets break it down before going further:

  • Alteration, means change.
  • To motion is movement.
  • Proportional means a change in the first thing causes a change in the second.
  • A motive force is what makes something move
  • The right line means the direction in which the movement is happening
  • Impressed means acting on the object
Now we've split it up, it is easier to understand. In actuality it is just a wordy way of saying, 'the amount an object's motion changes is equal to the force making it change'.

As with all good laws in physics there is an equation to go with it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vocab Builder: K

Vocab Builder: K
Vocab Builder:  K
Logo by me (my best, personally ... hence the size)
Welcome to the eleventh of the Vocab Builder series. Last time we covered the letter J. This week, for those not following the pattern, we will look at the letter K.


A strong vocabulary allows you to select the precise word for what your trying to say.Whether you're trying to implement a kanban system in your company or keelhaul a kibitzer, or even offering a king's ransom whilst  kvelling over your recent success in a bank heist, you need a strong vocabulary.

It has been commented that it is all very well knowing these words but one mustn't show off vocabulary for the sake of it. Remember if you want to use these words make sure you are using them correctly and because they are the right word for the job. Let's start:




kanban
noun

Meaning:  just-in-time manufacturing/delivery strategy

Sentence:  The orcs weren't known for their organisation, so when the elves took over they implemented a kanban in all the major manufacturing chains

Origin:  Japanese. 看板 (pronounced kanban) means 'billboard' in Japanese. Toyota first developed the technique

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Writer of the Fortnight

Welcome to the second Writer of the Fortnight (plus a day). Last time I gave the award to O. G. Patterson. As before, this time the award goes to a member of Writing.com - a fantastic site for all aspiring (and in some cases published) authors.

The award this fortnight goes to an writer who has supported me on the site from very early on. She is very insightful when it comes to writing, and not just in technical areas. She always looks at the story being told and the characters telling it far more than comma usage and is always full of suggestions for how to improve and enhance a story whilst keeping the author's voice in tact.

The recipient of the Writer of the Fortnight award this time is Amanda Willcox. Specifically for her tale The Halls of Neptune.

Writer of the Fortnight
Writer of the fortnight - A. E. Willcox
Original image from boundbytheword.wordpress.com, edited by me
The Halls of Neptune really shines in its voice. That of an ex-captain telling his tale. Here is the opening paragraph:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What is Newton's First Law?

Science for Writers:  Newton's First Law
'Apple on books' from stockvault.net. Science for Writers Logo and text created by me.

Welcome to the latest Science for Writers post. Last time we discussed storing data in DNA. In this, the first of a three part mini-series, I will explain Newton's First Law of motion.

I have put important words in bold. These words are important in physics and I will refer to them throughout the post. It isn't overly important for you to know the exact meaning, so long as you get the gist of what I'm talking about you will be fine following this post.

Writing Links are in italics and these discuss how the science could be used in writing.



What does it state?

Newton wrote in his book, Principa:
Law I:  Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as  it is compelled to change its state by force impressed.
Lets break it down before going further:

  • A body, is an object. An apple is a body. A car is a body. You are a body.
  • To persist means 'to continue'.
  • A state is the condition something is in.
  • Rest means not moving. Being in a state of rest means the body is not moving.
  • Uniform means constant. Being in the state of uniform motion means moving in a straight line at a constant velocity (for now just think of velocity as speed).
  • Change means to do something different to what it is currently doing.
  • A force makes a body do something.
  • Impressed is just a fancy way of saying that the force acts on the body.
Now we've split it up, it is easier to understand. In actuality it is just a wordy way of saying, 'Every object continues what it is doing until a force acts on it that makes it change.'

As with all good laws in physics there is an equation to go with it:

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