Week of December 15, 2014

This is our last week of school before winter break. When we come back on January 5, we will have one week and one day before exams. 

This Week in AP Physics
We will investigate angular kinematics and angular dynamics by looking at angular displacement, angular velocity, angular acceleration caused by unbalanced external torque, moment of inertia, and angular momentum. We’ll do homeworks 3 & 4 and hopefully take our test on Friday.

This Week in Physics
On Monday we will take a quiz over the work-energy theorem as covered in assignment 2. Podcasts 5-11 will help you study. For Monday also please take notes on Podcast 12 – Conservation of EnergyPodcast 13 – Conservation of Energy Sample Problem 1, and Podcast 14 – Conservation of Energy Sample Problem 2. We will go over these and do assignment 3 on Tuesday-Wednesday. Our next topic, power, is a quick one. We’ll take notes on this in class and do a very short assignment 4. Our unit test will be Friday.

This Week in Astronomy
We will finish our planet presentations on Monday and then explore asteroids, comets, and meteoroids/meteors/meteorites. Expect our solar system unit test on Wednesday or Thursday. Remember that your Unit 3 – Outdoor Lab is due on Friday. Up next: I will give you nothing short of the universe, dears!

Cool Science of the Week
In physics we’ve been talking a lot about energy. One way that energy plays into our daily lives is when it takes the form of electrical energy, and this can be a hot button political and economic issue. This week Bloomberg (a source of business, financial, and economic news) announced that the Deutsche (German) Bank has predicted that by 2016, thanks to technological innovations, solar energy will be cheaper to produce than fossil fuel-based energy in thirty-six of our fifty states (even if the solar industry suffers reduced tax credits.) Wow! This is a good example of how science, ethics, and politics can collide. How will this affect the environment? How do you think the oil industry will respond? How will this change our economy and affect jobs, such as the many coal mining jobs in southeastern Ohio? If you were a politician, what role would you take to help or hinder the expansion of solar power in the US? What if the oil industry or the solar industry made big campaign contributions to you? Would that change your votes on the issue? Interesting questions! Science matters!
P.S. Ohio makes the list as one of the 36 states!