Ode to Gravity

An original poem by Houston McClurkan, AP Physics 1 student
Featured image is an original photograph by the author

Gravity_river

Original photography by the author

Gravity
A relentless force,
You bind us together,
We cannot find you because you are not visible,
But we can capture you in many earthly visuals,

Where did you come from we will never know,
Your strength and power cause rivers to flow,

Though we cannot see you we know you’ll come through,
Your relentless force will always reign true,

The night sky seems still,
We know that’s not real,
You cause the stars in the sky,
To appear as if they fall like a hill.

Gravity,
A relentless force,
Causing the orbit of our earthy orb.

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The Magic of the Ocean and the Moon

Bree

Original artwork by the author

by Bree Gerold, AP Physics 1 Student

Perhaps it is the oh so exciting thought of spring break quickly approaching, or maybe it is my constant fascination with the ocean, but recently I have found myself in a daydream about the beach.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by the rising and the falling of the ocean waves.  I remember that it always baffled me how the ocean could get bigger, then shrink back up again, like clockwork.  I didn’t understand it.  I didn’t understand gravity, I didn’t understand physics.  Perhaps there is a bit of magic to that; to the complete innocence of a child who is so easily mesmerized by something as simple as the ocean’s tides.  That’s what it was to me.  It was magic.

Now as a senior in high school, I have been through many physics classes and have managed to gain at least enough knowledge to understand how the moon and the ocean create the tides.  Ocean tides are created by combining the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, combined with the rotation of the earth. The moon’s gravitational pull is stronger than the sun’s which makes it the most important factor in creating tides. The tides are really long-period waves that appear as the rise and fall of the sea as they reach the coastline. High tide is the crest of the long-period wave and low tide is the trough of the long-period wave. The earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours and the moon rotates around the earth once every 28 days. The moon pulls upward on the ocean while the earth pulls down. This causes tidal movement. The tidal troughs are separated by about 12 hours. Because the moon rotates around the earth, it’s not in the same place at the same time every day.  So the high and low tide times change every day by about 50 minutes.

Even now, after understanding the physics of it all, it still seems like magic.  It is magical how the moon, that is so far away, can have such a compelling effect on the little girl I once was.

Works Cited

“Ten Cool Facts About Ocean Tides.” Oceans52. WordPress, 05 Apr. 2012. Web. 06 Mar. 2016.

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Earth, Physics and Imagination

by Leslie Medina, AP Physics 1 student

Leslie painting

Painting by Leslie Medina

When I think of Mother Earth, I imagine hearing a pulse, and I visualize all the natural beauty that Earth contains. When I give such human-like qualities to Earth, I envision her breathing, even though I know this is not how things work. I think about all the possibilities and opportunities that Earth has given us. The ability to live, explore, and gain knowledge about our universe and the galaxies that endlessly fascinate us. When I depicted Earth breathing and exhaling, I was visualizing how Earth metaphorically takes in knowledge of its surroundings.

With this knowledge, there is an even greater desire to learn more about Earth, space, and life itself. Physics explores many things concerning these expansive topics and attempts to offer an explanation of all the extraordinary phenomena that surround us. On my painting, various equations and key details concerning gravity, orbits, and planets, appear as stars in the night sky. What I’ve come to realize is that these equations not only fill up the background space of my painting, but they also fill up the spaces in our curious minds with an abundance of knowledge.

About the author:
Leslie Medina is an Honors/AP student at Creekview High School, and she is also an amazing artist.

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