Week of October 29, 2018

Welcome to the first week of the second quarter! Woot! Remember that there is no school for students on Monday, making this a short week for us. 🙁

This Week in AP Physics
This week we will complete our unit 4 study of energy. We will complete notes and do practice problems on Tuesday, and homework 2 will be due on Wednesday. (You probably can figure out most of homework 2 already, so if you’d like to get started, don’t hold back!) Throughout the rest of the week we will cover the topic of power and will do another set of practice problems. If this weren’t a short week we’d certainly be ready to test by Friday, but there is the possibility that we will test this unit at the start of the week of November 5. Our next move will be our unit on momentum!

This Week in Physics
We will continue to practice the math associated with projectile motion, as discussed in videos 3 and 4, which you’ve already taken notes from. In class we’ll do practice sets, assignments 3 and 4, and a lab. This will spill into the week of November 5. Expect the unit test sometime that week. Then we’ll force our way into unit 3 on Newton’s laws!

Cool Science of the Week
I’d love for you to have awesome jobs that make you happy in the future. Here’s a field that is in high demand, and it involves physics! Quantum computing involves using quantum mechanics to create quantum computers that function at levels inconceivable by today’s standards. The New York Times reported this week that there are not enough Americans qualified in this field, so many companies are offering visas for people to come here to do the work. That’s the definition of a job that’s high in demand. Maybe it will interest you!

Week of October 22, 2018

This is the final week of first quarter. If you have late work to turn in for half credit, it is due by 3:00 on Monday, October 22.

This Week in AP Physics
We will explore the work-energy theorem with a lab, practice problems, and homework 1 from unit 4. The homework won’t be due until Wednesday or, more likely, Thursday, but it is quite long, and by Monday you’ll have enough information under your belts to get started on it. The lab will result in a formal lab report that will be due the following week. By the end of the week we’ll begin the law of conservation of mechanical energy. It is likely we’ll take our unit 4 test by the end of the week of October 29 or the very beginning of the following week.

This Week in Physics
We will begin the week with vector resolution. All classes: Both assignment 2 and the six extra problems in our Vector Resolution Practice  are DUE on Monday if you have not already finished them. If you’ve been absent or are still struggling, unit 2’s video 2 will guide you to finishing these assignments on time. We’ll go over these and do a smidge more practice if needed so that we’re ready for a goal set 1 vector resolution AND vector addition quiz on Tuesday. Also by the start of class on Tuesday please take notes on unit 2 video 3 on the concepts related to projectile motion. For Wednesday or Thursday, as assigned, please take notes on unit 2 video 4, which is the final lecture for this unit. We’ll spend the remainder of the week practicing analyzing projectile motion.

Spooky Science of the Week
Why does monster movie music scare us? Or why do screams make us shudder? And what’s it like to unwrap a 3000-year-old mummy? Most important, how can I make bloody-broken glass cupcakes? Ask Ira Flatow of NPR’s Science Friday radio show! NPR (public radio) has a weekly show called Science Friday that plays every Friday from 2:00-4:00 on our local NPR station (90.3 FM.) It’s a great show with lots of cool stories about science news. And, yes, in months other than October they cover LOTS of fantastic science stories that are not at all spooky!
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The music from the movie classic Psycho typifies sounds that alarm our species.

Week of October 15, 2018

October 26 is the end of first quarter, so please keep checking PowerSchool to make sure you are making the most of your opportunities.

This Week in AP Physics
We will take our unit 3 test on Tuesday. We will also begin unit 4 on the topic of energy. The vast majority of our work in this three-phase unit will be in phase 1, which covers internal energy, work, and the work-energy theorem. We will do a problem packet, homework 1, and an experiment, which will result in a formal lab report, as announced. This will certainly spill into next week. We will not take the unit 4 test until second quarter.

This Week in Physics
On Monday in class we will finish assignment 1 from unit 2 followed by a quiz, likely on Tuesday, as announced. For Tuesday please take notes on unit 2 video 2 on vector resolution. We will practice this skill in class and will then complete assignment 2 together in class followed by a quiz, as announced. Weather permitting we will head outside for a “vector treasure hunt” later in the week. If announced, please take notes on unit 2 video 3, which is a conceptual introduction to projectile motion.

“Cool” Science of the Week
As many of you know, Hurricane Michael is the latest major storm to pummel our United States coastlines. What is unusual about Michael is that it went from a tropical storm to an almost category 5 hurricane over a very short time and distance, giving residents little time to evacuate. How could such a rare event happen? Climate science has the answer. Also check out the wind map again. It’s always interesting during a hurricane.
satellite image of Hurricane Michael

Week of October 8, 2018

This is a three-day week for students due to parent-teacher conferences. That means there are just two-and-a-half weeks until the close of the first quarter grading period. Please be sure to stay on top of PowerSchool so you can feel awesome on October 26 when you see your grade! Yeah!

This Week in AP Physics
It’s all downhill on Monday as we complete our Friction and Vector Analysis of Forces experiment and then do a very short (only four page) packet of tremendously great problems to solve. We will also continue our unit notes so that on Tuesday and Wednesday we can do our final packet for the unit and homework 4, which will be due on Wednesday. We would have had the unit 3 test on Thursday, but the short week means it will be Monday or Tuesday of the following week, depending on your preference, noting that if we delay the test until Tuesday we’ll likely begin the unit 4 on that Monday.

This Week in Physics
For Monday please take notes on the first video from unit 2Introduction to Vector Operations. We will practice vector addition in class and will then do assignment 1 together. Next, when assigned, please take notes on the second video from unit 2, Vector Resolution. We’ll practice vector resolution in class and will then do assignment 2 together AND go outside for a treasure hunt! By the end of the week expect a quiz over goal set 1 as announced.

Cool Science of the Week
This week the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a woman for the first time in fifty-five years, and for only the third time in its 117-year history. (Canadian physicist Donna Strickland shares the 2018 Prize with two male physicists for work in laser physics.) The Nobel Committee has even awarded the Prize to men when women did the work, such as was the case in 1974 when astrophysicist Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars but saw the Prize go to the man who was her adviser. Prize or no Prize, there are plenty of women doing groundbreaking work in physics. To my women students, consider yourself invited to the party!

Women Nobel Prize in Physics recipients Marie Curie (1903), and Donna Strickland (2018), Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963)