Here are some more of the 30 physics-themed limericks I set myself the challenge of writing. First up is a common mistake:

10 Weight vs mass (with some Northern pronunciation)
You might not remember from class
The difference between weight and mass
The former’s a force
Mass is scalar, of course,
Don’t mix them or you’ll look an ass

Here’s one using a few key words explaining bits about a laser (the light from a laser is coherent or in phase, which means that at a given point all the bits of light that were emitted from different parts inside the laser are at the same point in the wave) mixed with an irritating situation I know a bunch of my friends have had to cope with – a man assuming that he knew better than them.


11 & 12 Lasers – a story in two limericks
A man once thought “I’ll amaze her”
“With coherent light from my laser”
“I’ll pump up the power”
“To ensure it’ll wow her”
“Our friendship will spark like a tazer!”

But unlike those light waves you see
In phase they would never quite be
For the fact he had missed
That was making her pissed
She’d built some for her PhD!


Here’s one about a nice bit of maths that makes it possible to model lots of physics as “Simple Harmonic Motion” – it refers to systems that are near a point of stable equilibrium:

13 SHM is everywhere
In physics the simple is king,
To model most everything.
If something’s near stable
It’s often quite able
To act like a mass on a spring


Next up is a lament about students not drawing out clear diagrams in their work:

14 Being a supervisor
I implore my students emphatically
To sketch things diagrammatically
And make their work clear
Or else, as I fear
Their grades may suffer dramatically


Being able to model systems statistically because of the sheer number of particles involved blows my mind:

15 Statistics
Our predictive skills you may doubt
When there’s billions of atoms about
We can’t follow one,
But as there’s a ton,
Their randomness averages out


The next one was just inspired by a story that I heard about some research:

16 Firefighting

If you’re interested in fire prevention,
There’s a chemical that I should mention,
To make water better,
By making it “wetter”,
It’s lowering the surface tension.


And finally for this post, the importance of Maxwell’s Equations, which describe electromagnetism, including the existence of light waves. The fact that these equations and so the speed of light was independent of the “frame of reference” (which you can think of as how an observer is moving) were a big hint to Einstein as to how the rules of physics must remain the same in different frames, a key idea in relativity.

17 and 18 Maxwell’s Equations
Some equations that look quite aesthetic,
And could be considered prophetic,
Written by Maxwell
Turns out they’re quite swell
To solve waves electromagnetic

But their form did then lead to much more
For Einstein looked at them and saw
Though you moved they stayed right
With the same speed of light
So he combined dimensions – all four


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