Week of January 19, 2015

Welcome to a new semester! Congratulations on all you have accomplished. If you were in my first semester astronomy course, please note that you can unsubscribe to this blog by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.
P.S. We don’t have school on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day. (You probably don’t need me to remind you.)

This Week in AP Physics
We will begin our unit on fluid mechanics, which is our first purely AP Physics 2 topic. We’ll get right back into the swing of things with notes, homework, and a lab this week. 🙂

This Week in Physics
It’s momentum time! For Tuesday please take notes on Podcast 1 – Introduction to Momentum. This will prepare us for a very short assignment followed by a quiz, as announced. For Wednesday please take notes on the more complex topic covered in Podcast 2 – Conservation of Momentum part 1Podcast 3 – Conservation of Momentum part 2, and Podcast 4 – Conservation of Momentum Sample Problem. We will complete an assignment on these in class on Wednesday and Thursday in order to prepare ourselves for our experiment, the Conservation of Momentum Lab. Finally, remember that your energy research paragraph is due to TurnItIn.com on Wednesday.

This Week in Astronomy
WELCOME TO ASTRONOMY! I’m definitely pumped to work with all of you, and this is a pretty cool course. To get started, please go to our main class webpage and read the course policies and procedures document. Please print and sign only the last page and turn it in by Friday. This week we will take an astronomy readiness assessment. Let me reassure you that this test will not count for a grade. It is merely a skills and prior knowledge assessment. Then we will begin to explore the techniques of sky mapping in order to locate stars and constellations using our Star Map – North and South Declination. This means we will get to spend a significant amount of time in the planetarium! Alright! Our focus is Unit 1: The Celestial SphereCelestial Sphere Podcast 1 – Star Mapping and Celestial Sphere Podcast 2 – Celestial Equator and Celestial North Pole. You don’t have to watch these podcasts before class, but they will help you if you are confused, are absent, or wish to review.

Cool Science of the Week
In astronomy at the end of the first semester we had some cool discussions about the shape of the universe, namely that there is no “outside” and that it is finite, yet without an edge. Brain-numbing stuff! Here are the first two parts of a three-part series of short, fairly understandable videos explaining different theories about the shape of our mysterious home. (Part 3 isn’t released yet.)