Week of March 19, 2018

How weird is this? We are entering the first week of FOURTH QUARTER!!! Prom, Cedar Point, graduation, and summer are within sight! Enjoy every minute! (Especially enjoy the minutes you spend doing fabulous physics!) I’m going to start beginning the blog with the Cool Science of the Week in the hopes that more of you read it. Science is awesome! Read beyond the Cool Science to find your assignments.

Cool Science of the Week
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate! Did you know that the great symbol of the holiday, the shamrock, is not a real plant? There is no species of clover known as a shamrock. Instead, the shamrock is a popular term for a three-leaf clover, and botanists over hundreds of years have debated about which species people consider to be the shamrock of lore. In 1988 an Irish botanist tried to determine definitively which species of clover is the shamrock with a survey, finding that the majority of Irish people consider the species Trifolium dubium (common name: lesser clover) to be the true shamrock, with Trifolium repens (white clover) taking second. However, many others, including a plant that’s not even a clover (Oxalis ocetasella, or wood sorrel), made the list! Pro tip: A four-leaf clover is a mutation and is never considered a shamrock.

Lesser clover (left) and wood sorrel (right) Images from Wikipedia

This Week in Physics
We’re all starting at slightly different places…
1st: On Monday we’ll finish the lab. Goal set 1 is due at the start of class on Monday. Quiz over goal set 1 is Tuesday or Wednesday as announced, and please take notes on podcast 3 for Tuesday. Then we’ll do assignment 2 and likely test on Friday.
3rd: On Monday assignment 1 is due. Goal set 1 is due at the start of class on Tuesdday. Quiz over goal set 1 is Tuesday. Please take notes on podcast 3 for Wednesday. Then we’ll do assignment 2 and likely test on Friday.
8th: On Monday we will finish going over assignment 1. Goal set 1 is due at the start of class on Monday. Quiz over goal set 1 is Tuesday, and please take notes on podcast 3 for Tuesday. Then we’ll do assignment 2 and likely test on Friday.
11th: Goal set 1 is due at the start of class on Monday. Additionally please take notes on podcast 3 for Monday. Quiz over goal set 1 is Tuesday. Then we’ll do assignment 2 and likely test on Friday.

In Memory of Stephen Hawking, January 8, 1942 – March 14, 2018

Week of March 12, 2018

This is the final week of the grading period. Please check PowerSchool for missing assignments. I will no longer accept late work after Tuesday except in cases of extended recent absences as arranged with me by Monday.

This Week in Physics
11th period: Podcast 2 from unit 6 is due for Monday. All other class periods: Podcast 2 from unit 6 is due for Tuesday. This week we will go over the material from podcast 2 by practicing problems and concepts in class, performing the Circular Motion Lab, doing assignment 1, doing goal set 1, and taking a quiz. This unit will wrap up quickly, so please stay on top of the material.
Lab report: The lab report for the  Impulse-Momentum Theorem Lab will be due at the start of your class period on Thursday (3/15) or Friday (3/16) as announced. You must share your Google document with me at my Gmail address, burgessm@alstudent.org, not my school email address. You must then upload your document to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 p.m. on the due date. The class ID is 16214937, and the password to join the class is Tesla. Remember to use both the Lab Report Writing Guide and the Lab Report Rubric to guide your writing.

Cool Science of the Week
This past Thursday (3/8) was International Women’s Day. To focus on this event, let’s recognize one of the world’s premier physicists who happens also to be a woman. Fabiola Gianotti is the director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known to us as CERN, one of the most important (perhaps the  most important) physics research institutes in the world. (Just one example: It’s where the World Wide Web began! Her work could earn her a Nobel Prize, and her impact on science worldwide is unquestioned. We’ve come a long way from just a few decades ago when there weren’t even women’s restrooms in many physics institutions, and it’s been an even shorter time since Mattel produced a Barbie that said “Math class is tough!” (Video below)

Related image

Week of March 5, 2018

There are two weeks left to third quarter. Heads up! 🙂 Also, as you know, our schedule will be a smidge topsy-turvey due to the SAT administration for all juniors on Wednesday morning.

This Week in Physics
For Monday complete assignment 3. If you are in first or third period, please also complete goal set 3. We will take the momentum unit test on Tuesday or Thursday as announced in your class period. Then we will complete the Impulse-Momentum Theorem Lab. (This experiment will result in a gorgeous lab report… yay!)

Cool Science of the Week
Bummed about cavities? Scientists may have discovered a way to regenerate teeth! (Pro tip: Keep brushing and flossing anyway.) 😉

Instead of Filling Cavities, Dentists May Soon Regenerate Teeth

Week of February 26, 2018

We are entering the last three weeks of the quarter, so be sure to stay on top of all of your work! 🙂

This Week in Physics
For Monday, if your class has not already done so, be sure to complete goal set 2 as homework. As announced in your class we will take a quiz over goal set 2 from unit 5. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 3 – The Impulse-Momentum Theorem. We will complete assignment 3, the Impulse-Momentum Theorem Lab, and goal set 3 on our way to our unit test, which will likely be next week.

Cool Science of the Week
Silent space: Did you know that every science fiction movie that allows you to hear a blast is boldly lying to you? Sound waves need a medium to travel through, so in the vacuum of outer space, there’s no sound… or is there? A plasma physicist has discovered that charged particles interact with Earth’s magnetosphere to create a different kind of sound wave, a magnetosonic wave. These waves are very low in pressure and are therefore undetectable, but they can affect satellites. Below the awesome gif is an audio file that makes these space sounds audible by condensing a year’s worth of sound into six minutes. Check it out!

Image result for death star explosion gif

On the audio below, click on the white lines in the lower right to hear the sounds after clicking the play button in the top left. Alternately you can click here to access the researcher’s external site.

