Sunday, April 25, 2010

Parabolic Beauty

In Parabolic Beauty, we can see the parabolic motion of water from a garden hose.  The pressure which drives the water through the hose and causes the initial water velocity and is derived from a water reservoir elevated above the level of the hose.  The gravitational attraction of the water to the earth is based on the mass of the water and the earth.  The potential energy is converted into kinetic energy when the water flows downward through the pipe system to the hose nozzle.  The velocity of water in the horizontal direction is constant.  In contrast, the gravitational force of the earth, constantly accelerates the vertical component of the water’s motion.  At the apex the water's vertical motion is zero.  Likewise, when the water reaches the level of the hose the vertical component of velocity is equal to the vertical component of velocity when it left the hose, except that the vector is in the opposite direction.  In addition, the beautiful red color of the roses and the verdant green foliage are examples of natural pigment reflection.  In the case of the roses, the pigment that makes the roses red absorbs other colors of light, and reflects the red wavelengths of visible light causing them to appear red.  


  1. Wow. You really covered a lot of topic in that picture!

    Who knew there could be so many different physics concepts in a hose squirting out some water?

  2. What an interesting way to demonstrate projectile motion! I always enjoy bringing in biology examples of physics concepts. Some people might say that explaining the "how" of a garden's beauty detracts from that beauty. I disagree. By understanding what causes the images that we perceive with our eyes and brains, a whole new level of beauty emerges.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Your picture is very, very good! I like the garden background with the flowers as it not only adds color to your picture but it gives you another opportunity to discuss the physics.
    Your essay is excellent! Nice connection with physics, nature and art!