Week of December 8, 2014

This Week in AP Physics
We will continue to explore circular and rotational motion with notes and assignments as announced. There are two experiments we will do for this unit. One will require a formal lab report, as announced. Be aware that the due date for the impulse-momentum unit lab report has been extended.

This Week in Physics
We will continue to debrief the podcasts and assignments from last week. When announced, please take notes on Podcast 7 – Work-Energy Theorem, Podcast 8 – Work-Energy Theorem Sample Problem 1Podcast 9 – Work-Energy Theorem Sample Problem 2Podcast 10 – Work-Energy Theorem Sample Problem 3, and Podcast 11 – Work-Energy Theorem Sample Problem 4. Remember to ,keep your “personal learning goal” in mind for the energy unit. Your paragraph will be due the day after we take the unit test.

This Week in Astronomy
We will complete our planetary research projects and presentations. Expect the unit test early next week.

Cool Science of the Week
Did you know that the flu vaccine doesn’t always work? (I might sort of know this already…) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced this week that the 2014 flu vaccine is not as effective as hoped because the flu virus has mutated. This got me to thinking about how flu vaccines work. Unlike vaccines for illnesses like mumps or polio, whose viruses are always the same, we’re never sure which flu virus strains will be prominent from one year to the next. Every year scientists predict which strains of flu are likely to be most prevalent in the coming year, and they create that year’s flu vaccine based on those predictions. Sometimes their predictions are right, and sometimes they’re not right, and sometimes they’re neither right nor wrong, because sometimes, as it did this year, a prominent strain of flu mutates enough that the vaccine can’t provide protection from it.

A computer generated image of the influenza virus.