Looking at three great twitter posts on ellipses

Over the last month I’ve seen several great twitter threads on ellipses. Sort of a strange coincidence, I guess. Today I finally got around to sharing them with the boys.

We started with this tweet from Lucas Vieira. I’m having a fight with WordPress on the embedding of this one – the tweet we are looking at is the “ballistic ellipse” one at the bottom.

Here’s what the boys thought of the ideas in the animation:

Next we moved on to a post from Greg Egan that was inspired by Lucas’s post:

The kids had a tough time explaining what they were seeing here, so we talked about this picture for a little bit longer than usual:

Now we moved on to Jacopo Bertolotti’s Physics Factlet #216 on 1/r^2 orbits. This animation helped me make sense of a point about General Relativity that I’d heard, but never really understood.

The boys thought the animation was fascinating:

Finally, since Jacopo share his Mathematica code, we took a look at the program. The boys were surprised by how short it was. After looking at the code for a bit we changed some of the parameters and got a fun surprise:

I love that so many people share their amazing work on Twitter. Looking at these animations was a fun way to share a bit of math and physics with the boys this morning!