Week of February 4, 2013


This week in physics: On Monday we will continue to work on analyzing and solving problems related to the Law of Conservation of Momentum as we plow through assignment 2, aiming for a quiz on Tuesday/Wednesday, as announced. The following podcasts will support your studying:  Momentum Podcast 2 – Conservation of Momentum part 1Momentum Podcast 3 – Conservation of Momentum part 2, and Momentum Podcast 4 – Conservation of Momentum Sample Problem. On Tuesday we will analyze data from last week’s lab with a slight twist: Instead of analyzing momentum, we’ll analyze kinetic energy. This will lead us to draw some sweet conclusions about the role energy plays in collisions. The podcasts you watch for Wednesday will further illuminate the concepts, so for Wednesday please view and take notes on…

Working through these concepts and practicing problems (with the ActivExpressions) will take us some time, so expect to spend the rest of the week on this. It is likely that we’ll work on assignment 3 on Thursday/Friday, but I doubt we’ll get to the quiz by the end of the week. Next week we’ll explore the last set of learning goals for this unit, so a test looms on the horizon! 😛 Finally, please remember that your lab report for the conservation of momentum lab is due on February 13.

This week in astronomy: As announced, we’ll take a quiz over: the diurnal motion of Earth as well as the apparent diurnal motion of the celestial sphere; the location of the celestial equator based on latitude; determining the limits of south declination stars visible at different latitudes. Celestial Sphere Podcast 2 – Celestial Equator and Celestial North Pole up to but not including the information on the celestial north pole will help you, and you may also want to review the concept of declination from Celestial Sphere Podcast 1 – Star Mapping if that’ still a struggle for you. Following the quiz we’ll continue our analysis of the appearance of the celestial sphere at different latitudes by figuring in the location of the celestial north pole and exploring the circumpolar stars. The end of podcast 2 and all of Celestial Sphere Podcast 3 – Circumpolar Stars will support your work. A quiz will follow, and then we’ll start to distinguish between seasonal constellations and circumpolar stars by exploring the concept of sidereal and solar days. Celestial Sphere Podcast 4 – Seasonal Constellations and Star Magnitude will help, but this will be toward the very end of the week (if that) and into next week. We are nearing the end of this unit, so start gearing up for a test by the end of next week/early the following week. In addition (TAKE NOTE!) you should begin the Astronomy Unit 1 – Outdoor Lab once we finish our exploration of circumpolar stars. It requires you to go outside at night to make observations, and it will be due the day of the test. A final item: If you need some extra perspective on our topics, the Astronomy Unit 1 – Readings may be of help. 🙂

Cool Science of the WeekWell, this is weird, even by my standards, and sort of Frankenstein-ish. Scientists have created conditions under which a synthesized compound behaves as if…”It’s alive. ALIVE!!!”