### Miley Cyrus on Pendulums

A lot of people have wondered why Miley Cyrus would want to ride on a wrecking ball wearing nothing but her underwear, and sometimes even less. We at Physics Buzz took a few moments to chat with Miley* and discovered it's really all about the physics.

PB: Miley, we may be reading too much into your Wrecking Ball video, but you appear to love pendulums.

MC: You're not reading too much in to it at all.

PB: I mean, you seem to really love them.

MC: That's right.

PB: Really, really, really love them . . .

MC: OK, maybe you are reading too much into it. It's true I dig simple harmonic motion, though, which is what pendulums are all about, especially when they're performing small amplitude motions like the wrecking ball did when I was riding on it.

PB: Did you use an actual wrecking ball on a crane for the videos.

MC: I wish I could tell you that we did, but it's pretty obvious from the vid that we didn't.

PB: How so.

MC: From the oscillation period.

PB: ?

MC: From the time it takes to swing back and forth once. It's way too short a period. If you had a crane with a long chain, the ball would swing very slowly. I figured it would be too slow for the rhythms we were shooting for. So I asked for a shorter chain.

PB: Wouldn't the weight of the ball slow it down, even for a short chain?

MC: Not at all. You see, the period of a pendulum - the time it takes to swing from one side to the other and back - depends only on the pendulum length, not the mass. That's the real reason I was riding on it - to show that the total mass doesn't affect the motion.

PB: Ahhh.

MC: If you watch the video, you can see one complete oscillation starting at a minute and eighteen seconds into the video. It takes about 3.45 seconds. I'm not going to do the math for you, but you should be able to calculate the length of the pendulum pretty easily, and it's about 3 meters.

PB: What's that in feet?

MC: I don't do archaic units. I'm all about SI.

PB: What's next for Miley Cyrus?

MC: I plan to continue my musical exploration of classical physics. I'm thinking ballistic motion. I've got my people looking into a trebuchet right now.

PB: ?

MC: It's like a catapult, but way cooler.

*We never actually spoke to Miley. But we can pretend.

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### How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

### Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

### The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?