Physics

To Hear or Not to Hear

2020-01-31T13:43:55-08:00 January 31st, 2020|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue I, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume XX|

Abstract As the world seems to be getting louder and louder, noise-canceling headphones could be the potential answer to tuning noise out in many different situations. Born from the dissatisfaction of regular passive noise-reduction headphones, noise-canceling headphones utilize an internal speaker that actively produces a sound wave equal and opposite to that of external noise, [...]

Holograms: Blurring the Lines of Reality

2020-01-31T11:54:17-08:00 January 31st, 2020|Electrical Engineering, Entertainment, Issue I, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume XX|

Abstract First appearing in popular movies like Star Wars, the idea of 3D holograms captured and confused the world. While the idea was born over seventy years ago, it wasn’t until recent advances in technology that holograms transitioned from the fantasy world of the movies to real life. In fact, 3D holograms are so prevalent [...]

The Role of Hyperloop in Transportation Innovation

2019-11-13T11:39:15-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Transportation, Volume XIX|

Written by: Patrick Hennessey With every improvement to transportation, the world feels a little smaller, and people become more connected.  Some of the world’s greatest inventions have been in the field of transportation, but we haven’t had a major innovation in over a century- a new system is long overdue. This article will explore the [...]

The “Aero-Position”: Why Cyclists Study Aerodynamics

2019-11-13T11:38:35-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XIX|

Written by: Riley Walch Riley Walch is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He has interests in the intersection of the human body and engineering and hopes to turn this curiosity into a career, upon graduation. Abstract Greg LeMond’s 1989 Tour de France victory, aided by research-driven cycling advancements, marked [...]

Serving up Some Knowledge: The Physics of Tennis

2019-11-13T11:38:04-08:00 April 9th, 2019|Issue II, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XIX|

Abstract The shots of a professional tennis player may look like magic, seemingly defying the laws of science before your eyes. But it all becomes much simpler when you understand the physics behind tennis. This article focuses on the generation of spin on a tennis ball, how to maximize the power of a shot, and [...]

From Shark Skin to Speed

2017-11-29T17:11:19-08:00 March 21st, 2017|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Lifestyle, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume XVIII, Water|

Sharks inspire a feeling of awe in many people, partly due to their natural speed and representation of power. Through modern biomimicry, scientists have been able to imitate shark skin and design speed-enhancing technologies to benefit transportation, medicine, and apparel design. Introduction When visiting a local aquarium, there is no lack of spectacles that may [...]

Engineering NBA Players’ Health

2018-01-19T06:26:43-08:00 October 25th, 2015|Computer Science, Health & Medicine, History & Society, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XVII|

Modern wearable sensors utilize global positioning system (GPS) technology to track basic movement data that has both statistical and medical implications in the sports world. This article highlights the ingenuity of such sensors, which weigh only one ounce yet contain an accelerometer (measures starts and stops), gyroscope (measures bending and twisting of the body), magnetometer [...]

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before: Faster-than-Light Travel in the 21st Century

2018-01-19T06:31:35-08:00 June 24th, 2014|Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue I, Physics, Space, Transportation, Volume XVI|

Albert Einstein’s famous theory of relativity specified that the Universe had a speed limit for all masses. As a result, faster-than-light travel has always been seen as nothing more than science fiction. However, faster-than-light travel may not be so farfetched anymore. Engineers today are working to create the first usable ‘warp drive’, which would allow [...]

Encrypt the Future – Quantum Cryptography

2018-02-23T11:31:35-08:00 April 30th, 2014|Editors' Picks, Electrical Engineering, Issue I, Physics, Volume XVII|

The inherent weakness of traditional cryptography has exposed its unreliability to modern computing technology. To overcome this issue, scientists used the laws of quantum mechanics to create quantum cryptography, which is invincible to conventional hacking. By developing the quantum cryptography system, conventional hacking will eventually be eliminated. Introduction The internet, as one of the greatest [...]

