Riding the Wind

From cyclists to race cars, the motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it. Those forces have both strength and direction and they can be observed and measured to predict future motion. Watch how an aeronautics engineer works with Newton's three Laws of Motion to test the best posture and helmet for a cyclist in a wind tunnel.

Explainer: Forecasting Storm Surge with Big Data

The unique shape of the North Carolina coastline makes hurricanes both frequent and devastating. It’s not only the wind and waves that cause trouble, it’s the rapid and unexpected flooding of storm surge that proceeds or follows the wind. UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science meteorologists gather information on as many as 27 pieces of data about every storm to enter into their model. With the computer model, forecasters can predict the area most likely to experience flooding. 

 

Surging Water Warnings

Storm surge is not a giant wave like a tsunami, but it is the gradual piling up of water along the coast. It is often the most damaging effect of a hurricane, but is not often clearly understood and it is not easy to predict. New research, and a new computer program developed by the UNC Institute of Marine Science, is helping solve the problem.

Telling Turtles Apart

Male or female? Boy or girl?

Depending on the situation, some variation of the question is pretty common. If you are talking with excited parents who are telling everyone they are expecting, it’s common to ask, “Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?” If you meet someone in your neighborhood with a new dog, unless the dog’s name is Spike, it’s not unusual to ask, “Is your dog a boy or a girl?”

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