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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience in the area

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.


Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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Recent Answers from Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

2017-02-21 car crash, vehicle in motion hitting stationary vehicle:

All the damage?  Both cars should have sustained some damage, equal forces would have acted on both.  However, the different points of application of those forces may have caused unequal amounts of damage

2017-02-19 Do High Voltage Power Lines Cause health problem?:

I've answered this a few times, but every time it helps to go look up the latest research.  There are still no reliable studies showing an association between power line EMF and cancer risk.  Cell phones

2017-02-17 Satellites running out of fuel.:

Generally such fuels are a gas or liquid.  In the case of a tank of gas, a simple pressure sensor can tell how much fuel is in a tank.  In the case of a liquid, a thermocouple can tell how much a liquid's

2017-02-16 Equipotential Lines:

I generally don't answer homework questions and reject them.  In this case, I'll let you answer for yourself by simply reading the short "Qualitative overview" section, in which your question is answered

2017-02-07 Physics applied to fictional settings:

No, at those speeds there would be air wooshing out explosively and you would be injured in similar fashion.  You might not be able to see air, but it's there nonetheless.  Causes major effects during


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