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Tutor profile: Matthew J.

Matthew J.
Nuclear Physics PhD Student

Questions

Subject: Physics (Newtonian Mechanics)

TutorMe
Question:

What is the period of a simple pendulum 1 meter in length. How does this differ if the pendulum is on the moon? g=9.8

Matthew J.
Answer:

T=2pi(sqrt(L/g)) therefore T=2.0 seconds. Since the gravitational force on the surface of the moon is significantly less than the gravitational force here on earth, the period will be longer.

Subject: Applied Mathematics

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Question:

The imaginary town Smithsville is a perfect square and only has roads that travel North/South and East/West in a perfect grid-like pattern. You need to get from the South West corner to the North East corner of town. What path is fastest? Assume you do not need to slow down to take turns.

Matthew J.
Answer:

There is not one fastest route. This is evident when seeing the problem from a vector perspective. To reach the Northeast corner you must traverse the full length of the town North and East. As long as you never travel South or West you will be travelling on the fastest route.

Subject: Nuclear Engineering

TutorMe
Question:

What purpose does a moderator serve in a nuclear reactor?

Matthew J.
Answer:

A moderators purpose is often two-fold. The primary function of a moderator is to slow down neutrons produced in fission reactions. Neutrons moving at high speeds, aptly called "fast neutrons" have a lower likelihood to interact with matter. Therefore, a moderator acts to slow down neutrons in order that they may interact with more nuclear fuel, causing more fissions and more power. Secondly, in most reactor designs, the moderator can act as a coolant for the fuel rods. In this design the moderator also transverses heat to a water line where steam is produced to generate electricity.

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