A spider on a frisbee, Coriolis, and Leo Bloom go to MIT: How did it happen?

To my immense surprise, satisfaction, and enjoyment, I have just watched the Second lecture, Dynamics and Control 1, taught by Nicholas Makris at MIT, Fall 2007.

TMI: I am quite excited/moved by this, having forgotten basically even the fact that I studied “pre-calculus” in high school. I could not have done by myself the handiwork at the end of the class for the breakdown/expansion of the terms ad lib, but they made perfect sense to me when done. I didn’t watch the first Lecture, cuz that’s the way I rolled, and probably will have to bail soon enough, but for now it’s exhilarating.

So, to my question, more on the lines of the historical horizons of thought that I spend a lot of time really working on. The professor reminds the students that for 300 years people had been " working" on this math; had we thought of this before we would have been geniuses, and it would have been called the Bloom effect. For example.

Perhaps this is akin to saying calculus is so intuitive, why does Newton get the credit, why not Bloom. Ditto Pythagoras and Euclid. This is only a post, the topic is nebulous, and I’m sorry for shot gunning the side of the barn here…But…post-Calculus (yay Calculus!) what were the conceptual/“mechanical” (symbolic) peaks that our predecessors had to climb in this particular mountain-range so a schmuck like me could go “…uh-huh, yup, sound’s right…?”

[And I’ve chewed over the Coriolis “effect” before. Since I’m here, and I haven’t done any exploratory work just now w/ my new apparatus, tell me, I’ve forgotten the name for this in astronomy: as we follow a planet/spider orbiting us it might be tracking west most times, but the planet/spider is chugging along in a spin its own polar/frisbee orbit, it sometimes shows up “in the wrong direction” east again (it’s just a loop-de-loop). Right? I hope so… What is this called?]

I’m guessing this post wasn’t meant for ATMB, but perhaps ended up there due to Coriolus force. Although there are some potential factual questions in the OP, I think the topic is so nebulous that it might be better for MPSIMS.


Leo says General Questions but let’s try it here first.


I think this is what you mean your question to be about. Could you clarify what you mean? What is it that you think needed work for you to be able to make sense of it?

I’m not watching a one hour 17 minute video to find out what you’re talking about. Narrow down the topic a little.

He says this is “kinematics”, which is the study of motion without respect to causes, i.e. forces. So, this is basic motion equations? Speed, acceleration, time, distance relations?