Physics for English majors
Imagine a world where the laws of physics were more like the rules of grammar (too many exceptions, senseless at times, confusing, unknown by most people, etc.)….
For an object to move, force must be applied to it. An object whose mass is less than that of the combined masses of any objects within the squared diameter of it may, however, move on its own, provided it never comes in contact with any object travelling in an equal and opposite fashion, regardless of size. Also, any object whose mass is greater than the combined total mass of all the objects within its cubed diameter cannot ever be moved.
The acceleration produced by a particular force acting on a body is directly proportional to the magnitude of the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the body, except in the game of billiards, where theoretical physicists always win.
Every action has a slightly greater than and opposite reaction, but only while producing flubber. At all other times, every action has an equal and similar reaction (*it is best not to jump on the earth when this is the case).
Objects are attracted to each other by some inexplicable means and by the curvature of
your waist time so that mass and pi e are somehow related to how things revolve around each other. Except for that girl over there. She’s not that into you. And it’s pretty clear why. (*edited by A. Einstein, ’cause Newton was only almost right)
The total momentum in a closed or isolated system remains constant until stopped by Chuck Norris.
You can measure temperature. It’s hot, unless it’s cold. Lukewarm is somewhere between, but its definition depends on which country you’re from and the curvature of your waist. (*approved by A. Einstein)
Adding heat to a system always increases energy and/or work, unless that system contains humans, in which case everybody will fall asleep because of a condition called “blanket air”. This law applies only to people born in countries far from the equator.
Hot things always get cold, unless it is scalding hot and you are pressed for time. Then hot things get hotter. Cold things never get hot if you observe them. At the equator, everything is always hot. In Antarctica, everything is always cold.
Everything except Germany is utterly inefficient. There are no perfect machines (unless they are German-made). As the temperature approaches absolute zero, nobody will be around to care.
Electrostatic force fields are possible, but only in first-world countries or lightning storms. They are especially easy to create in the Bermuda Triangle. In fact, it’s really hard to prevent their spontaneous creation in the Bermuda Triangle.
The speed of light never varies in a vacuum. You can harness this enormous speed if you have an epic name like Ussain Bolt and the kind of vacuum sold only in Jamaica. (*this law may change as the Olympics committee cracks down on light juicing)
None of these laws applies in Chicago.