Fast & Furious: The Science behind Badminton Smashes

2017-10-26T18:39:50-07:00 December 11th, 2013|Issue II, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XVI|

Badminton Smash is a shot that demonstrates the player’s ultimate power and control. There are certain things that can help nonprofessionals smash like professionals. These things will be discussed in detail in this essay. illumin.usc.edu The Engineering behind Badminton. (Flash) Introduction Badminton is a racket sport like tennis, except that a bird (also called shuttlecock, [...]

Beauty and the Geek: The Engineering Behind Laser Hair Removal

2017-11-03T17:35:33-07:00 November 26th, 2012|Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Entertainment, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Physics, Volume XV|

Understanding laser hair removal requires knowledge of many disciplines. Quantum and optical physics, the biology behind the growth cycles of hair, and the historical and modern rationale for depilation (hair removal) contribute to this interesting cosmetic procedure. The study of Laser Hair Removal reveals the interconnection between societal values and science while also providing an [...]

Disney’s “Green” Magic: Engineering Sustainability

2018-01-19T06:24:27-08:00 October 15th, 2012|Entertainment, Environmental Engineering, Food & Drink, Issue III, Physics, Recycling, Volume XVII|

This paper discusses the sustainable efforts that The Walt Disney Corporation has made in recent years to reduce their environmental impact and improve sustainability. From food to energy waste, Disney Parks and Resorts has paired up with Walt Disney Imagineering to find innovative ways to conserve energy that not only benefit the guest within the [...]

Mommy, I Want a Jetpack

2017-11-10T18:40:01-08:00 August 7th, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Transportation|

Since the 1920s, science fiction has glamorized the jetpack as futuristic technology. After almost one hundred years and only moderate levels of success, people today are left wondering if the jetpack will ever become a reality. By exploring its origins and analyzing recurring design flaws, one can understand the jetpack’s slow development. The success of [...]

Can Electric Vehicles Charge Wirelessly?

2017-11-03T14:23:49-07:00 July 28th, 2012|Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Physics, Power, Transportation, Volume XV|

Conventionally, electric vehicles are charged by plugging in the battery compartment to an outlet using a heavy duty wire. Recent work and study into inductive power transfer methods have shown that it is possible to power electric cars wirelessly. The work highlights the success achieved in charging car batteries by retrofitting them with inductive power [...]

Uncovering the Secrets of the Mariana Trench

2017-11-10T14:55:38-08:00 May 2nd, 2012|Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Space, Transportation, Volume XIV, Water|

In March 2012, James Cameron became the third person in history to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the lowest point on earth. The conditions in the bottom of the ocean are very harsh due to intense hydrostatic pressures and a lack of light. Nevertheless, deep sea diving allows us to study the [...]

Rail Guns: From Sci-Fi to Reality

2017-11-10T18:42:13-08:00 April 23rd, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Physics, Security & Defense, Transportation, Volume XIV|

A rail gun uses magnetic and electric forces to accelerate a projectile. Parallel rails extend along the length of the firing chamber of the rail gun powered by capacitors. With the power generated by the magnetic fields contained in rail guns, objects can be launched at incredible speeds. The result is a destructive force. The [...]

Space-Based Solar Power: A New Path Towards Sustainable, Clean Energy?

2017-11-10T18:45:54-08:00 April 21st, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Power, Security & Defense, Space, Volume XIV|

Space-based solar power (SBSP) is an idea that has been alternatively promoted and ignored since its inception in 1968. A space-based solar power system is essentially a satellite comprised mainly of solar panels that beams electrical energy down to a collecting station on Earth, which then distributes that energy to the domestic power grid. The [...]

Power-Generating Fashion: A Look into Smart Textiles

2017-11-11T17:31:33-08:00 December 7th, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Ergonomics, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume XIII|

Technology has advanced the functions of clothing to a new level through the creation of power-generating textiles. These materials are made of solar cell or piezoelectric fabric that will allow enough electricity to be generated to recharge a small, portable electronic device. With additional engineering and research, clothing that can recharge any portable electronic device [...]