Week of February 19, 2018

This will be a shortened week as we observe Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays on Presidents’ Day, which Ohio officially calls Washington-Lincoln day. Who knew?

This Week in Physics
We lost a lot of time last week due to scheduling, and each section has different starting points for the week. Therefore please follow the announcements for your particular class section regarding when each of the following will be due. (Your class period may have already done some of these.)

Cool Science of Last Week
Last week Elon Musk‘s SpaceX launched a new rocket model into space. The Falcon Heavy rocket has the cool feature of returning its rocket boosters back to Earth in a way that allows them to land for reuse. You can check out their synchronized landing at the end of the short video clip below – so cool! Also super cool: The Falcon Heavy, while in space, released into an orbit around the sun a Tesla Roadster, an electric car from Mr. Musk’s other company, Tesla. In the Roadster: an astronaut mannequin named Starman. On the dashboard: a sign that says “Don’t Panic.” Music playing in the car: Starman by David Bowie, natch.
Bonus trivia: For how long could the mennequin hear the song play (if the mannequin could hear)? Bonus bonus trivia trivia: Elon Musk was the inspiration for the movie version of which fictional character? (Bonus trivia is worth only the bonus of fame and glory, not points. 🙂 )
The following is a real picture! Ridic!

Week of February 12, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This Week in Physics
For Monday please complete assignment 1. In class on Monday we will go over assignment 1 and will put the finishing touches on our law of conservation of momentum experiment. On Tuesday we will take a quiz over goal set 1. (If your class does not finish going over goal set 1 in class on Monday it will be due on Tuesday.) As announced please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy. We will complete assignment 2 and will reprocess our data from our mini law of conservation of momentum lab from the perspective of analyzing the types of collisions. By the end of the week we will take a quiz over goal set 2. We may be ready to take notes on the last podcast of the unit by Friday, but with scheduling for next school year taking place this week, it is likely that you will take notes on that for next week. Stay tuned!

Scheduling Information
Here is the link for the 2018-2019 ALHS Program of Studies.

Cool Science of the Week
Scientists rock, and now a record number of scientists are running for political office, walking in the footsteps of Sir Isaac Newton, who served as a Member of Parliament after achieving success in the fields of science and mathematics.

Week of February 5, 2018

This Week in Physics
We will take our unit 4 test either on Monday or Tuesday as announced in your class period on Friday. Due on the day after you take the test, please take notes on unit 5’s PODCAST 1: The Law of Conservation of Momentum. We will go over this in class, do assignment 1, complete an informal lab activity, and take a quiz over goal set 1 as announced. If announced please take notes on PODCAST 2: Types of Collisions – The role of kinetic energy.

Cool Science of the Week
If you lived in the Arctic Circle you would spend part of the winter experiencing 24-hours of darkness with the sun never rising due to the tilt of the Earth. What would that be like? The New York Times decided to find out by interviewing people who live there.  (Hint: The picture below is moonlight during the DAY!)

Week of January 29, 2018

This Week on Physics
We will complete assignment 3 and take a quiz over goal set 3 as announced. We will also complete the Law of Conservation of Mechanical Energy Experiment. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 4: Power. (This will be your favorite podcast of the year for reasons that will become apparent when you watch it.) We will complete the very brief assignment 4 and will then take the test over unit 4. Note: Your lab report for the Work-Energy Theorem Experiment is due as described in last week’s blog. (Note that 8th period’s due date is advanced to Wednesday.)

Cool Science of the Week
We’ve been discussing conservation of mechanical energy. A type of energy we don’t cover in class deals with the rotational motion of objects. This is called rotational kinetic energy, and a system’s initial mechanical energy can convert to rotational kinetic energy as well as straight-line (“translational”) kinetic energy. Engineers have put this concept to good use by creating rolling traffic barriers that take the translational kinetic energy of vehicles and convert some of it to the rotational kinetic energy of rolling barrels inside of the barriers. This helps slow the cars down more than rigid barriers. Pretty cool use of simple physics!

Week of January 22, 2018

Welcome to our first five-day week of school since the week of December 11! (wow!) We will have guest speakers from the TEE program on Friday, so if you have an interest in TEE, be sure to make an extra effort to be in class on that day.

This Week in Physics

Cool Science of the Week
Who doesn’t love adorable sea turtles? They’re precious, right? Almost every species of sea turtle is also endangered, and their plight has hit a serious hurdle by way of climate change. The sex of a hatchling sea turtle depends on the temperature of the sand during incubation, and with rising global temperatures, 99% of the recently hatched green sea turtles are female! Obviously that’s a big problem for future generations of sea turtles. Sad!

“Not cool, dude!”

Week of January 15, 2018

This will be a four-day week as we pause on Monday to pay respects to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Week on Physics
For Tuesday please complete Unit 4 assignment 1 and goal set 1. (Both are due at the start of class on Tuesday.) We will take a quiz over goal set 1 on Wednesday or Thursday, as announced in class. For Wednesday please take notes on PODCAST 2: Work-Energy Theorem. We will go over this and will then do 
assignment 2. Time-permitting we will perform the Work-Energy Theorem experiment. (If we don’t get to it this week, we will do it next week.)

Cool Science of the Week
I don’t know about you, but when it’s as cold outside as it’s been lately, I love to comfort myself with a nice, sugary, hot beverage. One chilly day in 2016 an engineer poured himself a latte and discovered a strange phenomenon: The latte formed striped layers! Being an engineer he used his scientific resources to figure out why and ultimately discovered that lattes can undergo a process that involves both fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, a process called double-diffusive convection. This process is similar to the one that creates the weird hot/cold layers that freak you out when you swim in Lake Erie!