This two-day lab introduces students to the concept of density and how it is different than mass. Students will obtain the mass and volume of specific objects and learn how to calculate density first-hand. They will also make a liquid density column to demonstrate the density of various liquids and where objects will settle in them.
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.
The Mythbuster team explores the story that people are crossing the US border via slingshot method. Some of the physics concepts alluded to include projectile motion, launch degrees, use of the SI units of measurements, impulse, Newtons Laws of Motion, consistent testing conditions, force, mass, distance, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, elasticity, g forces, center of balance, center of gravity, parabolic trajectory, and parabolic arcs.
This is a 19-problem worksheet on 4 pages (2 sheets, front and back sides). These multistep problems involve multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, exponents, and the use of square roots. Students should have a grasp of basic algebra and know the order of operations. They will solve for gravitational potential energy, mass, height, velocity, and kinetic energy.
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.
This is a great episode to show right before holiday break. The Mythbusters build a holiday-themed Rube Goldberg Machine, designed to make the simplest task as complicated as possible. The rest of the team tackles other holiday related myths including which chemicals help keep the needles on a tree the longest, if a frozen turkey dropped on a pet will kill it, and if the energy coming from a radio antenna can cook a turkey. Science topics include simple machines, Rube Goldberg machine, chemical interactions, uniform controls, force, mass, acceleration, skeletal analogs, bone tensile strength, radio waves, water molecules, and microwaves.
Adam and Jamie apply Newton’s Third Law to see if two objects heading towards each other at 50 mph have the same kinetic energy as one car travelling into a wall at 100 mph. The rest of the team explores the numerous variables involved when attempting to knock someone out of their socks. Scientific concepts include Newton’s Third Law, kinetic energy, mass, velocity, impact force, momentum, relative motion, acceleration, g-loads, transverse momentum, impact energy distribution, elastic and inelastic collisions, friction, and inertia.
Adam and Jamie explore the myth that a penny thrown off the Empire State Building can kill someone. They also explore microwave myths concerning cooking your organs from too much tanning and investigate the myth of exploding water in the microwave. Finally, they examine the possibility that Lucille Ball was able to pick up radio signals through her dental fillings. Scientific concepts discussed include terminal velocity, wind tunnel testing, updrafts, net forces, air resistance, drag, mass, acceleration, impact forces, radio waves, microwaves, ultraviolet waves, water impurities, distilled water, boiling point, super-heated water, Faraday cages, point contact diode, and electrical current generation.
Adam and Jamie take on a challenge from President Obama: is it possible to set a ship on fire using the power of the sun? Kari, Tory, and Grant see if it is possible to punch a car hard enough to get it to flip over! Science topics include Archimedes, parabolic mirrors, thermal energy, ignition points, reflectivity, light rays, aiming sights, levers, fulcrum, type 1 lever, pivot point, lever arms, torque, speed, mass, center of gravity, momentum, W = FD, and forward linear momentum.