Mobile Microscopes: How Your Cell Phone Can Save Lives

2017-11-03T17:51:57-07:00 December 6th, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Communication, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Physics, Volume XIV|

What if a text message could save a life? Dr. Ayogdan Ozcan and his team of researchers have developed a cost-efficient, revolutionary device that can perform basic diagnostics for blood cell count, malaria, and tuberculosis – all on the back of a $30 camera phone. The device uses a lens-free imaging technique known as LUCAS, [...]

Stealth Characteristics of the F-22 Raptor

2017-11-10T14:49:38-08:00 December 1st, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Issue II, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Security & Defense, Volume XIV|

The F-22 Raptor was developed by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing. Though initially developed to serve as an air superiority fighter, which meant that it would take control of enemy airspace and destroy any opposition, it has developed into more of a multi-role vehicle. The F-22 is an overwhelming vehicle with capabilities that enable [...]

The Prospects of Invisibility Cloaks: Bending the Laws of Light

2017-11-11T17:29:05-08:00 June 27th, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue II, Material Science, Physics, Volume XIII|

Current research and experimentation with metamaterials have led to advancements in the development of invisibility. Metamaterials can be used to make objects appear invisible by bending light around those objects through refraction instead of away from those objects by reflection. Though no natural material exhibits this behavior, engineers are working to design cloaking devices with [...]

Composite Technology and the Hockey Stick Revolution

2017-11-11T17:25:16-08:00 April 27th, 2011|Issue II, Material Science, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XIII|

Over the last decade, the game of hockey has changed significantly, especially due to advances in composite hockey stick technology. This paper discusses the progression of hockey stick composition throughout the years as well as important properties of hockey sticks and how the composition of sticks affects these properties. It also examines the slap shot, [...]

Soaring to New Heights: The Evolution of Pole Vaulting and Pole Materials

2017-11-11T16:49:05-08:00 September 1st, 2010|Issue II, Material Science, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume XII|

Pole vaulting is an incredibly dynamic and complex sport that requires high levels of athleticism, precision, and skill. The process of the vault involves the transfer of energy from the vaulter to the pole, and finally back to the vaulter as he is launched into the air. As a result, the vault relies heavily on [...]

Letting No Music Go Unrecognized

2017-11-11T16:40:11-08:00 April 1st, 2010|Computer Science, Issue II, Lifestyle, Music, Physics, Volume XII|

Modern music recognition software has taken the guesswork out of locating music. With just a tap of a finger, smartphone users everywhere can record, send, and analyze 15 seconds worth of music to receive a response with the track name in only a matter of seconds. By analyzing a song’s unique “audio fingerprint” and reducing [...]

Stylish Safety: Engineering Sunglasses

2017-11-11T06:27:29-08:00 November 7th, 2009|Health & Medicine, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume X|

Sunglasses are often taken for granted as just another fashion accessory, but they are actually the result of engineering technology that is both powerful and delicate. In order to create a final product that is protective, stylish, and durable, engineers were forced to deal with the complex nature of light -- especially ultraviolet radiation and [...]

Worthy of Praise: The Modern Flush Toilet

2017-11-11T06:31:12-08:00 October 15th, 2009|Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume X|

Modern flush toilets have revolutionized the way humans live, yet are given minimal acknowledgment for their contributions to society. A move towards managing human waste began at least as early as the Mesopotamian civilization, and since then, toilet technology has evolved in conjunction with social and technological trends. By providing a means of maintaining sanitation [...]

Walking in High Heels: The Physics Behind the Physique

2017-11-03T11:01:18-07:00 September 3rd, 2007|Issue II, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume VIII|

For years, women wearing high-heeled shoes have been noted for their appealing posture and gait. Physics and recent scientific research explain exactly what role these tall shoes have in creating the infamous high-heeled gait, or strut. Unfortunately, the dynamics behind these shoes also explains the pain associated with wear. New shoes are now being designed [...]

The Engineering Behind Surfing

2018-11-07T16:33:05-08:00 December 1st, 2005|Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Volume VII|

Many people enjoy watching surfers or riding waves; however, few people consider the physical or design aspects of this pastime. The physics of surfing, from the way waves are generated, to the concept of buoyancy, to the physical forces that enable the surfer to ride a wave, show that there is more science than luck [...]

