Week of January 29, 2018

This Week on Physics
We will complete assignment 3 and take a quiz over goal set 3 as announced. We will also complete the Law of Conservation of Mechanical Energy Experiment. When announced please take notes on PODCAST 4: Power. (This will be your favorite podcast of the year for reasons that will become apparent when you watch it.) We will complete the very brief assignment 4 and will then take the test over unit 4. Note: Your lab report for the Work-Energy Theorem Experiment is due as described in last week’s blog. (Note that 8th period’s due date is advanced to Wednesday.)

Cool Science of the Week
We’ve been discussing conservation of mechanical energy. A type of energy we don’t cover in class deals with the rotational motion of objects. This is called rotational kinetic energy, and a system’s initial mechanical energy can convert to rotational kinetic energy as well as straight-line (“translational”) kinetic energy. Engineers have put this concept to good use by creating rolling traffic barriers that take the translational kinetic energy of vehicles and convert some of it to the rotational kinetic energy of rolling barrels inside of the barriers. This helps slow the cars down more than rigid barriers. Pretty cool use of simple physics!