# numerical calculations

### Visual and MatplotLib - holding hands at last

(alternate title: how to make pretty graphs in vpython) I am happy. Finally, I can use the visual module in python (vPython.org) and plotting with Matplotlib. Maybe this isn't such a big deal for many of you, but for me, it never worked until now. In the past, I blogged about plotting in vpython vs. matplotlib. My conclusion was that it was easier in vpython, but prettier in matplotlib. So, why not just use matplotlib? There are a couple of things that make vypthon very attractive. Vectors. Vpython has a built in vector class (or function - I don't know what I am talking about). There…

### Chased by a Zombie

Title: Chased by zombies When I heard word about the ScienceBlogs Zombie Day, I knew I wanted to participate with a post - but I had no idea what to do. My first thought was to somehow talk about living off the electric grid in the case of a zombipocolypse - you know, like how big of a solar panel would you need? But you know what? Physics is difficult - but modeling is easy. How about I model something? How about a model for the motion of a zombie horde? This will be great. Zombie motion model What do I want in my model? What are the constraints? What real-life situations can I use to…

### RP 6: Throwing a fooball, Part II

In part I of this post, I talked about the basics of projectile motion with no air resistance. Also in that post, I showed that (without air resistance) the angle to throw a ball for maximum range is 45 degrees. When throwing a football, there is some air resistance this means that 45 degree is not necessarily the angle for the greatest range. Well, can't I just do the same thing as before? It turns out that it is a significantly different problem when air resistance is added. Without air resistance, the acceleration was constant. Not so now, my friend. The problem is that air…

### Spreadsheet Tutorial for Numerical Calculations

I really didn't want to post this, but I am going to anyway. I used ScreenToaster.com to make a screen capture movie (with audio) of a tutorial on spreadsheets. This should accompany my previous post on numerical calculations. Free online screen recorder