do bacteria mess up high school physics?

bacteria are everywhere,

this is not a problem.

but (how) do they effect the simple physics of things? Light bouncing of surfaces, for instance. In school we are pestered with requests to calculate the angle. Light in prisms. Light in eyes. Angle in is angle out.

A frolicking scientist has smashed the mirror in his bedroom while singing to a song, please draw the path the light his laser microphone follows. Include the eyes of the cat if so neccessary.

Actually..I wouldn’t have mind if the requests had included a little bit of imagination like this!

When I got physic in school it was so abstract that we spend a year learning about the magnetic-electrofield and how you can use magnets to generate electricity and electricity to make magnets swirl. Lots of calculations and directions of force.

“All fine,” I asked at the end of the year, “but what can we do with this? Is this applicable in every day life?”

The teacher stammered and looked at me like I was not of this world. Turns out we had been talking about electro motors all year. The kind used in tanker engines and vacuums. “Aha.”

Anyway. These lightbeams bouncing off surfaces and getting angled by prisms. The surfaces are riddled with bacteria!

bacteriapicture by

Do they mess up my fine calculations with their odd shaped bodies? How is the relation in scale between bacteria and the physical phenomenon? Does the light disperse from the texture they add to a surface? Are angles and beams more crisp in outer space?

these are questions I wake up with in the morning…


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