The Violin: The Art Behind the Sound

2018-11-07T16:38:31-08:00 October 24th, 2005|Entertainment, Issue I, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume VII|

The violin is regarded as one of the most important musical instruments in history, perhaps because of its fundamental role in an orchestra or the inspiration and emotion transferred to the listener upon hearing its powerfully romantic sound. While its construction concentrates on producing impeccable sound, had the violin not adhered to the laws of [...]

Swimming: A Dragging Battle Against the Forces of Physics

2018-11-07T16:44:07-08:00 September 1st, 2005|Issue II, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume VII|

In a sport where a hundredth of a second can make all the difference, swimmers are constantly looking for ways to increase the efficiency of their stroke and improve their times. However, the physical force of drag remains a swimmer's ultimate obstacle. There are multiple forms of drag - friction, pressure, and wave - and [...]

The Beauty of Science: New Technologies in Art Restoration

2017-08-11T15:41:43-07:00 December 8th, 2004|Physics|

As museum-goers, we often assume that artwork looks just as the artist intended it to look. This is generally not the case, as the passage of time necessarily degrades art, often in the form of dirt or cracks. The use of two technologies, laser ablation and bacteria, is helping to restore artwork to its intended [...]

Ion Propulsion: Exploring Space in the 21st Century

2019-01-10T11:19:23-08:00 October 18th, 2004|Aerospace Engineering, Issue V, Physics, Volume V|

Electric or ion propulsion is the newest propulsion system that NASA has put into successful operation. The Deep Space 1 mission used the ion engine as its primary propulsion system and tested its capabilities for the 21st century. Its advantages over conventional propulsion include lower fuel weight, much higher fuel efficiency, and longer operational life. [...]

The Frisbee

2019-01-10T11:12:17-08:00 May 2nd, 2003|Entertainment, Issue III, Physics, Sports & Recreation|

The Frisbee, generally held to be a simple toy for children, was invented and refined in the late nineteenth century. Although it has grown in popularity since then, its general design, and thus the technique for its use, have remained fairly constant. The flight of a Frisbee is allowed and governed by the principles of [...]

The Science of Time Travel

2017-11-03T17:40:50-07:00 December 9th, 2002|Physics|

Time travel involves either moving backward to the past or forward to the future. Just as our current actions affect the future, our actions of the past can affect the present. The Grandfather Paradox, which must be addressed when discussing time travel, describes the potential problems that can arise from traveling to the past. Albert [...]

Ballistics of Modern Firearms

2018-11-07T16:26:51-08:00 March 30th, 2002|Issue III, Physics, Volume VI|

In the past two decades Americans have experienced a turbulent relationship with guns. We are compelled as a society to love them through popular culture and are taught to hate them through the acts of newsworthy criminals. Through all this, it is easy to view guns as a living force by which we can be [...]

Dynamics of the M16 Assault Rifle

2017-10-27T11:30:50-07:00 October 1st, 2001|Issue II, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume I|

The news media has recently portrayed assault rifles as an evil of society. However, the assault rifle is often a misunderstood device. The M16, the standard assault rifle used by the United States military and many other defensive forces throughout the world, derives its popularity from its durability, efficiency, accuracy, and variable fire rate. The [...]

The Long Case Clock: Engineering Behind a Grandfather Clock

2017-11-12T22:36:22-08:00 October 1st, 2001|History & Society, Issue IV, Issue IV, Physics, Volume II|

The first record of man keeping time was approximated to have occurred in 700 B.C. with the use of the sundial. The next true advancement in accurate time keeping was the engineering feat of pendulum clock technology. Long case pendulum clocks have been used since 1657, and remain popular today. The Grandfather Clock was created [...]

Roller Coasters

2017-10-26T18:41:57-07:00 April 1st, 2000|Aerospace Engineering, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume I|

Millions of people ride roller coasters every year and have turned the roller coaster business into a billion dollar industry. Usually, while the passengers are whizzing around on the hills of the coaster they aren't thinking about the designers that made the rides possible or the laws of physics that coasters are based on. Roller [...]