Week of November 11, 2013

With gratitude, we start this week recognizing Veteran’s Day on Monday.

This Week in AP Physics
We will continue to move through our energy unit (energy pun intended.) Our focus will be on work and the work-energy theorem. We will conduct a very cool experiment involving this theorem as well as analyze multiple problems. Guided reading 2 is due on Monday.

This Week in Physics
We will complete the friction lab and then explore elastic force in more depth, completing assignment 3 together in class. We will spend a significant portion of the week practicing our lab analysis skills and going over proper lab report writing format extensively. Next we will turn our attention to Newton’s Laws. As announced, please take notes on Podcast 9 – Inertia and Podcast 10 – Static Equilibrium. As we go over these podcasts, you will design a mini-experiment to demonstrate inertia and static equilibrium. Following this we will complete assignment 4 together in class.

This Week in Astronomy
On Monday we will test the moon unit. To prepare, please study and then do the Unit 3 homework for Monday. Everything you need to know except the lunar geology piece is available on the unit’s podcasts. You are nonetheless also responsible for the lunar geology information as covered in class. Remember also that your unit 2 outdoor lab is due this Monday, as well. That brings us to your next outdoor lab, the unit 3 outdoor lab, which sends you outside to observe the moon. This lab will be due on December 6, which is the the Friday after we return from Thanksgiving break. Start now, as you will need to make outdoor observations many days apart. On Tuesday we will begin our unit on eclipses.

Cool Science of the Week
This week NASA announced that it’s Kepler Mission, designed to find planets, now estimates that 22% of stars similar to our sun (which is a very typical star) have planets in the “habitable zone” where heat and light conditions could allow life. With around 20 billion Sun-like stars in the Milky Way galaxy, that amounts to billions of potentially Earth-like planets that are in their respective habitable zones!

Below is an artist’s illustration of Kepler-62f, a planet in the “habitable zone” of a star that is slightly smaller and cooler than ours. Kepler-62f is roughly 40 percent larger than Earth.