Week of February 29, 2016

I’m going to avoid Leap Day puns, so let’s just jump ahead to business…

This Week in AP Physics
We will continue our study of electrostatics by exploring electric fields, electric potential energy, electric potential, and potential difference. If you think that’s a lot of sound-alike stuff, you’re right! We’ll sort it out, but bring your will power! Expect a test by the end of the week. Time permitting we’ll conduct our final experiment for the unit. Up next: CIRCUITS!!! (So.much.fun!)

This Week in Physics
We will complete our study of circular motion, gravitation, and planetary orbits with one last assignment and our unit test on Tuesday or Wednesday. Your formal lab report for the circular motion experiment is due on Tuesday but will be extended to Wednesday if our test is on Tuesday. (Remember that the hardcopy of your lab will be due at the start of class on the due date; an upload  is due to TurnItIn.com by 3:00 of that day. Remember to write using Google Drive and share your document with me at alhsgb@gmail.com…Note that I do not use that address for email correspondence. Be sure to use the lab document as well as the lab report writing guide and lab report rubric as you write.) Up next: Electrostatics! For the day after we take the circular motion test, please take notes on Electrostatics Podcast 1 – Introduction to Charge and Electrostatics Podcast 2 – Conductors, Insulators, and Charging, and for the next day, please take notes on Podcast 3 – Electric Force.

Cool Science of the Week
It’s Leap Day on Monday! What you may not realize is that there is a scientific reason we add a calendar day every four years. It turns out that a full year is actually 365.256363 days long. What to do with that extra quarter of a day that builds up every year? If we didn’t add a calendar day every four years, eventually our calendar would nudge its way backwards, making our calendar out of sync with the seasons. (You may notice that our orbit isn’t exactly 365.25 days long, so eventually that adds up, too. We do have ways with dealing with THAT, but you’ll have to watch the video to get that part of the story.)