This is a computer lab that utilizes the Atwood’s Machine to explore Newton’s Second Law of Motion, F=ma. To access the lab, go to http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Physics-Interactives/Newtons-Laws/Atwoods-Machine This lab has a total of 34 questions, covering six pages. A calculator is needed, but the math is very straight forward, essentially having the students plug in numbers for Newton’s Second Law of Motion, F=ma. Multiplication and division are all that is needed. Roughly about 30% of the higher-order questions are conceptually based off of the calculations and diagrams the students make in class.
Gravity (2013) is a stunning movie exploring the potential dangers of space and the physics behind them. This movie captivates the students through dazzling visuals, but the movie guide keeps them focused on analyzing the physics behind the scenes. Having said that, there are very accurate and inaccurate depictions of Newton’s Laws of Motion. But the inaccuracies add to the dramatic tension and advance the storyline of the movie. The movie guide is designed to have the students analyze the physics of the movie scenes, choose which of Newton’s Laws applies, and then describe why it applies or why it is inaccurate. The movie guide does not analyze the plot or emotional arcs during the movie, it just sticks to the physics behind each scene. The movie guide is best used for classes like physics, physical science, or astronomy.
The Mythbuster team puts conspiracy theories to the test when they examine whether or not NASA really went to the moon. In this episode, they examine photographic evidence concerning lights and shadows, lunar footprints, slow motion special effects, and apparent flag waving. Scientific topics include light angles, geometry, illusions, vacuums, molecular attractions, the albedo effect, light reflection, inertia, momentum, gravitational pull, bodily kinesthetics, vomit comet, parabolic arcs, zero g, geologic processes, weight conversions, atmospheric pressure, and laser reflections.
Adam and Jamie test the classic myth of pulling a tablecloth out from underneath dinnerware. This is the perfect episode to demonstrate Newton’s First Law of Motion, the Law of Inertia: An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. Meanwhile, Tory, Grant, and Kari test the myth that we use only 10% of our brain. Science concepts discussed include Newton’s First Law of Motion, Law of Inertia, static friction, inertia, momentum, mass relationships, small scale testing, frictional coefficients, material selection criteria, electroencephalograms, EEGs, brain lobes and functions, parietal lobes, frontal cortex, occipital lobe, magnetoelectroencephalograph, MEGs, functional magnetic resonance imagining, FMRIs, and comparative base line data.