Musings on science, math, engineering, and the environment.

  • Monte Carlo simulation of Buffon's Needle

    By Arthur York

    Modeling the probability of a needle intersecting a line when randomly dropped on a floor exhibiting infinite, equally spaced parallel lines. Uses analytical, geometrical, and simulation approaches to find the probability of a needle intersecting a line on the floor.

  • What is mathematics doing in a chemical engineering lecture?

    By Cory Simon

    I am teaching Process Dynamics & Simulation this quarter, which is a prelude to process control. The class involves a lot of mathematics. When preparing a part of my lecture on Euler’s formula, I came across this quote by Richard Feynman. Because it resonated with me, I read the last part to my students during class, but replaced all references...

  • On toy models

    By Cory Simon

    On the utility of toy models; kidney donations and porous materials with rotating ligands.

  • The freely jointed chain model

    By Cory Simon

    The freely jointed chain model captures much of the physics of a polymer. Here, we use statistical mechanics to derive a relationship between pulling force and end-to-end distance of a freely jointed chain. This is applicable to DNA unzipping experiments.