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School subject - combination of history and physcis?

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School subject - combination of history and physcis?

Postby Bissen » October 7th, 2009 6:58 am

Hi all J-Pod people!

I'm about to write a really big assignment in school, and it has to be something with either physics or maths, combined with some other subject.
To try and keep it a little more interesting than it would be with any physics subject, I'd like to have something Japanese in it too.

So I would like to ask all you kind people, if you have any ideas to what I could write about? I've thought of something with earthquakes, but my history teacher didn't sound too fond of that, as it hasn't got enough content history-wise.

Does anyone of some idea of a subject where physics and history (about Japan) could be united?


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Postby Jessi » October 7th, 2009 8:46 am

Psychics and history... I actually think your idea of earthquakes would be good for that. Japan has had many major earthquakes throughout history, and maybe you could research the different techniques used/currently being used when constructing buildings in Japan to prevent damage from earthquakes, stuff like that. Maybe if you show your teacher a little about the long history between earthquakes and Japan, maybe they will be convinced?
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Postby Belton » October 7th, 2009 10:06 am

Physics History and Japan. The one that immediately springs to mind is The Manhattan Project. You can even get earthquakes in if you compare the immediate damage and loss of life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the Great Kanto Earthquake. Not a very positive or cheerful subject though.

On earthquakes
While reading about the Great Kanto quake just now, I came across a book I might try to buy. It has an interesting thesis about the quake ... #PPA278,M1

Joshua Hammer searched diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts and conducted interviews with nonagenarian survivors to piece together a minute-by-minute account of the catastrophe. But the author offers more than a disaster narrative. He details the emerging study of seismology, the nascent wireless communications network that alerted the world, and the massive, American-led relief effort that seemed to promise a bright new era in U.S.-Japanese relations.

Hammer shows that the calamity led in fact to a hardening of racist attitudes in both Japan and the United States, and drove Japan, then a fledgling democracy, into the hands of radical militarists with imperial ambitions. He argues persuasively that the forces that ripped through the archipelago on September 1, 1923, would reverberate, traumatically, for decades to come.

There seems a fair amount of historical scope there. The physics angle might be harder. However I would have thought you could argue after describing the physics of the phenomenon (the physics bit), that a disaster of this scale would have large effects on a nation (the history bit) and lead to further applied physics trying to predict and mitigate the effects of earthquakes and tsunami.

There is also a link to another interesting titled book
Earthquakes in human history by deBoer et al.

PS The Nobi quake of 1891 (whch I hadn't know of before) is also worth looking at.

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Postby Bissen » November 16th, 2009 5:05 pm

Ok, so now I got permission to choose this subject.

I now just need literature and resources!

The physical part of it won't be a problem. It's worse with the historical part.
I spoke with my history teacher, and he said he would like something with how it's affected Japan's society, as an example.

He doesn't just want: "And in 1995 there was a big earthquake, and so-and-so manby people died." He really wants to know about some of the "consequences" or effects the occurrences of earthquakes have had on the way the Japanese think and live, if they had some financial problems or problems with ruling of the country etc.

In short, what the historical consequences have been. Special standards of building or such! Everything and anything!

Hope some of you out there can help me :)

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